(Film)Making Participatory Culture

Helen De Michiel, co-director of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) recently wrote an interesting piece discussing the changing landscape of independent documentaries and the use of media as a tool for participation, transformation, and social action. She writes about the relationship that filmmakers have with the making of their film and the development of social outreach – especially how increasingly the approach is shifting toward alternative avenues for distribution: Public engagement and outreach planning are the farthest from a filmmaker’s thinking when beginning the process, but…

Climate Matters Video Contest

What’s better than the opportunity to make a video that sends an inspiring message about climate change to our next president? How about the chance to win a cash prize and your video broadcast on internet and TV channels?1Sky and Brighter Planet are inviting Americans to create powerful video messages that deliver a clear message to Washington: We’re ready for strong leadership on climate change. Upload your 30- or 60- second video to the contest page on Vimeo.com before September 22, 2008 to compete for $4,500 in cash prizes: www.vimeo.com/climatematters.…

A 'Good Pitch' Across the Pond

On July 21, Judith Helfand and I, representing Working Films, headed to the BritDoc Film Fest at Keble College, Oxford, to continue our partnership with the Channel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation, hosts and masterminds of this hippest fest. (In early June, Judith and I ran the Films for Change workshop in London, also hosted by BritDoc.) The BritDoc fest has become widely celebrated, as IndieWire tells it: In three years, BritDoc has transformed from noble experiment (inclusive documentary conference based at a legendary university) to unquestionable success. Set over…

YouTube: More Than Just Sneezing Pandas

Activists and Nonprofits are turning to YouTube to spread their message As a media and technology activist, I’ve been researching, testing and tweaking ideas on how to incorporate social networking into Working Films’ online presence. Since we work with documentaries, we needed a visible place to host trailers and video clips and to also spark discussions about films in an interactive way. It was only a matter of time before we would turn to YouTube, the 3rd most visited website on the Internet according to Alexa, to fulfill that need.…

How Do Our Genes Affect Our Health? A new film in our portfolio explores this question just as a bill protecting our genetic information is signed into law.

I have long been intrigued by the question of to what degree our personalities and our health are affected by our genes versus our environment. Through reading and film I’ve learned more and more about how pollutants in our environment put as at risk for health problems, and simultaneously I have marveled at scientists’ capacity to unlock the human genome. Among other advances brought about through these new scientific understandings, we now have the tools to help us learn whether a certain gene might increase our risk of cancer or…

Fossil Fools Day

The film Everything’s Cool explores what it will take to move America from laggard nation to world leader on addressing global warming and ushering in a new energy economy. Working Films has brought together the filmmakers and messengers featured in Everything’s Cool and the Energy Action Coalition. We invite you to host a movie and action night for Fossil Fools Day on April 1st. Join thousands of youth from around the world who are taking action against the biggest fossil fools and building a cleaner and just energy future. Hold…

Interview with Former Park Scholar Jeremy Levine

Jeremy Levine arrived at Working Films for a summer internship as a Park Scholar from Ithaca College in 2005. During that time he redeveloped our website, both increasing it’s usability and functionality. He has since graduated from Ithaca College and relocated to Brooklyn, NY where he has launched his filmmaking career with familiar partners, a new film and exciting projects. I recently had the honor of talking with him about his past experiences at Working Films and his current projects. Kristin Henry: You came to Working Films through the Park…