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Filmmaker Gayle Ferraro guest speaker at Women Build session

By Tracie Troha

At the 2013 Affiliate Conference, documentary filmmaker Gayle Ferraro was invited to screen her film “To Catch a Dollar” for attendees of the Women Build pre-conference session on March 11. 

Documentary filmmaker Gayle Ferraro at the Affiliate Conference.

The film follows Nobel Peace prize winner Muhammad Yunus as he brings his microfinance program to New York City. Garmeen Bank provides loans to low-income women to help them start small businesses.

“When I learned that (Yunus) was bringing his Grameen Bank to America, I had no idea if it was going to work, but I wanted to be there to film it,” Ferraro said.

The film tells the stories of some of the first women borrowers as they struggle to break away from the cycle of poverty, a theme that Habitat is familiair with. 

There were both tears and laughter in the audience during the screening of the documentary, which was followed by a Q-and-A with Ferraro.

Ferraro has made three other documentaries highlighting the plight of impoverished women in developing nations. Her first film, “Sixteen Decisions,” also features the work of Garmeen Bank in Bangladesh.

Ferraro said she knew from an early age that she wanted to make documentary films.

“Ever since I was 16 years old, I’ve wanted to tell real stories,” she said. “Real stories are where it’s at.”

Ferraro said she was thrilled to be able to show her film to Habitat staff, especially those involved in the Women Build program. She was a fan of the Women Build clinics offered at Lowe’s stores.

“When I learned about the Lowe’s clinics, I thought it was a great idea,” Farerro said. “I was very excited that women could learn about house repairs and landscaping if they went to these classes.”

Learn more about “To Catch a Dollar” or schedule a screening.

Tracie Troha is a program communications writer for Habitat for Humanity International. Photo courtsey of Cody Logsdon.