Want to change policy? Start with a short film

The success of the Startup Visa initiative shows how short films can move lawmakers to action. Photo credit Facebook.com/whitehouse

Getting the general public to care about your cause is tough enough; capturing the support of lawmakers to create new policies that move your mission forward — that’s like the Mount Everest of mission-driven work.

Short films are the supplemental oxygen on your way up. Just look at the Startup Visa case study.

This was one of the first film projects we ever worked on at Micro-Documentaries. Even though iconic companies like Yahoo, Google, eBay and Intel were all founded by immigrants, present-day American visa policies made it difficult, if not impossible, for other foreigners to follow in their footsteps. The Startup Visa group was on a crusade to change that.

We helped them highlight the issue for US Senators, by way of short films that told the stories of immigrants who had created transformational companies here. We also sprinkled in the perspectives of other entrepreneurs and investors and directed the series of films directly to US Senators on a one-by-one basis. And guess what? It worked!

The White House just signaled that it’s going to pass into law the new International Entrepreneur Rule, which will enable immigrants, on a case-by-case basis, to obtain startup visas for anywhere between two and five years. Given how hard it’s been to move the needle forward on anything related to immigration, this is a major win.

Want to find similar success? Consider how short films can help.

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