News Articles

Artists and Filmmakers Take on Coal Ash
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
November 3rd, 2014
This November marks the 20th anniversary of the Cucalorus Film Festival, an internationally recognized event that has never shied away from connecting art to important social and environmental issues. Working Films is honored to partner with Cucalorus to engage key leaders and community members around the issue of coal ash pollution.
Coal Ash Stories Continues
by Kristin Henry
Screenings of Coal Ash Stories continue in cities across North Carolina this November.
Together Tennessee
by Andy Myers
Working Films is partnering with groups across the Volunteer State to launch Together Tennessee, a screening series bringing award-winning documentaries to six cities across the state.
Host a screening of Coal Ash Stories
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
October 28th, 2014
Coal Ash Stories explores the public health concerns, policy issues, and ways communities are responding to the toxic threat of coal ash. Request your FREE DVD today and host a screening
Coal Ash Stories NC - Report Back
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
August 6th, 2014
This June, Working Films partnered with Appalachian Voices, Earthjustice, the North Carolina Conservation Network, NC WARN, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and nineteen local organizations to bring four short films, conversation, and action on coal ash across North Carolina.
Call for Films on Fracking
by Kristin Henry
August 6th, 2014
Working Films seeks high quality short films on fracking for participation in our Reel Power audience engagement campaign.
Coal Ash Screening Tour Launches in Eight NC Cities
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
June 12th, 2014
Today organizations across North Carolina are launching Coal Ash Stories, a statewide screening tour featuring four short documentary films focused on coal ash, related public health concerns, and policy.
Remembering Robert
by Anna Lee and Molly MurphyWorking Films Blog
Friday, June 6th, 2014 will mark a year since our co-founder Robert West passed away. This week we are posting tributes to him from his friends, family, and colleagues.
Moral Movies Continues with American Winter
by Andy MyersWorking Films Blog
May 14th, 2014
The Moral Movies Film Series got off to a great start last month with screenings of the Teacher Salary Project's American Teacher. Hundreds of people turned out across North Carolina to witness, discuss, and take action in response to the struggles on screen and those faced by public school teachers every day in a state ranked 46th in the country in teacher pay. The screenings were timed just as shocking teacher turnover numbers were released in the wake of a legislative assault on public education.
Coal Ash Stories: Join us in June!
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
May 12th, 2014
Imagine being afraid to drink your water, take a bath, fish, or farm. These are the fears facing communities near the Duke Energy coal ash spill and in areas around other coal-fired power plants in North Carolina. You’re invited to Coal Ash Stories, an event featuring four short films focused on coal ash, public health concerns, related policy, and ways that communities are responding. Events are taking place in Wilmington, Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Belews Creek, Winston Salem, Charlotte, and Asheville. Come learn about the issues, talk with community members, and find out how you can get involved. The NC screening tour is co-presented by Appalachian Voices, Earthjustice, North Carolina Conservation Network, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Working Films. Contact Kristin Henry,, with any questions.
Working Films, North Carolina NAACP & Allies Present MORAL MOVIES
by Anna Lee
April 9th, 2014
Working Films, the NC-NAACP, and state and local organizations from around North Carolina are partnering to present MORAL MOVIES – a four month series of award-winning films to jumpstart community dialogue and action on social, economic, and environmental issues relevant to the state. The series of free screenings will kick off with American Teacher, a documentary that follows the lives and careers of four teachers and offers an opportunity to spotlight teacher pay and public education in North Carolina, which recently dropped to 46th nationally in rankings of teacher salaries.
Host a Come Hell or High Water Watch Party
by Kristin Henry
March 20th, 2014
The national television broadcast of Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek on April 29th offers an opportunity for you to spark discussion and action among your friends and neighbors about how to forge a sustainable and just future.
Working Films Provides Tactful Support to Public Education
The New Public, a film by Jyllian Gunther is the most recent addition to the Reel Education co-hort. The film follows an ambitious group of teachers who create Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School (BCAM) a small, public high school in an under served neighborhood of Brooklyn. The film provides a close-up look at the struggles teachers face in and outside of school.
Working Films is excited to be a Community Partner of the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI)’s 10th Annual Media That Matters Conference in Washington, DC February 6 -7, 2014. Media That Matters is an annual symposium presented by the Center for Media & Social Impact at American University. It is designed for established and aspiring filmmakers, nonprofit communication leaders, funders, and students who want to learn and share cutting-edge practices to make their media matter.
Reel Power at Power Shift 2013
Working Films brought Reel Power to Power Shift, the largest national youth climate conference, which took place in Pittsburgh, PA this year.
Help Stories Lead to Action!
Since 1999, Working Films has harnessed the humanity, power and vision of nonfiction filmmaking to educate viewers and mobilize communities for positive social change — at home, on the street, and in the halls where public policy gets made. We’re asking you to give today to support Working Films’ unique approach to making “stories lead to action.”
