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Documentary on Social Impact Bonds to premiere in May

Documentary on Social Impact Bonds to premiere in May

The Invisible Heart, believed by the makers to be the world’s first documentary about Social Impact Bonds, premieres next month.

The film launches on 8 May in Canada and 11 May in New Zealand, with dates in Australia, US and UK to be announced.

Filmed in Canada, the US and UK over three years and directed by filmmaker Nadine Pequeneza, The Invisible Heart follows SIB inventor and promoter Sir Ronald Cohen, as he travels the globe pitching politicians and investors against the backdrop of a growing SIB market. It examines SIBs from design to implementation through the eyes of venture capitalists, philanthropists, labour leaders, economists, social workers and end users, questioning the impact of profit incentives on the delivery of social services, and looking at what happens when capitalism and charity intersect.

The film includes Toronto’s Mainstay Housing (main image), following its Executive Director, Brigitte Witkowski through the design of a SIB aimed at housing the chronically homeless, as well as the evolution and launch of Canada’s first health-related SIB to reduce heart disease.

Pequeneza said:

“As a filmmaker who has spent many years looking at difficult social issues, I am encouraged by the SIB model’s focus on prevention, and its ability to highlight not just the social but also the financial value of early intervention. I am also excited by the idea that SIBs could increase public involvement in solving social problems by allowing citizens a way to invest directly in effective, local programs. But my optimism is tempered by the dangers of introducing a profit incentive driven by “success” outcomes. The Invisible Heart explores all sides of this issue.”



Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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