Morgan Spurlock, Paul G. Allen Announce Directors of 'We the Economy' (Exclusive)

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Microsoft billionaire Allen bankrolls 20 top directors with three Oscars and six noms

Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions and documentarian Morgan Spurlock's Cinelan announced on Tuesday their first collaboration, We the Economy 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss, featuring shorts by 20 name directors paired with 10 top economists explaining big questions (What Is the economy? What Is money? What Is the role of our government in the economy? What Is globalization? What causes inequality?) in five to eight minutes each. The series will launch simultaneously in October 2014 (date TBA) across multiple platforms and distribution partners, including online, VOD, broadcast, mobile and theatrical. On Sept. 27, the New York Film Festival Convergence will host a special panel on the project.

"The films demystify the economy," Spurlock tells THR, "serving as a primer to open the door on each topic, and engage you in a way that normal films about the economy don't. The caliber of talent we got onboard is a testament to the quality of the movies: from Adam McKay to Mary Harron to Jon M. Chu. It’s pretty awesome. It's inspiring."

"We said, 'How do we produce content that can reach the widest possible audience?" says Vulcan Productions creative director and general manager Carole Tomko. "Let's reach out to a broad variety of really diverse filmmakers, partner them with economic advisors, create a site that is a huge toolkit for people, and let's turn the distribution model on its head."

Oscar nominee Spurlock (Super Size Me) recently directed Showtime's Seven Deadly Sins. Emmy, Grammy, and Peabody-winning Vulcan Productions produced Robert Stone's 2013 pro-nuclear-power doc Pandora's Promise and 2005's Hard Candy, which launched unknown Ellen Page to stardom.

Directors of We the Economy 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss:

Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, Goodbye Solo)

Bob Balaban (Gosford Park, The Exonerated)

Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost trilogy)

Jon M. Chu (Step Up, G.I. Joe: Retaliation)

Marshall Curry (Street Fight, If a Tree Falls)

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp, Detropia)

Adrian Grenier (Entourage, How To Make Money Selling Drugs)

Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen)

Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol)

Chris Henchy (The Campaign, The Other Guys)

Lee Hirsch (Bully, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony)

Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli, Menace II Society)

Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself)

Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, American Dream)

Shola Lynch (Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, Chisholm ’72)

Adam McKay (Anchorman, Funny or Die)

Jehane Noujaim (The Square, Control Room)

James Schamus (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)

Morgan Spurlock (CNN’s Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man, Super Size Me)

Miao Wang (Beijing Taxi, Yellow Ox Mountain)

Jessica Yu (Last Call at the Oasis, In the Realms of the Unreal).

Economic advisors of We the Economy:

Dean Baker (co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research)

Yoram Bauman (economist and author, The Cartoon Book of Macroeconomics)

Jodi Beggs (educator and economics professor, Northeastern University)

Adam Davidson (co-founder and host, NPR’s Planet Money)

John Steele Gordon (author, An Empire of Wealth)

Neil Irwin (senior economic correspondent, New York Times, author, The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire)

Greg Ip (US economics editor,The Economist, author, The Little Book of Economics)

Markus Koch (financial journalist, N-TV)

Annalyn Kurtz (business and economics reporter)

Diane Lim (senior economist, Pew Charitable Trusts)

9:57 a.m. An earlier version of this story said the project featured 20 economic advisors, not 10. THR regrets the error.