Movies for a Moral Movement
Working Films' home state of North Carolina gained national attention this year for its Moral Monday protests, when thousands gathered at the capitol building every Monday from April through July to protest the regressive actions of the state legislature.
July Newsletter
Check out our latest newsletter for updates & upcoming opportunities.
Robert West Reel Engagement Fund
For those who would like to honor Robert's life and legacy, contributions can be made to the Robert West Reel Engagement Fund, which will support an issue-driven Working Films’ initiative developed and evolved under Robert’s leadership. Dedicated to innovation, strategy and on-the-ground implementation, this Fund, just like Robert, will be nimble, dynamic, creative and responsive to the many urgent needs for change.
Citizen Koch in NC
We partnered with Democracy NC and United for a Fair Economy to host two sneak peek screenings of Citizen Koch in NC last month. Check out our blog to find out more.
Thank You Robert
Our much beloved Robert West, Working Films' Co-Founder and long-time Executive Director, passed away peacefully in his home early this morning. He approached death the same way he lived his life — with grace, dignity, intention, honesty, and whenever possible, humor.
Reel Power Film Festival Review
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
February 19th, 2013
Through grants to on-the-ground organizers and nonprofit groups, we connected to those leading change in affected communities and encouraged them to cross-pollinate their strategies for environmental justice.
Working Films' Leadership Transition
Last fall, our Co-founder and Executive Director Robert West was diagnosed with GBM, an aggressive and terminal form of brain cancer. To focus on his health and well-being, he has decided to step down. We have assembled a stellar transition team to support our new leadership and developed a new fund to advance Robert’s vision for Working Films far into the future.
An Update from Robert West
A message from the Executive Director concerning his diagnosis.
July Newsletter
Check out our latest newsletter for updates & upcoming opportunities.
Work With Us
We offer a range of services to equip filmmakers to meet new challenges and new opportunities. Read more!
Free Resources
Looking for tools you can use that will increase your film's impact? Check out our resources page.
George C. Stoney, a founding member of WF, dies at age 96.
George was a founding member of our board of directors and we were deeply saddened to learn of his passing this past Thursday.
Story Leads to Action @ SilverDocs
On June 19th, Anna Lee moderated our Story Leads to Action panel with Judith Helfand, co-founder of both Working Films and Chicken and Egg Pictures.
Back in the U.K. at Sheffield!
Last month, Working Films returned to the Sheffield Doc-Fest, June 13 - 17, hosting a third year of our highly interactive Story Leads to Action panel, co-hosted with the Festival.
July 2012 Newsletter
Keep up with the latest upcoming events & opportunities through our monthly newsletter!
June 2012 Newsletter
Keep up with the latest upcoming events & opportunities through our monthly newsletter!
Reel Aging Reflections
Many months ago, when Working Films started laying the groundwork for our Reel Aging residency and follow-up campaign, my understanding of issues related to aging was fairly limited.
Announcing Reel Power Grassroots Mini-grantees
One month ago, we invited organizations and grassroots groups that are impacted by natural resource extraction, climate change or are tapping into renewable energy solutions to apply for one of fourteen mini-grants to support their Reel Power Film Festival.
Reel Equality Takes Action
It's no surprise North Carolinians are organizing in opposition to the cynical Amendment One ballot initiative timed for the primary on May 8th.
Hell and Back Again Webinar
What does it mean to lead men in war? What does it mean to come home – injured physically and psychologically – and build a life anew?
Semper Fi Always Faithful- UK premiere
The award-winning documentary SEMPER FI: ALWAYS FAITHFUL is coming to the UK. Working Films is partnering with the filmmakers on a targeted engagement campaign in NC and the US. YOU MUST SEE this story of one Marine’s determination to hold his Corps accountable.
Dirty Business Takes on Chicago
by Peter BullWorking Films Blog
On February 10th, we organized a screening of Dirty Business in Chicago with The Environmental Justice Alliance of Greater Southeast Chicago and The Center for investigative Reporting. Director Peter Bull attended and hosted the Q&A after the film. Below is his recap of the event:
Apply to Reel Change!
Working Films and The Fledgling Fund in collaboration with the Center for Social Media are bringing Reel Change: Managing Social Issue Film Campaigns to Washington D.C.
Reel Power Grassroots Mini-grant Opportunity
Attention climate activists! Apply for a mini-grant to bring the Reel Power Film Festival to your community.
Oscar Nominees
Congratulations to Hell and Back Again (Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner) and If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman) on their Oscar nominations!
February 2012 Newsletter
by Lynn CasperWorking FilmsNewsletter
In our February Newsletter we announce selected projects for Reel Aging plus more!
SEMPER FI: ALWAYS FAITHFUL Comes Home to Jacksonville
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
On Saturday, November 12, Semper Fi: Always Faithful screened at a "sold out" crowd at our local and hip indie film fest Cucalorus.
