James Redford has many documentary and feature filmmaking credits to his name. He started his collaboration with Karen Pritzker on HBO’s The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, a film that gave hope to millions of families around the world who have struggled to educate their dyslexic children. From there, they turned their story-telling eye on the hidden menace of adverse childhood experiences. Paper Tigers, currently on the festival and screening circuit, will air on PIVOT TV near the end of 2015. James also co-founded and is current Chair of The Redford Center, a film production non-profit that translates complex environmental challenges into human stories that inspire. Recent honors include the 2014 WildCare Environmental Award, 2015 filmmaker envoy for USC/US State Department’s American Film Showcase as well as serving the leadership circle for the UN’s second annual Media for Social Impact Summit. James lives in Marin County and is married to Kyle Redford, a popular educational blogger for Edweek, Huffpost and Noodle.
JAMES REDFORD DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT“The primary goal of PLAYING FOR KEEPS, as with all of our films, is to aid in the health and repair of our social fabric. At first glance, a film about the physical, emotional and social benefits of play might seem a little lightweight, but a deep look at the power of play reveals a uniquely effective way to reduce stress, improve health and bolster community connections. As it turns out, adults who engage in enjoyable pastimes, hobbies, and various forms of play are effectively inoculating themselves against the dark side of the modern era. The people we met while making this film were a diverse lot, spanning careers from oncology nursing to primetime news-casting. Their play practices – from hula hooping to playing in a rock band, were equally diverse. Nonetheless, all the subjects in PLAYING FOR KEEPS all shared a joie de vivre that was infectious and no doubt good for their overall well-being. For many of us, however, the pace and complexity of our daily existence has reduced our physical activities as well as community connections, adding fuel to the fire of such problems as depression, suicide, and drug abuse as well as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Spending time doing something fun that’s self-generated and doesn’t offer external reward can seem frivolous in today’s outcome-driven society. However, it is the very process of engaging fun activities in which the reward is internal that the biggest benefits of wellness can occur. Our goal in making PLAYING FOR KEEPS is to remind us all of the enjoyable and healthy benefits of having more fun. Rather than embarking on a sharp diatribe about the ways in which the modern world inflicts insidious harm on all of us, the film aims to provide us with helpful tools and inspiring examples of how having more fun can be a powerful weapon in our quest to a better sense of wellness – and well-being.” — James Redford
KAREN PRITZKERKaren Pritzker is an editor, film producer and co-founder of KPJR films. She has executive produced three documentary films: The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia; Paper Tigers; and Resilience: The Biology of Stress and The Science of Hope. Pritzker also serves as President of the Seedlings Foundation, which supports programs that nourish the physical and mental health of children and families. “We made this film for the people whose job it is to put others first. The film will benefit anyone, but it is the teachers, doctors, police officers, and social workers we had in mind. Those who take their responsibilities so much to heart that they don’t make space for themselves. But all work and no play takes a toll. Studies show that adults who regularly engage in activities of play are less likely to develop serious health issues and more likely to live longer. It turns out that when we make space for fun, we are not only happier, we are healthier. The benefits of play are clear. The hurdle we must leap over now is giving ourselves—and each other—the permission to prioritize fun. To view play as a necessity…and a critical component of health and well-being.” — Karen Pritzker
E. Donna Shepherd
Nicole de Coteau