Call for Entries: Ninth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival!

“The Media That Matters Film Festival…is unlike most in its insistence on community screenings through the world. The stories are humane, emotionally rich and often humorous despite the heavy subject matter.” – The Indypendent Media That Matters is the premier showcase for short films with big messages. Following a New York City Premiere, Awards Ceremony and industry networking events in June 2009, your film will take part in the Media That Matters international, multi-platform campaign with DVD distribution, broadcasts, streaming and hundreds of screenings across the globe! Each year Working…

Fellowship Opportunity for Creative Professionals

Are you an excellent photographer, photojournalist, filmmaker, artist, or other creative professional? The Open Society Institute (OSI), is seeking professionals from around the world for the Open Society Fellowship who focus on one of the following four areas: National Security and the Open Society; Citizenship, Membership and Marginalization; Strategies and Tools for Advocacy and Citizen Engagement; and Understanding Authoritarianism. OSI is a private operating and grantmaking foundation that aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform.This fellowship enables innovative professionals-including journalists,…

Think Your Film Can Change the World?

We do. Ingrid Kopp, Director of the US Office of Shooting People and a key staffer at the recent BritDoc Fest, recently wrote an illuminating piece for Movie Scope. She reveals how documentary filmmakers in the UK are discovering new models of funding and distribution through tapping in to the social impact potential of their films. Read Your Film Can Change the World.

Out of Your Seats and Into the Streets

This week ABCNews.com featured a story on a passionate crop of documentarians touring city-to-city with their films – taking it to the streets and to the right audiences. It’s about niche marketing, identifying strategic partners, taking the film to its most interested audience,’ Robert West of Working Films told ABCNews.com. Read the full article to learn more about the change that we can make, one film at a time!

Discovering New Films While on the Road for Working Films

Earlier this month I attended the Community Strategic Training Initiative (CSTI) hosted by the Western States Center in Portland, OR. This three-day seminar featured day-long workshops on everything from dismantling racism to introductions to community organizing. During my time there I met lots of great folks doing amazing work, one of which was Lauren Raheja who works with the Center for Intercultural Organizing in Portland. Lauren clued me in to a documentary that it seems like I should have already known about but had somehow missed: Divided We Fall.The film…

(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.…

Banished at the Center for Constitutional Rights

The Banished post-broadcast outreach campaign is in full swing! DVDs and event resources are available for community groups, civil rights institutions, and activists. Since its broadcast in February 2008, there has been overwhelming interest in intersecting Banished with on-going activism around reparations, displacement and gentrification. In June a New York-based youth program, Cultural Connections used Banished as part of its leadership development series for high school students from all over the City. On Sunday June 29, 2008 the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement hosted a screening of Banished at the Center…

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…

Films that Cross the Aisle @ the DNC and RNC

This year’s Republican and Democratic National Conventions will include the Impact Film Festival which will be screening socially themed films over a four day span. Following each film will be panel discussions consisting of filmmakers, lawmakers and other civic leaders. The films involved with the festival were selected based on their powerful and thought provoking stories on hot topic issues. Among the films to be screened is Trouble the Water, which won the 2008 Working Films Full Frame Award. Trouble the Water tells the story of an aspiring rap artist…