Stories are recognized as a powerful vehicle for social change. Film and television are the way stories are told in the contemporary world.

To further altruistic action toward others, we need stories that demonstrate and inspire such action by viewers. Alejandro Monteverde’s film “Little Boy,” which is to be released in theaters on February 27, 2015, is just such a film. “Little Boy," starring Emily Watson, Kevin James, David Henrie, Jacob Salvati, and Ben Chaplin, is set in 1945. It tells the moving and compelling story of a young boy’s quest to be reunited with his father, a soldier fighting in World War II who is captured by the Japanese. The quest centers on completing an ancient list
of biblically-oriented tasks.

The investment in promoting and analyzing (through The Participant Index) this film for the altruistic behavior it inspires is the first part of a two-part proposal that ties “Little Boy” with the software development of Action Lab.

The goals of this proposal are to 1) further the impact of the film (Action Lab software), 2) activate the viewers to engage in virtuous behavior based on the film, 3) to measure the impact of the film on behavioral change (Action Lab software and The Participant Index), and 4) to compare the usefulness of two tools for measuring the social impact of film (Action Lab vs. The Participant Index).

This proposal is being funded through the Wedgwood Culture Fund, a Supporting Organization and subsidiary of the Wedgwood Circle Institute, a Virginia based 501c3 non-profit. Registered as a public charity, the Fund serves to “finance investments that make goodness fashionable.” The Fund Trustees are Makoto Fujimura, Mark Rodgers, Gabriel Shulze, Craig Detweiler, Michael Flaherty, and David Wills. Terence Berry, a Wedgwood Culture Fund employee, will manage this project.