UVA Darden School and Virginia Film Festival Team to Host Screening of Spent Documentary and Panel Discussion on Financial Services for Struggling Americans

04 November 2014

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business announced its Institute for Business in Society will host a screening of the documentary Spent: Looking for Change. A panel discussion with industry experts after the screening will explore the financial difficulties faced by many struggling Americans and propose innovative options to assist the financially underserved. The film screening and panel discussion will take place at the Darden School’s Abbott Center Auditorium as part of the Virginia Film Festival on Sunday, 9 November 2014, at 6 p.m. This event is free, non-ticketed and open to the public; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Executive produced by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, director of An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for “Superman” and directed by Derek Doneen, the documentary, Spent: Looking for Change, follows the stories of some of the one in four Americans whom the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation referred to as “unbanked” or “underbanked” in its 2011 national survey of American households. These individuals do not have access to the same financial tools most Americans take for granted, and must instead rely upon alternative financial services such as check cashers, pawn shops, money order services and payday lenders, at a cost of an estimated $89 billion annually in interest and fees, according to the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

The film illustrates the seriousness of the growing problem of the financially underserved and explores many solutions emerging through technology, innovation and education that could lead these individuals to a more financially secure future.

“The cost of this troubling trend is far too great not to take action,” said Darden Professor Gregory B. Fairchild. “With this film screening and panel discussion, we aim to shed some light on this issue and propose some workable and innovative options that can lessen this burden upon the financially underserved and upon our economy.” Fairchild appears briefly in the film and recently served on a panel that discussed the documentary at the U.S. Treasury Department.

Spent will run from 6 p.m. to approximately 6:40 p.m., followed by a 30-minute panel discussion and Q&A session. Darden Professor R. Edward Freeman will moderate the panel that features three financial industry expert panelists, including:

  • Sohrab Kohli, special projects associate, Innovation Labs, Center for Financial Services Innovation
  • R. Jerry Nemorin, founder & CEO, LendStreet Financial Inc.
  • Wesley Wright, senior vice president, Enterprise Growth, American Express

View the panelists’ bios here.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia