‘Raising the Count’ Short Film

Ensuring every voice counts

The Challenge

When the ten-yearly government census was conducted in 2000, the predominantly Sikh and Indo-Guyanese neighborhood of Richmond Hill, Queens, had one of New York’s lowest response rates. Given that the federal government allocates an estimated $30,000 of local funding per census-taker, the area’s poor response rate meant a significant reduction in resources for neighborhood initiatives. Founded by a handful of Richmond Hill locals, the non-profit organization SEVA was determined to reverse this trend by educating local residents on the importance of taking part in the upcoming 2010 census.

The Solution

In order to increase awareness of this issue, we made 'Raising the Count', a short film that focuses on the efforts of SEVA members to educate local residents on the significance of the census. We followed various SEVA representatives as they shared their message with local business owners, sports teams, and community groups. As well as making plain the importance of “being counted,” the film also gives viewers a glimpse into the lives of the community organizers, exploring their motivations, struggles, and triumphs.

Commissioning Partner



Strategic Overview, Content and Technical Development


October 2010