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Patrick Creadon at the Independent Film Awards

The Bright Future Award

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Patrick Creadon wins the first-ever Unilever Project Sunlight Bright Future Award thanks to his documentary, "If You Build It."

Creating a brighter future for the children of the world is Unilever Project Sunlight’s primary mission. Patrick Creadon’s documentary “If You Build It” exemplifies this narrative and perspective perfectly, which is why we’re proud to announce Creadon as the first-ever Bright Future Award winner.

The award, which was given out at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 1, honors Creadon’s work not just in film, but also for the message it sent to the students involved in the film and audiences around the world.

“We are thrilled about this,” Creadon said on the Unilever Project Sunlight “yellow carpet.” “This is a big deal for us. We are really thrilled to accept this award. Winning the Bright Future Award from Unilever Project Sunlight is a real honor for me and my team.”

In the film, Creadon follows a North Carolina high school shop class as they tackle a mission that was a bit outside the box of their normal curriculum. Instead of building lamps or boxes or other common projects, the students were tasked with building something for their struggling community. After settling on a farmer’s market as the build project, struggles, hurdles, triumphs and collaboration are common themes throughout the film. But in the end, the empowerment the students get from working together to provide a valuable addition to their community becomes the real story.

“It really is a story about making better schools and making a brighter future,” Creadon explains. “We were there on the first day of school and had no idea where it was going to go at the end of the year. What we found was an incredibly emotional and entertaining story about the fact that a great education can happen anywhere. That's really the lesson we learned from our film.”

With the Bright Future Award, Unilever is awarding Patrick with a $25,000 grant to further his filmmaking career.

Inspiring and enabling others to make a difference and change not just their own, but also others’ perspectives is at the core of what Unilever Project Sunlight believes in, and Creadon’s explanation for why he does films like “If You Build It” shows exactly that mentality.

“There's some people in the world who see a problem and stick their head in the sand. We can't do that,” he said.

Learn more about “If You Build It” by watching the trailer below and visiting the film's website.

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