Shine Global Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit film production company that was founded in 2005 by Susan MacLaury, a licensed social worker and health professor at Kean University, and her husband, Albie Hecht, an entertainment executive and founder of Worldwide Biggies. Shine Global produced War/Dance, a 2007 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary.
Shine Global Inc. was founded in 2005 by husband and wife Albie Hecht and Susan Maclaury after learning about the plight faced by thousands of children in the war zone of northern Uganda. Shine Global’s mission states that they are dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children worldwide through the production of documentary films and other media that raise social awareness and effect political change. Since their founding in 2005, Shine Global has partnered with non-governmental organizations worldwide to produce films about children that reveal amazing stories and inspire change.
Shine Global’s first film War/Dance tells the story of three northern Ugandan children who grew up in the war zone. It is a powerful story of triumph through music and dance despite horrific circumstances. War/Dance debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Documentary Directing Award and went on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary in 2007.
War/Dance returns is the 15-minute follow-up documentary to War/Dance. It depicts the journey back to the Patongo camp by the director of War/Dance, Sean Fine, Shine Global’s Executive Director, Susan Maclaury, and the original War/Dance film crew in the summer of 2008. Finally, the people of Uganda, were able to watch War/Dance. Approximately 7-10 thousand people came to see the film in the Patongo camp making a lasting impression on the entire crew as well as Rose, Nancy, and Dominic.War/Dance Returns premiered on the Sundance Channel in May 2009.
Shine Global has currently finished production of its second feature-length documentary, The Harvest, which revisits Edward R. Murrow’s Harvest of Shame, filmed 40 years ago, and reveals that little has changed over the past 4 decades in the lives of migrant farm workers in America. The Harvest, however, is told from a child’s perspective as we meet 4 of the more than 400,000 children between the ages of 5 and 16 who labor in fields and factories to feed us, lacking the protections offered by the Fair Labor Standards Act that all other American children enjoy. In 2009, Eva Longoria signed on as an Executive Producer of the project. The Harvest premiered at the IDFA festival in Amsterdam in November 2010 and will premier in the US in early 2011.
Since their founding in 2005, Shine Global has partnered with several organizations to make their films possible. Profits from their productions go back to local advocacy organizations that help the children that Shine documents. Shine Global partnered with AMREF during the production of War/Dance to aid the people of Uganda on the ground. Shine Global has also recently partnered with The Harvest of Hope Foundation, a migrant farm workers organization based out of Florida that works to support migrant farm workers all over the country.