Filmmakers and organizations are coming up with creative ways to incorporate a spectrum of social media into film campaigns, including interactive websites and games, issue-based social networking communities, podcasts and web TV shows. Filmmaker Nancy Schwartzman joins us as a guest blogger to share how she’s using popular social media tools to engage young people in her campaign.
@thelinecampaign: Sex. Consent. Power. Pleasure.
“The Line is about building a world where people are free to be sexual beings without being used or mistreated. Hookup culture disempowers even its bravest soldiers with “dude, I’m gettin’ some tonight;” even when women play the game, we’re expected to obey someone else’s rules.”
From: “Next time, text me back: I was the Grrl du Jour” (Author: Carmen)
“I applaud Ronan’s speaking out about his struggle as a male person negotiating “Manhood” with a commitment to social justice… As a male person who grew up with and fully defensive about all but class privilege, I understand that coming to a place of recognition without defensiveness and learning from the discomfort is difficult and it’s a process that requires a courage and strength much more meaningful than the traditional “Manly” version.”
From: “Responses to: Sexist Boyhood in Urban New Jersey” (Author: Ronen, Comment Jonathon Grove)
The Line is a 24-minute documentary, challenging ideas about sexual consent, negotiation, and boundaries. It is told from a personal point of view in a compelling, engaging style suited for a college-age audience. It is the first film of its kind to address the topic of consent in a direct, sex-positive voice, while examining a sexual assault where part of the act was consensual and part of it was forced. The film asks the question: where is the line defining consent?
The biggest challenge for this outreach project, was taking the topic of sexual assault and creating a space for non-polarizing, accessible, and non-judgmental conversation that emphasizes communication, personal responsibility and pleasure. Our goal was to use The Line film to create an educational, interactive and multi-media campaign that fosters dialogue about sexual boundaries and consent, and empowers young men and women to discuss complex scenarios about healthy relationships and sex.
With support from The Fledgling Fund, and collaboration with Melissa Gira Grant we launched “where is your line?” a group blog on consent, sex, pleasure, and ways we all can ask for what we want. Through shared stories, photos, and comments, we invite the audience to become participants, and to dig deeper into the questions raised by the film. Using the online/social media tools popular with college students and activists – blogging, Facebook, internet video, and Twitter – we solicited entries from people with large networks, jumped onto message boards, and cross-posted our content as broadly as possible. Once we started generating stories, the thornier the better, we enriched the experience by soliciting comments from educators and sexperts, who will eventually become our non-profit partners.
We wanted to launch the website with a splash, and the opportunity came our way in the form of Tucker Max and the release of his film I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Facebook, Twitter and feminist blogs were lighting up in anger about the sexist, misogynist and racist content of the film, and the truly nasty ways his camp was responding to protesters using video and photoshop. In less than two days, we cut together a PSA-style video piece, sticking to our message that good sex is consensual sex, and reminding frat boys everywhere that Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. We posted the video on our site and throughout our networks, and it got picked up on feministing.com, which in turn got picked up on Tucker Max’s site, which directed more folks back to us. Being part of the media response to Tucker helped us get established, and helped his film bomb at the box office!
Working Films has always emphasized long-standing and far reaching relationships with non-profit partners to maximize the impact of your film. We have tested the waters using our online networks, and have now identified the right organizations to collaborate with on a concrete level, with tangible and attainable mutual goals. Using the Working Films summit model, we look forward to bringing The Line and The Line Campaign into hundreds of classrooms and community groups nationwide.