Projects selected for Reel Aging
Congratulations to Communities for All Ages, Old People Driving, Graying of AIDS, Prison Terminal, Parenting 102: The Sandwiched Generation, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, Kings Point, Age of Champions, Coming of Age in Aging America, Untitled Gay Retiree Documentary and Genius of Marian.
November 2011 Newsletter
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Newsletter
Read our November Newsletter to see what we've been up to and upcoming events.
Story Leads to Action: What’s On Your Plate & Pipe Fire
by Molly MurphyWorking Films Blog
This month at 92Y Tribeca, our STORY LEADS TO ACTION series will celebrate two films in our REEL FOOD initiative: What's on Your Plate?: two years and running with extraordinary impact and more to come, and Pipe Fire, just starting it's engagement campaign.
Women, War & Peace
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Catch PBS' 5-part series this month featuring Pray the Devil Back to Hell and War Redefined.
October Newsletter
Read our October Newsletter to see what we've been up to and upcoming events.
Reel Change in the Bay Area
by Molly MurphyWorking Films Blog
Working Films and The Fledgling Fund in partnership with the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) just wrapped our second Reel Change: Managing Social Issue Film Campaigns workshop in San Francisco.
Working Films celebrates An American Promise and Semper Fi at Cucalorus
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
On Saturday, November 12, Working Films is hosting a celebration of two films that are part of the line up in the hip local indie film fest Cucalorus.
Working Films goes to the Emmys (vicariously!)
by Lynn CasperWorking Films blog
We'd like to congratulate the teams behind Gasland, Good Fortune and Freedom Riders on their Emmy Awards!
"We Sea Change" Screening Premiere
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
We Sea Change: A Student Perspective on Climate and a Changing World will premiere at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher on Wednesday, September 28th 2011 at 6:30pm.
Gen Silent Filmmaker Comes to Wilmington
by Lynn CasperWorking Films blog
Gen Silent is a critically-acclaimed documentary from filmmaker Stu Maddux that explores the challenges of six LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, trans) seniors who face the difficult choice of hiding their friends, their spouses and their entire lives in order to survive in the health care system.
Land of Opportunity's Interactive Web-based Initiative
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Land of Opportunity is using Mozilla Foundation's WebMadeMovies initiative to create an interactive web campaign.
Upcoming Opportunities for Filmmakers
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Submit your film to a festival and apply for a grant. Check out these upcoming opportunities.
konsonant/ Sounding Together Initiative (STi) Fellowship Winners
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Earlier this year, we posted an opportunity for the konsonant/ Sounding Together Initiative (STi) Fellowship. Winners have been announced!
Two Towns of Jasper: Move Hearts, Minds and Policy
by Christina BryantWorking Films Blog
We're partnering with an array of organizations, each one looking to host their own distinct event to inspire discussion and action that combats racial bias that continues to appear in our communities today.
Reel Power: Strength in Numbers
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
What happens when filmmakers who are supposed to compete for the same audiences band together for the environmental movement?
6 Award-Winning Directors selected for San Francisco Good Pitch
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
The Good Pitch San Francisco starts off with an intensive two-day campaign development workshop led by Working Films for the selected filmmakers September 24-25.
July 2011 Newsletter
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Newsletter
Check out our latest newsletter to find out about upcoming events & opportunities.
Stories of Reel Change
We checked in with a few of the alumni from our first Managing Social Issue Film Campaigns workshop to find out what they gained from the training. Here's what they had to say:
Reel Change: Managing Social Issue Film Campaigns
Working Films and The Fledgling Fund are bringing this interactive three-day workshop, designed to develop the skills required to be a community and audience engagement coordinator for social issue documentaries and cross-platform media projects, to the Bay Area.
A Homecoming for “Our School” A Guest Blog by filmmaker Mona Nicoara
by Mona NicoaraWorking Films Blog
After starting in festivals in Europe and the US, Our School finally had its premiere in Romania - a homecoming of sorts for the film and an event that we have been anticipating for almost six years.
Inspired by Education Organizers at the CPER Convening
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
Recently, Anna spent two days at the Communities for Public Education Reform (CPER) convening. Read our blog to find out more!
June 2011 Newsletter
by Lynn CasperNewlsetter
Check out our latest newsletter to find out about upcoming events & opportunities.
The "Pink Sheep" of the Family
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Working Films is proud to be a sponsor at this year's Pink Sheep Film Festival, held this Friday, June 10th, during Wilmington's Pride Week.
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
The film focuses on one activist's history with the US-based Earth Liberation Front and raises questions about UK activism unfolding now: How far is too far when it comes to campaigning for real world change?
Mozilla Connects Filmmakers with Technologists
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Mozilla's new initiative, Web Made Movies, is an open video lab "bringing filmmakers and hackers together to explore how modern browser technology can reshape moving images on the web".
Cinereach Summer Grant Submissions Still Open
by Lynn CasperWorking Films blog
Cinereach is accepting Letters of Inquiry (LOI) for its Summer 2011 Grant Cycle. Deadline is Thursday, June 9 at 11:59pm (EST).
Closing out Story Leads to Action with Monica & David
by Judith HelfandWorking Films Blog
Closing out the 2010-2011 season, Monica & David is the love story of two adults with Down syndrome, and the family who strives to support their needs.
May 2011 Newsletter
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Newsletter
Check out our latest newsletter to find out about upcoming events & opportunities.
Using media to make sure every student in the U.S. is an “American Graduate”
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
Did you know that over one million kids drop out of high school every year in the United States? When I heard that number I was floored. Thinking of one million young people who won’t finish school this year is overwhelming. The good news? There is creative work being done across the nation to make sure all students complete their secondary education.
Reel Power Shift
by Lora SmithWorking Films Blog
Before a packed house of 8,000 youth climate activists, Gasland Director Josh Fox welcomed the enthusiastic crowd with his banjo and a call to action.
The Good Pitch heads to NYC
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Eight filmmakers will pitch their documentary projects to a room of foundations, organizations and corporate brands on May 20th, 2011.
Reel Power @ PowerShift
by Lora SmithWorking Films Blog
Reel Power is excited to announce that our films will be part of the 2011 Power Shift program from April 15-18 in Washington D.C.
Global Social Change Film Festival & Institute
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
The Global Social Change Film Festival and Institute begins on April 13 in Ubad, Bali.
Celebrate International Women’s Month with Julia Bacha’s Film “Budrus”
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Thursday, March 17th at 7:30pm at 92Y Tribeca
Reel Change: Working Films celebrates their MacArthur Grant
by Lauren HodgesEncore Magazine
Article in Encore Magazine about Working Films.
Working Films February Newsletter
by Lynn CasperWorking Films
Check out our February newsletter for upcoming events & opportunities.
Turn Your Oscar Party into a House Raiser!
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
The Oscar-nominated film Sun Come Up follows the relocation of the Carteret Islanders, a peaceful community in the South Pacific, and now, some of the world’s first environmental refugees. Learn more!
February’s Reel Power Film: Dirty Business
by Lora SmithWorking Films Blog
Host a community screening or house party of Dirty Business during the month of February.
Reel Power Films Take Center Stage
by Lora SmithWorking Films Blog
January 26th, 2011
During last night's State of the Union, President Obama called for a clean energy future, but then rattled off a list of our dirty energy past with clean coal and natural gas leading the pack. The films involved with Reel Power: Films Fueling the Energy Revolution uncover the truth behind these so-called “clean” technologies, showing the damaging effects of climate change on populations across the globe, and offering real energy solutions. And for their efforts and artistry the films are being recognized in big ways!
PUMA.Creative Impact Award
by Lynn CasperWorking Films blog
PUMA.Creative and Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation announce the launch of the PUMA.Creative Impact Award.
Good Pitch Call for Entries: NYC
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
The call for entries for the Good Pitch NY 2011 is now open and will close on February 18th.
MacArthur Grant to Working Films Strengthens and Promotes Innovation & Impact of Social Justice Media
2011 has started with a bang, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary with a new grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
ESoDoc 2011 Call For Applications
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
January 6th, 2011
ESoDoc (European Social Documentary) is now accepting applications for their 2011 trainings. ESoDoc is a training initiative that takes up the challenge of bringing together the demands of different players now involved in documentary film-production. Their focus is on a special genre of documentary production that is particularly suitable for the new multi-platform world: documentaries that draw attention to human rights, social justice and environmental protection.
Our December Newsletter
Get the latest updates on Working Films and news on upcoming events & opportunities.
Split Estate: January’s Reel Power Film
by Lora SmithWorking Films Blog
The Reel Power Film series kicks off the New Year with the Emmy-award winning film, Split Estate - a film every American should see this year!
Meet Norm!
by Molly Murphy Working Films Blog
The I am Norm campaign was envisioned during a Spring 2009 summit Working Films co-hosted with Filmmaker Dan Habib and the National Education Association.
Story Leads to Action with The Fence
by Molly MurphyWorking Films Blog
On November 11th, Working Films, Chicken & Egg Pictures and The Fledgling Fund screened The Fence (La Barda) for November's Story Leads to Action.
Today is the Last Day to Tell EPA: Keep water poison-free
by Madeline KovacsWorking Films Blog
November 19th, 2010
We all know that coal is dirty. We know that burning coal releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. We also know that coal mining is a dangerous business, whether people get trapped under ground or the tops of mountains are blown to shreds. It is less widely known that coal burning actually creates poison - in the form of "coal ash," a by-product that contains chemicals like mercury, lead, and arsenic, known to cause birth defects and premature death.
Inclusive Arts at Cucalorus
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
We're excited that A New Kind of Listening, is going to be at the Cucalorus Film Festival.
A Feast at Sheffield Doc Fest
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
Last week, Working Films enjoyed a banquet of good stuff at the Sheffield Doc-Fest, hosting a highly interactive Story Leads to Action on Friday afternoon, and participating in a lively panel discussion on Saturday.
