University of the Arts Alumnus Seth Kramer Directs PBS Documentary 'The New Recruits'

June 14, 2010

University of the Arts alumnus Seth Kramer '96 (Film) co-directed the documentary "The New Recruits," which will premiere nationally on PBS June 15 at 10 p.m. Kramer is a partner at Garrison, N.Y.-based Ironbound Films.

Christina Reichers (left) and Heidi Kruel (right) during a visit to a D.Light salesman in Uttar Pradesh, India. 

The new recruits referred to in the film's title are a battalion of jet-setting business students armed with a radical plan to end global poverty: charge poor people for goods and services. "The New Recruits" takes an unflinching look at social entrepreneurship, a movement touted as the new alternative to charity – its ideals, practitioners and realities.

Each year, the non-profit Acumen Fund places new business school grads in year-long fellowships with companies in which the fund has invested. The venture fund supports foreign businesses that sell to the poor – social change through capitalism. The hour-long documentary follows three ambitious recruits – Christina Reichers, Heidi Kruel and Joel Montgomery – charged with assisting in the sale of drip-irrigation systems to farmers in Pakistan, an LED alternative to kerosene lamps in India and an eco-toilet in Kenya.

Joel Montgomery (right) on the job in Pakistan's Thar Desert.

Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight Schrute on NBC's "The Office," narrates. The documentary was funded by the PBS Foundation through a grant from the Skoll Foundation.

Kramer also collaborated with his Ironbound partners Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger on "The Linguists," a hit at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival about two scientists' travels to the ends of the earth (Siberia, India, Bolivia and others) to document languages on the verge of extinction.

Photos by Ironbound Films

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