The Response Film

The Response Film

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, a quiet revolution has been percolating on the island of Puerto Rico. What began as an impromptu community kitchen meant to help feed survivors in the town of Caguas quickly grew into an island-wide network of mutual aid centers (Centros de Apoyo Mutuo) with the ultimate goal to restore power — both electric and civic — to the people.

The award-winning 30-minute micro-budget film, “The Response: How Puerto Ricans Are Restoring Power to the People,” explores how the mutual aid centers sprung up across the island while centering the voices of those involved in these bold grassroots relief efforts and the movement for popular power that is continuing to emerge.

About the film

Host a Screening

Response Resources

The Response Podcast

Festival Selections and Awards

  • (Gold Award) Spotlight Documentary Film Awards 2020
  • (Outstanding Excellence – Social Issues) Docs Without Borders 2020
  • (Award of Excellence – Narration Talent: Tom Llewellyn) Docs Without Borders 2020
  • (Award of Excellence: Documentary Short) Accolade Global Film Competition 2020
  • (Award of Excellence: Viewer Impact: Motivational / Inspirational) Accolade Global Film Competition 2020
  • (Award of Excellence: Liberation / Social Justice) IndieFest 2020
  • (Award of Excellence: Documentary Short) Impact DOCS Award 2020
  • (Award of Excellence – TV Pilot) Best Shorts Competition 2020
  • (Bronze Medal – Best Short Doc) Independent Shorts Awards 2020
  • (Honorable Mention– Best TV Pilot) Independent Shorts Awards 2020
  • (Finalist) Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay and Music Festival 2020
  • (Finalist) Indie Short Fest 2020
  • (Finalist) Studio City International Film & TV Festival
  • (Official Selection) Earth Day Film Festival 2020
  • (Official Selection) Southeast Regional Film Festival
  • (Official Selection) Focus International Film Festival 2020
  • (Official Selection) Lift Off – First-Time Filmmaker Sessions 2020
  • (Official Selection) Southeast Regional Film Festival
  • (Official Selection) BreakThroughs: The Tulane Public Health and Social Justice Film Festival 2020

Upcoming Screenings

  • @*Humans United in Mutual Aid Networks (HUMANS) – Solidarity Summit, Global, January 23, 2021
  • Needs 2020 (conference), Östersund, Sweden, March, 2021 (Postponed)
  • More screenings to be announced soon.

Past Screenings

  • @*NorCal Resilience Network, Oakland, CA, January 18, 2021
  • @*Columbia University, New York City, NY, October 7, 2020
  • @* Voluntary Norfolk, Norwich, UK, September 29. 2020
  • @*The Global Summit (conference), August 11, 2020
  • @*#Natural Hazards Workshop 2020, Screening and Discussion, July 15, 2020
  • @*From Reaction to Response to Resilience (Screening and Workshop) with The Eden Project, UK, July 9, 2020
  • @*Crisis Collectivism: Stewarding emergent power via stories of response (screening and workshop), As part of the ABCD UnConference, June 24, 2020
  • @*Mutual Aid in The Time of COVID: Screening and Discussion of The Response, May 5, 2020
  • @*#Television premiere on Free Speech TV, April 22, 2020 (More information below)
  • @*San Francisco State University, SF, CA, April 13, 2020
  • @*Copenhagen, April 8, 2020
  • @*Francesco Economy, March, 24, 2020
  • The Earth Day Film Festival, Chico, CA, March 13-19, 2020
  • *NESTA, London, England, March 5th, 2020
  • *Glasgow Eco Trust, Glasgow, Scotland, March 7th, 2020
  • *The Berkeley Farm House, Berkeley, CA, February 12th, 2020
  • Climable: SOUP SUPPER XVII, Cambridge, MA, February 3rd, 2020
  • *The Red Victorian, San Francisco, CA, January 28th, 2020 (“The Response” book release event)
  • *Montclair Presbyterian Church, Oakland, CA, January 26th, 2020
  • Samadi Bali, Bali, Indonesia, December 11, 2019
  • #City University of New York, NYC, NY, November 19, 2019
  • *San Francisco State University, SF, CA, November 18, 2019
  • *Canyon Community Association: Canyon, CA, November 13, 2019
  • Cooperation Jackson, Jackson, MS, October 26, 2019
  • North West Permaculture Convergence: Dexter, OR, September 28, 2019
  • WNC Mutual Aid Summit: Asheville, NC, August 30th, 2019
  • *”The Response” Film premiere: Oakland, CA, July 24th, 2019

@Virtual Screening, *Features presentation/Q&A with producer, Tom Llewellyn, #Features presentation/Q&A with director, Juan C Dávila

Community-led disaster response, from Hurricane Maria to COVID-19: A panel discussion on The Response documentary

The Response Film Panel SketchnoteShareable and Free Speech TV co-hosted a panel discussion after the television premiere of the documentary film. Panelists Susan Silber, Tré Vasquez, Juan C. Dávila, and Christine Nieves explored a wide range of topics including mutual aid, community resilience, and the impact of colonialism on Puerto Rico’s response to COVID-19. The entire discussion is available in several formats. In addition to the video recording and written transcript, we have also released it as an episode of The Response podcast.

The Response is a podcast and documentary series exploring the remarkable communities that arise in the aftermath of disasters. Spanning the globe, each episode takes a deep dive into a unique location to uncover the under-reported stories that are hidden just beneath the surface of extraordinary events.

Shareable is an award-winning nonprofit media outlet, action network, and consultancy. Our mission is to empower communities to share for a more resilient, equitable, and joyful world. We inspire social change by publishing solutions-based journalism, running campaigns, and helping our consulting clients achieve their goals through sharing.

Contact theresponse@shareable.net for more information

The Response: Building Collective Resilience in the Wake of Disasters

Download our free ebook- The Response: Building Collective Resilience in the Wake of Disasters (2019)