New Faces: Bringing a little sanity to conversations about immigration
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
Our multimedia curriculum, New Faces: Latinos in North Carolina uses documentary film clips, discussion and engaging learning activities to help learners understand more about themselves and about the Latino community in North Carolina.
DOC NYC – New York’s Documentary Film Festival
by Judith HelfandWorking Films Blog
Working Films is proud to be sponsoring a Story Leads to Action panel, part of the Doc Convergence Symposium: Nov. 5th, 11:15am to 12:30pm, at the IFC Center.
Deep Down: November’s Reel Power Film
by Lora SmithWorking Films Blog
November 3rd, 2010
Deep Down is the first film in the new film series and you can watch it for free by tuning into the national debut on November 23rd on PBS’s Emmy award-wining Independent Lens series.
Dirty Business Filmmaker Peter Bull Interviewed by Alternet
by Madeline KovacsWorking Films Blog
October 26th, 2010
Coal is a mystery: Why, in the 21st century, does half of United States electricity come from this 18th-century fuel? In the age of nano-tech, why can't we seem to make the investments necessary to effect a great leap, making renewable energy technology truly affordable? If we were to really add up all of the human and environmental costs of coal, what's the bill that we are really paying? And, finally, what can we do right now to spread great solutions options, and turn the tide?
Reel Power Film On IndieGoGo
by Lora SmithWorking Films Blog
October 20th, 2010
When Two Worlds Collide is part of the Reel Power collaborative, a film series that tells the many stories of our energy crisis, and most importantly, community opportunities for sustainable growth. This film is in production and is currently raising funds for production through the innovative crowdfunding tool IndieGoGo.
Dirty Business is Now Available on DVD
by Madeline KovacsWorking Films Blog
October 19th, 2010
Are you looking for a movie that reveals the social and environmental costs of coal power, explores the murky realities of “clean coal,” and profiles innovators who could lead the way to a renewable energy future? Bring Dirty Business, produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting, to your community to explore these issues. Host a house party or community screening.
APPLY NOW for Reel Engagement: Managing Social Issue Film Campaigns
by Molly MurphyWorking Films Blog
October 11th, 2010
Don't miss the deadline to apply for Reel Engagement: Managing Social Issue Film Campaigns.
Good Pitch Up Close
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
Are you wondering what happens at these pitches? Fear not! Rachel Seifert (of the film Not on the Label) gives insight on what it’s like to be up on the pitcher’s mound.
Reel Power: Films Fueling the Energy Revolution!
by Lora SmithWorking Films blog
Don't you think a movement needs more than one good movie?
Take Action with Speaking in Tongues!
by Lynn CasperWorking Films blog
Act Now! Join the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language to encourage your decision makers to support HR 6036.
The Good Pitch @ SOCAP10
by Robert WestWorking Films blog
The first West Coast edition of the Good Pitch, hosted by the SOCAP10 conference at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on October 3, 2010 12:00pm – 6:00pm.
European Social Documentary (ESoDoc)
The third session of ESoDoc will be held October 2-8 in Italy.
Reel Power at Appalachia Rising
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
September 23rd, 2010
Reel Power, a new collaboration of films on energy and natural resource extraction developed from our Reel Engagement residency, will be part of Appalachia Rising, a mass mobilization calling for the end of mountaintop removal mining to be held in Washington, DC, on September 25-27, 2010.
Get Engaged with Reel Engagement!
Are you interested in developing skills to effectively manage film campaigns on social justice issues? Apply now!
The Good Pitch UK
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
The Good Pitch UK will take place at the spectacular Royal Institution of Great Britain on September 10th.
Film Screening of Speaking in Tongues
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Come watch this award winning film and support Californians Together, a statewide coalition of parents, teachers, education advocates and civil rights groups committed to securing equal access to quality education for all children. $4 from each ticket sold will be donated to their "Seal of Biliteracy" campaign.
Films for Good: We think they like us
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
Last month was the Films for Good workshop. Check out how the event went and watch clips of participating films.
Dirty Business in Kansas
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
August 6th, 2010
There is a debate heating up in Kansas about the proposed expansion of the Holcomb Station coal-fired power plant. Proponents of Sunflower Electric Power's plant expansion cite the need to meet the growing load requirement in the region. Opponents argue that Kansas has the nation's second-best wind resource and that in the long run, renewable energy can meet energy requirements at lower cost to rate payers and to the environment.
Hey, It’s Personal!
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
Our Executive Director, Robert West, and his take on the repeal of Proposition 8.
Guest Blog: Jeremy Levine's "Good Fortune"
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
Jeremy's film Good Fortune just aired on POV on PBS
Films for Good this weekend!
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
Read more about the 8 films participating in the Films for Good workshop.
Curbing our oil consumption with No Impact Man
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Read No Impact Man Colin Beavan's OpEd in the New York Daily News.
