It’s Basic – Director Marc Levin & Subject Michael Tubbs

At a time of widespread economic uncertainty, few films tackle the issues, offer solutions and most importantly show the human side of the story in the way Marc Levin does in his latest documentary IT’S BASIC. How do we combat poverty, economic insecurity, and inequality? This film argues it’s basic – give people money!  IT’S BASIC looks at several pilot programs launched in the US that test the effects of giving everyday people an extra $500 to $1,000 monthly, with no strings attached. The film presents an unbiased account of the benefits, criticisms, and outcomes of providing unconditional money to people in need, and examines whether Basic Income pilot programs eradicate child poverty and level the racial playing field through community-centric solutions. This concept has been up for discussion many times throughout history, and in more recent times by Martin Luther King, Jr., and even Richard Nixon. The film highlights case studies and examples from among 100 cities across the United States that are running guaranteed income pilots. And here are the humans – real Americans – who are actually being helped by these programs that were activated by a movement that is building toward results in the face of dysfunctional gridlock in Washington, DC. The heart of IT’S BASIC chronicles participants in five cities and their real-life challenges. In addition, there is by commentary by Michael Tubbs, the founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, and participating mayors across the country. Director Marc Levin and film subject Michael D. Tubbs join us to talk about the continuing success of Guaranteed Basic Income in the community’s that have adopted it and the efforts underway to place GBI in forefront of a honest conversation on poverty. 

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World Premiere at Tribeca Festival 2023 in the Spotlight Documentary Section

About the filmmaker – Marc Levin is an award-winning, independent filmmaker dedicated to telling powerful, real stories in an authentic style. He has won four Emmys, four duPont-Columbia awards, the Peabody Award, the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, among other prominent accolades. Highlights include SLAM, his breakout festival hit film about the impact of the spoken word movement; Brick City, the groundbreaking docu-series about Mayor Cory Booker and the city of Newark, New Jersey; Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock and Emmy-winning Thug Life in DC, both for HBO; and Chicagoland, a docu-series for CNN and Sundance Productions, nominated for an IDA award. One of America’s most respected filmmakers, Levin has directed over a dozen acclaimed documentaries for HBO with his producing partner, Daphne Pinkerson, including Class Divide, winner of the DOC NYC Grand Jury Prize.For more go to:

About the subject – At the age of 26, Michael D. Tubbs became the youngest mayor of a major American city, lauded for his leadership and innovation. Under his stewardship, Stockton was named an “All-America City” in 2017 and 2018, saw a 40% drop in homicides in 2018 and 2019, led the state of California in the decline of officer-involved shootings in 2019, was named the second most fiscally healthy city in California and one of the top most fiscally healthy cities in the nation and was featured in an HBO documentary film, Stockton on My Mind. Tubbs raised over $20 million dollars to create the Stockton Scholars, a universal scholarship and mentorship program for Stockton students. He is the Founder and Chair of Mayors for Guaranteed Income. Tubbs has been named a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics and The MIT Media Lab, a member of Fortune’s Top 40 under 40, a Forbes 30 under 30 All-star Alumni, the “Most Valuable Mayor” by The Nation, the 2021 Civic Leadership Award winner from The King Center, and 2019 New Frontier Award Winner from the JFK Library. Before taking the helm as Mayor,  Tubbs served as a Council Member for the City of Stockton District 6, was a high school educator, and a fellow for the Stanford Design School and the Emerson Collective. The author of the memoir The Deeper the Roots, Tubbs currently serves as the Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility and is the founder of End Poverty in California (EPIC).