RISK! is a feature length documentary film exploring the American entrepreneurship and innovation in the wake of the financial crisis.
The film is produced and written by AGORA Entertainment (I.O.U.S.A.) principles Addison Wiggin and Kate Incontrera along with producer Sarah Gibson.
It used to be people came to America from all over the world to start a better life. To take advantage of the opportunities that they envisioned were around every corner. America was defined by its peoples’ willingness to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and make something out of nothing… a place business and individuals could flourish. That world has changed.
With the aftershocks of 2008’s financial crisis still being felt, Americans are looking to entrepreneurs and small businesses to innovate out of the recession. Companies with less than 500 employees provide over 70% of all employment in the United States and are the biggest grower of new jobs. But at the same time they are urged by the President to “get back in the game”, there are roadblocks for all entrepreneurs, big and small, at every turn. Though the U.S. government has the influence to support new ideas and provide a level playing field for innovators to flourish and create jobs – entrepreneurs across the country are finding it hard to thrive.
To illustrate the dramatic conflict of the entrepreneur and government in the current economic environment, RISK! weaves the story of the innovators and entrepreneurs that make up shipwreck salvage company Odyssey Marine Exploration throughout the film. While Odyssey Marine’s endeavors are inherently risky – it comes along with the potential for maximum reward… that is, if they are allowed to keep innovating and moving forward.
Through the lens of Odyssey Marine, we see that the inherently American model of risk, reward and failure has been stifled – and the consequences are much further reaching than anyone could imagine. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that all entrepreneurs – whether it’s in underwater exploration, stem cell research, or starting a hair salon – are facing the same hurdles. Scores of U.S. companies are choosing to leave their homeland and create economies and jobs in other countries, where corporate tax rates are lower, the tax code is easier to understand, and regulatory barriers are fewer. Countries where the mantra “Innovate or Die” can still be heard loud and clear.
The spirit of enterprise is alive in Odyssey Marine – and in small business owners across the country — but will they get to reap the rewards? What’s at stake if the government fails to recognize the importance that risk and innovation holds in our economy? And what will the “new” American dream look like?
The critically-acclaimed documentary film I.O.U.S.A. was conceived of, co-written and executive produced by Agora Financial’s Addison Wiggin.
In July 2008, the film was acquired by The Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
It was featured in a Live Premier with Warren Buffet, Pete Peterson and David Walker in 400 theatres around the nation on August 21st, 2008. If you missed the event, you can read a transcript of the national town hall meeting here.
Wake up, America! We’re on the brink of a financial meltdown.
I.O.U.S.A. boldly examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens. As the Baby Boomer generation prepares to retire, will there even be any Social Security benefits left to collect? Burdened with an ever-expanding government and military, increased international competition, overextended entitlement programs, and debts to foreign countries that are becoming impossible to honor, America must mend its spendthrift ways or face an economic disaster of epic proportions.
Throughout history, the American government has found it nearly impossible to spend only what has been raised through taxes. Wielding candid interviews with both average American taxpayers and government officials, Sundance veteran Patrick Creadon (Wordplay) helps demystify the nation’s financial practices and policies. The film follows U.S. Comptroller General David Walker as he crisscrosses the country explaining America’s unsustainable fiscal policies to its citizens.
With surgical precision, Creadon interweaves archival footage and economic data to paint a vivid and alarming profile of America’s current economic situation. The ultimate power of I.O.U.S.A. is that the film moves beyond doomsday rhetoric to proffer potential financial scenarios and propose solutions about how we can recreate a fiscally sound nation for future generations.
Pointedly topical and consummately nonpartisan, I.O.U.S.A.drives home the message that the only time for America’s financial future is now!
of four of our favorite I.O.U.S.A. Movie reviews from Variety, Roger Ebert and others. To learn more, or view past reviews and archived media, click here.