Grant Opportunity for Women Filmmakers
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Chicken & Egg Pictures and Rooftop Films have joined together to offer a short film grant of $6000 to women filmmakers.
Congrats to former board member!
by Lynn CasperWorking Films' Blog
Jon Stout was recently awarded the 2010 Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award by the Cultural and Critical Studies Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
A New Kind of Website
by Lynn CasperWorking Films' Blog
A few months ago, Working Films consulted with the filmmakers of A New Kind of Listening and Speaking in Tongues about the redesign of their websites.
Good Pitch at Silverdocs
by Robert WestWorking Films' Blog
Whew, just back from Washington DC and the Good Pitch @ Silverdocs, where it was hot hot hot...
Continuing Our Reel Engagement
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
June 9th, 2010
During Reel Engagement for the Energy and Natural Resource Revolution, we spent a week drilling down deep (excuse the pun) into audience engagement plans with filmmakers, coordinators, and non-profit organizations on energy and natural resource extraction issues.
Working Films goes to Silverdocs
by Robert WestWorking Films' Blog
This edition of the Good Pitch takes place at Silverdocs, near Washington DC. It brings together inspiring social-purpose film projects and a group of expert participants from charities, foundations, brands and media to form powerful alliances around groundbreaking films.
Films for Good in London with Working Films and C4 BRITDOC
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
Join us for an inspiring weekend workshop designed to jump start campaigns for a limited number of excellent social issue documentaries.
Media That Matters premiere in London
by Sarah Mosses Working Films Blog
The Media That Matters Film Festival showcases inspirational short films from young independent filmmakers. This is the tenth year that Media That Matters has brought together a collection of 12 short films – each under 12 minutes – aimed at engaging diverse audiences and inspiring action.
Live from the Reel Engagement Workshop!
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
I'm here at the Reel Engagement for the Energy and National Resource Revolution workshop where exciting things are happening.
Reel Engagement
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
May 21st, 2010
How can filmmakers whose movies touch on similar issues collaborate? How can they not!?! I'm preparing to spend next week in the Bay Area with some amazing and dedicated filmmakers and audience engagement coordinators. We’ll be figuring out where the overlaps in their campaigns lie and how they can cover more ground together than they could alone.
'The Fence' Questions Consequences Of U.S.-Mexico Border Wall Endorsed By John McCain
Huffington Post
May 13th, 2010
Huffington Post: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)was clear in his campaign ad last week: "Complete the danged fence," he told an Arizona sheriff, who appeared with him in the immigration-themed ad.
Last month’s Story Leads to Action
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Last month, Working Films and Chicken & Egg Pictures hosted a screening of Nancy Schwartzman's film The Line, for our Story Leads to Action series at 92YTribeca.
Renewable Energy Gains Wind
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
This week the Obama administration approved our nation's first offshore wind farm to be built in Nantucket Sound, off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The Fledgling Fund and Working Films Launch Second Video in IMPACT Series
Watch No Impact Man: Activating Your Audience now!
Earth Week: What’s Your IMPACT?
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
April 19th, 2010
As Thursday is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we're thinking about our impact in the sustainability work that we do, and the change that media projects like No Impact Man can spark.
Full Frame Films Highlight Latino Issues
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
April 8th, 2010
There will be a number of films on Latino issues at this year's Full Frame Film Festival in Durham, NC. Many of these films relate to issues facing North Carolina’s Latino population, issues which we address in our New Faces: Latinos in North Carolina multi-media curriculum.
Toasts all 'round - Full Frame Film Festival
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
April 7th, 2010
"Good work!" to our colleagues at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival The Festival kicks off this Thursday, April 8, with a stellar and rousing line up. We’re connected to a number of films and filmmakers at the fest; join us in celebrating their success!
Judith Helfand to be honored at the SF Women's Film Festival
by Robert West Working Films Blog
Judith Helfand, our co-founder, is getting her due honors all this week - a testament to her passion and commitment and downright brilliance.
Make the dream of zero-waste a reality!
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
Take action and share the new Garbage Dreams widget.
Another round of the Good Pitch!
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
The call for submissions for the Good Pitch Forum at Silverdocs 2010 is open! Deadline: April 6.
Rose and Nangabire at Story Leads to Action
Working Films Blog
March 26th, 2010
Missed last week's invigorating Story Leads to Action at the 92YTribeca that we co-hosted with Chicken & Egg Pictures? Fear not, filmmakers Elizabeth Mandel and Beth Davenport have agreed to share their lessons learned from the evening for your benefit.
Host Your Own "Meal & a Movie" Event
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
March 11th, 2010
The Hunger Season is now inviting schools and universities, NGO's, environmental groups, and faith based organizations to order a copy of the film and host their own ‘Meal & a Movie’ event – similar to the one hosted in Madison during Tales from Planet Earth.
This season on POV...
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
POV's Executive Director Simon Kilmurry announced their extraordinary lineup of films for 2010. Among them are many great films that we have had the honor to work with.
