Anayansi Prado and Terri Evans at the Content + Intent Documentary Institute at MASS MoCA.

Last week Working Films hosted the 2008 Content + Intent Documentary Institute at MASS MoCA. For five days, filmmakers at various stages in the production of their films came together to develop strategic plans for outreach and impact. Participants included Julianna Brannum (LaDonna Harris: Indian 101), Nicholas Bruckman (La Americana), Liz Canner (Orgasm Inc.), Arwen Curry (Global Moms: Iran [working title]), Sean Flynn (Beyond Belief), Terri Evans (The Pact), Jolene Pinder and Sara Zaman (Bismallah: In the Name of Allah) Anayansi Prado (Children in No Man’s Land), Shannon Sonenstein (Talkin’ Water), Neil Williams (The Silver Rights Movement), and Julie Winoker (Denied).

In addition to sessions that intensively focused on each film project, the Institute included a number of case studies of highly successful outreach efforts. We were joined by Sonya Childress with Firelight Media who shared details of the national campaign with Byron Hurt’s Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. In the “No Dumb Questions” Funding Panel, filmmakers were able to ask ANYTHING to representatives from Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media, the Fledgling Fund, and the Tom Johnson Foundation.

The residency coincided with MASS MoCA’s Working Films Forum, which included public screenings of Judith Helfand’s Everything’s Cool, Anayansi Prado’s Children’s in No Man’s Land, and Aaron Woolf, Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney’s King Corn. Each of these screenings were followed by panels featured local activists and organizers that were able to connect audiences to meaningful ways to get involved.

As the residency drew to an end, the participants gathered to share their feedback and gratitude for the experience. Watch part of the closing circle at MASS MoCA:

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