Commffest Community Film & Arts Festival - Living on a Dollar a Day


An opportunity to visit with and learn about the lives of nearly 20% of the world's population who struggle every day just to survive and those who try to help.

Interview with Director Tom Nazario


Congratulations! Why did you make your film?

The Forgotten International created an award-winning book called Living on a Dollar a Day in which Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Renée C. Byer went to ten countries on five continents and documented the personal experiences of women, children, and families who survive in extreme poverty. The success of the book led us to try to create a documentary about what we learned in making the book. We thought by using the medium of film, we could reach a new audience and touch people in a different way.

The film also highlights the efforts of everyday heroes around the world who work hard to help bring hope to some of those in the greatest need. We thought it important to not only capture the struggles, but also feature real-life solutions. This film is a must see for everyone who cares about global issues and wishes to get involved.

Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?

For an audience member, I understand it might be a difficult film to watch, but this is information we must know as citizens of the world because these are the problems our global communities are facing and will continue to face in the future. We need to be informed so, together, we can find sustainable solutions.

Living on a Dollar a Day

Living on a Dollar a Day

How do personal and universal themes work in your film?

While the film’s locales may seem foreign and far away, the basic desires of people everywhere are much the same: to be able to provide for their children and the hope of a better life for them, whether here in the United States or in a remote village most of us will never go to.

How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?

In making the film about the creation of a book, the hard part was to try to figure out which stories from the book we could translate to film. The book has a bigger scope, but I think we were able to capture the most moving stories in the end thanks to the talent of our amazing video editor, Mr. Karlo Gharabegian.

What type of feedback have you received so far?

We’ve been delighted by the warm reception our film has received. Other filmmakers have been very kind, and we appreciate festivals, such as the Awareness Film Festival, willing to show our film to their audiences despite the difficult subject matter. We are very grateful for the opportunity to share these stories.

Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?

Most surprising, I guess, is that we are hearing that young people are engaged by our film. Perhaps it is because they are seeing other young people like themselves, or perhaps they are seeing another side of the world we all live in. We have shown the film at high schools, and many times after the screening the students are moved to take action to help others. That is very encouraging to know and something we hope continues as more audiences see the film.

What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?

The goal of our film is to educate the viewer about poverty and encourage compassion. If a viewer learns about a new issue and wants to know more, that is a positive action. If someone understands from the film that you don’t need to be a millionaire to help someone and chooses to get involved locally or globally, that is a big step.

Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?

We want to make our film available to the broadest audience possible, so we would need help getting to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu or even media sites that work through schools, universities or public libraries. Our goal is not to make money from the film, although that’s always nice! Our goal is to make it so it can easily be shown at every high school or college in the country. Anyone who can help with Marketing or Distribution, we would love to talk to.

Living on a Dollar a Day

Living on a Dollar a Day

What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?

Our hope with this film is to encourage compassionate action. What we have heard over and over again is that nothing feels better than being able to help a person in need.

What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?

What can I do? Or how can I help? The truth is no one can save the world, but that should never be an excuse to do nothing. Everyone can help someone in some way. Whether someone has the means to take a trip abroad to learn about a problem, or simply to go around the block to the neighborhood soup kitchen and spend some time with people over a simple meal, this is taking compassionate action.

Would you like to add anything else?

I always say, if there’s anyone out there reading this who is willing to help me with my work, please contact me, for as we all know, no one can get much done alone. I’d like to thank We Are Moving Stories for helping to spread awareness of global poverty issues.

What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?

Tom Nazario (Director) wrote a curriculum called Doing Good which aims to teach high school-aged children about compassion and caring for others. Renée C. Byer (Photojournalist) exhibits her award-winning photographs from Living on a Dollar a Day around the world, and she started the Positive Change Can Happen foundation with an engagement app called YouBridge.It where viewers of her photographs can make donations on the spot. George Rosenfeld (Videographer) created a nonprofit organization called the Starfish Video Project in which he makes short videos of families in need and encourages small donations to help them rise out of poverty.



Interview; October 2018


We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us?  More info: Carmela


Living on a Dollar a Day

An opportunity to visit with and learn about the lives of nearly 20% of the world's population who struggle every day just to survive and those who try to help.

Length: 46:02 minutes

Producer: The Forgotten International

Writer: Tom Nazario

About the writer, director, producer: Tom Nazario is the founder and president of The Forgotten International, a San Francisco—based nonprofit organization that does poverty alleviation work around the world. He discovered many grassroots organizations that seek to help the poorest of the poor, and he works tirelessly to provide ongoing support to these communities.

Key Cast: Renée C. Byer, Jim Puckett, Dr. Sandra Baca, Tom Nazario, George Rosenfeld

Looking for: Distributor or Marketing assistance. We want to make our film available to the broadest audience possible, so we would need help getting to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu or even media sites that work through schools, universities or public libraries. Our goal is not to make money from the film, although that’s always nice! Our goal is to make it so it can easily be shown at every high school or college in the country.

Social Media Handles: Our film does not have its own pages, but our organization does

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/forgottenintl

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/TheForgottenInternational/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/forgotten

Other: YOUTUBE TFI Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1NVK-89pEokw0h9_uBLs4w

Hashtags: #indiefilm, #indiefilms, #documentary

Where was this filmed? Bolivia, Ghana, India, Peru, Thailand and filmed in a studio in Los Angeles

Funded by: Donors to The Forgotten International

Made in Association with: TFI is the only producer

Where can I watch it next and in the coming month?

Commffest Community Film & Arts Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada / Cardiff International Film Festival / Free Spirit Film Festival in McLeod Ganj, India / Reedy Reels in Greenville, South Carolina / Fort Lauderdale Film Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.