Steve Cohen’s Passion for Social Impact Documentaries

Steve Cohen, principal of Cohen Law Group, is Of Counsel to HSPRD and a founder of Whistleblower Advocates, a collaboration between Cohen Law Group and HSPRD that investigates and prosecutes qui tam lawsuits on behalf of whistleblowers.

But Steve Cohen has a passion for more than practicing law. He also is a committed proponent of film, especially documentaries, as a force for social change. As featured in Crain’s Chicago Business, Mr. Cohen, along with filmmaker Paula Froehle, launched CMP Invest/Impact (CMP II) in 2015, an equity fund that invests in documentaries focusing on local and global social challenges. CMP II is not only spreading buzz to potential audiences but also increasing movie and media outlets’ interest in buying and airing these films.

To date, CMP II consists of 17 members who have invested a total of $1.7 million in 16 films. Some of these films are “Trophy,” a documentary about big-game hunting; “Icarus,” about the Russian Olympics doping scandal told through the eyes of the Russian scientist whistleblower; “STEP”, about the young women in a Baltimore High School step dance team and their dreams of going to college; “The Eagle Huntress,” about a 10 year old Kazakh girl who becomes the first eagle hunter; and “Notes on Blindness,” based on the diary of a British author who chronicles his descent into blindness. Icarus, Trophy and Step were among five CMP II financed documentaries that premiered at the recent Sundance film festival. Each received critical and audience acclaim and were sold at Sundance for record amounts.

CMP II is a for-profit off shoot of the Chicago Media Project, a nonprofit established by Froehle and Cohen in 2014 to build a community of  film buffs that  promotes social cause documentaries through grants and resource support. These documentaries have included prize winners such as “Homestretch”, “The Return”, “Almost Sunrise”,  and “Whose Streets”

Learn more about Steve Cohen.

Learn more about CMP and CMP II.

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