MTV Walks "A Thin Line"
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Last month, our friends over at The Line emailed us some exciting news and attention they received. Nancy and her team have been coming up with great ways to raise awareness about her film & campaign, Where’s Your Line?
Call for Submissions: Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
March 5th, 2010
The American Museum of Natural History's Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival is the longest-running showcase for international documentaries in the United States. The festival screens documentaries that increase our understanding of the complexity and diversity of the peoples and cultures that populate our planet.
Here we go again! Working Films is excited about the Good Pitch @ Tribeca
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
March 3rd, 2010
Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Documentary Institute have announced the lineup for the Good Pitch @ Tribeca, hitting the screens in NYC on April 27 during the Tribeca Film Festival.
Do You Have the Best Nonprofit Video of the Year?
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
February 23rd, 2010
Our friends at See3 and YouTube have partnered to bring you the 4th Annual DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards. The contest will award a total of $10,000 in grants, funded by the Case Foundation, to the best videos of the year found in the YouTube Nonprofit Program—a special program that YouTube designed to help nonprofits achieve their missions.
Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy
by Judith HelfandWorking Films Blog
February 18th, 2010
What makes a movement, a leader, and a follower? This is for all of those trying to build 'the movement'.
IMPACT Series Launched Today
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
February 17th, 2010
How do social issue documentary films do more than just raise awareness? Are you a documentary filmmaker looking for the formula to take your film to the next level? IMPACT is a new series of videos created by Working Films and The Fledgling Fund focused on building film campaigns that ignite social change.
Including Samuel Makes Impact
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
February 17th, 2010
Including Samuel and the film's campaign has big plans for 2010: a youth-driven inclusion campaign, international outreach, screenings across the country and more. But sometimes looking back is as exciting as looking forward. Filmmaker Dan Habib has shared a few spectacular highlights on the impact of Including Samuel.
With 'Good Fortune' Story Will Lead to Action
by Guest Blogger: Sophie Gore BrowneWorking Films Blog
February 5th, 2010
Chicken & Egg Pictures in partnership with Working Films hosted another STORY LEADS TO ACTION at 92YTribeca, with a screening of the documentary Good Fortune by filmmakers Landon Van Soest and Jeremy Levine.
Upcoming Screenings for A New Kind of Listening
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Screenings in Pittsboro and Asheville NC and Calgary, Alberta.
The Campaign: Inside the NO ON PROP 8 Fight
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
January 27th, 2010
I was energized by the news last week that Christie Herring's work-in-progress The Campaign was just awarded a new grant from Chicken & Egg Pictures. All week I had been following the related so-called Prop 8 trial, Kristin M. Perry v. Arnold Schwarzenegger, through the Courage Campaign’s Prop 8 trial tracker. Christie attended our MASS MoCA residency in 2009 when her film was in early development.
Call for Entries – NC Black Film Festival
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
The North Carolina Black Film Festival is currently accepting entries for their film festival March 18-21, 2010 in Wilmington, NC. Deadline for submissions is January 31st 2010.
Working Films' firehouse acts as "green room" to Wilmington's MLK Parade
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
Every year, Wilmington's Martin Luther King Jr. Parade marches down Castle Street, starting at the Working Films offices in the old firehouse on 5th Avenue.
Making Your Media Matter
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Join established and aspiring filmmakers, non-profit communications leaders, funders and students working to learn and share cutting-edge practices to make their media matter, February 11th and 12th 2010 at American University in Washington DC.
Are you a first time filmmaker?
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
The Full Frame Documentary Festival is accepting applications for the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant for first time filmmakers through February 5th.
Garbage Dreams…already big in 2010
by Molly MurphyWorking Films Blog
2010 is starting off with a bang for the acclaimed documentary Garbage Dreams.
Help our Seneca Falls friends
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
Over the holidays I received an email from filmmaker Louis Vance of the film Seneca Falls which was a part of the Real Girls, Reel Change workshop last October.
SilverDocs now accepting submissions for 2010
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
December 18th, 2009
Early Deadline for Submissions is January 15, 2010
Talking Pictures Festival accepting submissions
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
"Early Bird" Deadline (lower entry fee): January 8, 2010
Garbage Dreams Wins the IDA/Humanitas Award
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
December 17th, 2009
The IDA/Humanitas Award, a new prize for 2009, went to Mai Iskander's Garbage Dreams.
Chicken and Egg gives wings to female filmmakers' projects
by Lindsay GibbReelscreen
December 16th, 2009
This past week the women behind Chicken and Egg Pictures, a New York-based hybrid film fund and mentoring production company for female filmmakers, were given the Loreen Arbus Award at the New York Women in Film and Television's (NY-WIFT) Muse Awards. Realscreen spoke with Judith Helfand, Julie Parker Benello and Wendy Ettinger (pictured, left to right) about the meaning of Chicken and Egg, what they're looking for in the projects they support and what plans they're hatching for the future.
