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Posted on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

'American Made Movie' bringing buy-local message to Michigan Theater

By Ben Freed

The American Made Movie will roll into Ann Arbor Saturday as part of a 32-day nationwide tour of the film that focuses on the impact of manufacturing on the country’s economy.


American Made Movie profiles small and midsize American manufacturers as well as large corporations to examine what companies are doing to succeed in changing economic climates.

American Made Movie screenshot

The film screening is sponsored by the A2Y Regional Chamber of Commerce and will feature a panel discussion afterwards featuring filmmakers Vincent Vittorio and Nathaniel Thomas McGill as well as chamber president Diane Keller and a number of local manufacturers.

Vittorio said the discussions that have occurred after screenings of the film have been one of his favorite parts of the tour.

“We tried to make sure to find communities for the tour that were either part of the film or have a connection to local manufacturing,” he said.

“And it’s fascinating to see how different cities and different regions react to the movie and its message.”

The film is the second for Vittorio and McGill’s production company Life is My Movie. According to the company’s website, the company’s previous film “An Inconvenient Tax” addressed America’s “fundamentally broken tax code.”

Vittorio said he likes the documentary genera and belies that "American Made Movie" takes a more positive approach than many previous films.

“Sometimes documentaries can be very ‘doom and gloom,’” he said.

“But I feel happy that our film gives people a solution. Every American from a business owner to a stay-at-home parent with three kids can do it. It’s great to see the response from people and the look on their faces that say ‘Wow, I can go out and make a difference.’”

According to a press release, the movie “looks back on the glory days of U.S. manufacturing when there was a balanced relationship between the goods produced and goods consumed.”

Vittorio said while companies are responsible for helping to maintain that balance, some of the burden also falls on consumers.

“When you buy something as simple as a banana from your home state as opposed to Nicaragua or Costa Rica, you’re making an impact,” he said.

“… If you pay a little more it’s something that allows you to support your local and national economy.”

Washtenaw County was home to approximately 14,000 manufacturing jobs in 2012, and according to an economic forecast commissioned by, that number is expected to grow by more than 650 jobs during the next three years.

According to an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation report, Michigan lost 46.7 percent of its manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2010. However, in the current decade Michigan has lead the nation in manufacturing job creation according to a recent CNBC report.

Chamber spokesperson Chelsie Whitehead said in an email the chamber is sponsoring the screening of the movie because it will help remind the community of its connection to the local economy.

“'American Made Movie' is important because it allows Americans to take a more in-depth look at manufacturing in America,” she said.

“It begs us to ask the questions ‘Do I buy American made products?’ and ‘Do my everyday activities assist in the growth of the American economy?’”

Vittorio said after the tour, he and McGill plan to theatrically release the film in major cities throughout the U.S.

“It will be running in New York and Los Angeles for sure,” he said.

“And through this tour we’re getting an idea of the markets where there’s more of a demand for this kind of film. Probably Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh and similar cities.”

The movie will be shown at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Michigan Theater. The post-film panel will include Saline Lectronics manufacturing manager Jason Sciberras, Arbor Assays operations manager Barbara Scheuer and Creative Windows operations manager Vanessa Thoburn.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

Great stuff ! Hurray for the next-gens who can take the correct positive approach while curmudgeons like me are still watching 'Roge&Me (1989)'. The sad fact is that USA lost trillions in past and future value simply because of globalisation without representation. Bush, Clinton, Bush W, and Obama all culprit administrations. $45.1 billion trade loss in May. Add that and more each month for all the years since Reagan and that becomes trillions and trillions of dollars affecting millions and millions of jobs. China, a communist country, and foreign stockholders are the main beneficiaries. How American is that Mr. President? The go-between brokers of the selloff are paper billionaires. Wall street banks are dumb broke because they flipped the loss into their derivative "assets". Debt interpreted as investable wealth when in fact it is debt. There is nothing of solid value there but an empty IOU hole. Closing the borders will force that hole to be filled - very fast. The U.S. is a better producer because of resources, its learned diversity, and its truthful regulation of products like kids toys, aircraft, food and drugs. You go guys!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

The decline of manufacturing in the US is largely a myth. The US is still the world's largest manufacturer. Since 1980, manufacturing output per worker has tripled. So what we are really seeing is a decline in manufacturing jobs, not manufacturing output. The solution to this is more support for education for jobs that are in demand, not dumbing-down the economy to make work for the low skill factory workers. I haven't seen the movie, but if the following comment by the film producer is any indication, there is not deep thought here. "When you buy something as simple as a banana from your home state as opposed to Nicaragua or Costa Rica, you're making an impact," he said.

Dog Guy

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

That sentence brought to mind Chiquita Banana wearing a Stormy Kromer and singing a Da Yoopers song.