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Founded in 2008 by civic entrepreneur Sam Katz, History Making Productions (HMP) is an EMMY-award winning film production studio located in Philadelphia. Its team of writers, editors, filmmakers, artists, musicians and historians has collaborated to share Philadelphia’s rich history through the broadcast, broadband, educational and experiential platforms. We have curated a broadcast, digital, educational and experiential public history project that is unique among American cities. Our flagship documentary film series, Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, explores Philadelphia’s role as the nation’s research and development laboratory for ideas and ideals through thirteen chronologically presented episodes. Eleven episodes have been produced to date and broadcast regionally on the ratings leader in the market, 6abc/WPVI-TV, to both critical acclaim and a substantial and loyal audience. The entire digital media content of this project is available at www.historyofphilly.com. Additions to HMP’s portfolio of films on Philadelphia history include Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia (premiered and broadcast in September 2015, during the week of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia); Before Hollywood: Philadelphia and the Birth of the Movies (premiered at the Philadelphia Film Festival in October 2017: Daring Women (to be premiered in September 2018); and Journey: The Story of Jewish Philadelphia (in development). HMP was also commissioned by the World Meeting of Families-2015 Philadelphia to produce three films on (1) the World Meeting, (2) the Papal Visit and (3) the Papal Mass. And recently, the nation’s first construction guild, The Carpenters’ Company of Philadelphia, commissioned HMP to produce a short documentary on the career of David McCullough, public historian and writer for screening at an event to announce The David McCullough Prize for Excellence in American Public History.
HMP has recently embarked on three new projects: (1) We Are Alive: A Grand Bargain for America’s City, a documentary film telling the story of the bankruptcy of Detroit, the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history; (2) Beethoven in Beijing, a narrative about how China has emerged as a center of western classical music, building sizable and enthusiastic youthful audiences for this repertoire while American orchestras struggle to maintain fiscal balance and find new audiences; and (3) Closing the Gap, a film in search of the common characteristics found in high performing public, charter and parochial schools serving majority at-risk student populations that asks the question, what works to significantly close the education attainment gap for those students?