: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


In the Deep South of Alabama, a community of coal miners endures a bitter two-year strike to save their jobs while nearby Amazon workers fight to form a union. Their collective struggle takes us into the heart of working America, sparking a wave of nationwide organizing, which we can only begin to understand.


AMERICAN UNION follows the fight for the American dream at work by tracing a path between two Southern towns located just 30 miles apart on the map but separated by over 150 years of industrialization. This path takes us to the frontline of the battle to define the future of work, a fight that has the potential to affect us all.


I grew up in the 1980s in Saugus, a working-class inner suburb of Boston and home to U.S. Route 1. My dad worked a union job his whole life, essential to our security.

Growing up in this time and place shaped my ongoing interest in the territories of labor. My recent film and installation projects have explored questions around the future of work and the future for workers. 

When the Amazon union vote broke out in Bessemer, Alabama in early 2021, I knew I had to be there. While I was on the ground, a coal mine strike broke out.

AMERICAN UNION is a character-led film about survival in working America. The film follows the story with unparalleled access to participants at the heart of the labor battles.

My intention is to capture a first-hand account and a window into these events. My close access with the main participants captures the immediacy of the story and what is happening behind the picket lines and scenes.

P.S. if you'd like to see a sample reel, message and I will share one with you.

All the best,

Brett Wallace



Brett Wallace - Director / Cinematographer

Brett Wallace is an award-winning New York-based artist and filmmaker exploring work, technology, and the greater economy. He is best known for documentary film and installation projects which explore the subjects and territories of labor in the 21st century. His most recent short film, Truckers, a story about truck driving mavericks on the open road, was screened at the Socially Relevant Film Festival. The film was also exhibited in “The Question of Intelligence: AI and the Future of Humanity” at the Parsons School of Design and was a finalist for the 2020 Lumen Prize in moving image. Recent reviews of his work include The New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Art in America, ARTnews, Artnet, Artslant, Hyperallergic, and BmoreArt. Brett holds a BFA for the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.

Geoff Arbourne - Producer

Geoff Arbourne is an Emmy award-winning producer and founder of Inside Out Films. Geoff started out by producing three short films in South Africa, Israel and Mozambique. One of which was released on the Guardian website and attracted over 1 million views in the first 24 hours. He is a graduate of EAVE, Sundance Institute Fellow recipient, and producer of the award-winning documentary FOREVER PURE - directed by Maya Zinshtein. His second feature documentary, AFRICAN APOCALYPSE, featuring the poet-activist Femi Nylander had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival and was supported by BFI Doc Society and BBC Arts. Geoff is currently in production with his third feature documentary, XENOS aka MEN IN THE SUN, directed by the award-winning Palestinian director Mahdi Fleifel. In 2019, Geoff was selected for the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE) programme to develop a fiction TV series with former British diplomat Carne Ross called THE COUNCIL. A procedural series set within the little known, yet vivid, international world of one of the globe's most significant institutions - the United Nations. Geoff is producing the series with Robyn Slovo (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, McMafia). Geoff is also currently working as an Executive Producer on two feature documentaries in post production. The first, LONDON RECRUITS, is directed by Welsh filmmaker Gordon Main and aims for a release in the summer of 2022. And secondly, BLINDSPOT, directed by Palestinian filmmaker Ali Al-Arian and written by David Riker, aims for a release in early 2023.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2023


Help promote my fundraising campaign
Put our donation widget on your website

Get Widget Code



The Gotham Logo


© 2023 The Gotham. All Rights Reserved.
   Design by Andrew Martin

The Gotham Film & Media Institute is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding, developing and celebrating the people and projects that shape the future of story.

Learn more about us or become a member