This feature length documentary focuses on 3 friends (two idealistic activists and one skeptic) who attempt to live on $1.25 a day, the world’s standard for extreme poverty, as they journey across 3 continents. Their adventure takes an unexpected turn when two of them survive a deadly plane crash in Africa and all three must fight to finish what they started. The film chronicles the lives of many poverty-stricken families and offers insight as to how this problem can be addressed. The filmmakers’ core goal is to connect people who need something to live for with people who just need something to live. Parris feels that “What makes the film truly special is that it takes an honest, straightforward approach to extreme poverty that appeals to both the activist and the apathetic. Our overall goal is accomplished every time we show the film. I don’t think a director could ask for much more than that.”
The film features a number of well-known activists including New York Times best-selling author Katie Davis - a 22 year old adoptive mother of 14 Ugandan orphans and founder of Amazima Ministries and Paul Rusesabagina - the man on whom the film Hotel Rwanda is based and the founders of Invisible Children.
After 10 festival runs and 2 major awards (Best Doc – St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase; Visionary Award – LA Awareness Film Fest), What Matters? is now partnered with independent film distributor Cinedigm along with marketing and promotions firm Movie to Movement to help spread their message. The filmmakers decided changing the title to What Matters? was more appropriate for its official release since the issue raised at the end of the film is "You have to figure out what really matters."