Live from Copenhagen: The Stupid Show
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
December 14th, 2009
The Age of Stupid has not called it quits now that their film is finished and out in the world. They are broadcasting live from the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen with the aim to make “the most important meeting in human history comprehensible to people without degrees in hot air”. The filmmakers are working in close collaboration with NGOs to distribute the Stupid Show via the internet to a number of audiences and engage a number of global citizens in Copenhagen.
Social Media Special Guest Blog: What's On Your Plate?
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
December 14th, 2009
The team at What's On Your Plate? join us as guest bloggers to share how they're using gaming to engage young people in the campaign.
Social Media Special Guest Blog: Going on 13
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
December 11th, 2009
Filmmaker Dawn Valadez joins us as a guest blogger to share how she and her partners created their own social networking community just for girls.
Social Media Special Guest Blog: No Impact Project
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
December 9th, 2009
Associate Director of the No Impact Project, Stephanie Bleyer, joins us as a guest blogger to share how she is using a widget as part of the No Impact Project’s campaign.
Social Media Special Guest Blog: The Line
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
December 7th, 2009
Filmmaker Nancy Schwartzman joins us as a guest blogger to share how she's using popular social media tools
How Can My Movie Help the Movement? Forming Authentic Partnerships
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
December 3rd, 2009
Key challenges in creating an audience engagement strategy for independent documentaries.
Media That Matters Film Festival
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
December 2nd, 2009
is now accepting submissions for their 10th Annual Film Festival.
From the Amazon to the Cape Fear: Linking International Stories to Local Action
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
November 24th, 2009
What do indigenous communities in the Amazon and a rather prosperous coastal town in North Carolina have in common?
What's On My Food?
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
November 23rd, 2009
In the film What's On Your Plate?, Sadie and Safiyah go on a mission to find out where their food comes from. The film follows them visiting local farms and farmer’s markets, talking to food experts and activists, cooking delicious meals, and being aware of the journey their food took to get on their plates.
Make Art for Climate
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
November 17th, 2009
This year we have worked with a number of films on environmental issues, including The Age of Stupid and No Impact Man, where a prevalent theme is the need for a binding and just international agreement to address climate change. With world leaders set to gather in Copenhagen in just under a month to negotiate a new international climate treaty, we need President Obama and the Senate to show leadership in enacting bold climate solutions.
Tales from Planet Earth – Movie & a Meal
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
November 12th, 2009
When watching news about famines and starving people in foreign countries, we often feel removed from the problem, even as we express pity and regret. Beadie Finzi’s The Hunger Season shatters our illusions of distance, however, revealing the complex interconnections between global economic systems, the hunger for new biofuel sources of energy, global climate change, political unrest, and resulting devastation of drought and famine for millions of people around the world.
Back from Sheffield: Got Intentional
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
November 11th, 2009
I am just back from the hills of Sheffield UK and their exuberant Doc Fest. Five days of high energy started as soon as I stepped off the train; most of the festival venues were right by the station and crowds were already milling. The sold out opening night film was Moving to Mars, a film Working Films supported this past summer through the Good Pitch and a strategy summit. Out of these efforts, the film developed a community engagement campaign that takes them on the road with refugee supporters and a new effort with City of Sanctuary.
Tales from Planet Earth - What's On Your Plate?
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
November 9th, 2009
As part of the community events of Tales from Planet Earth, Troy Gardens and MACSAC participated as community partners in the screening event...
Tales from Planet Earth - A University to Community Connection
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
November 7th, 2009
As part of the Community Engagement through Film class, students Jessica Halpern and Ryan Josephson worked with community partner Mario Garcia Sierra of Centro Hispano, matching the issues and stories of the organization’s community – such as immigration, labor, and education – to the issues and stories in several films by Alex Rivera.
Working Films puts socially conscious films together with target audiences
by Lewis BealeWilmington Star News
November 6th, 2009
From Wilmington Star News: Robert West was working as a film programmer at the Mint Museum in Charlotte when he became increasingly interested in documentaries with a social context – films about race, health care, women’s and gay rights – because “they seemed to be the most powerful stories. I would watch 200 people in a room be collectively moved by a story.”
Students take environmental messages, activism local
by Gwen EvansUW-Madison News
November 5th, 2009
From UW-Madison News:The Tales from Planet Earth film festival this weekend, Nov. 6-8, will screen some 50 environmental films from around the world that explore how stories told through film can influence our understanding of, and relationships to, nature.
Calling All Change-makers
by Molly MurphyWorking Films Blog
November 2nd, 2009
Are you a grassroots activist or a community organizer interested using films for social change? Working Films is accepting applications for audience and community engagement coordinators, with possible openings starting in early 2010.
Headed to Sheffield: Get Intentional
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
October 29th, 2009
As the weather on the balmy North Carolina coast hits 85 degrees here today (hello climate change!), I am packing for London and then on to five intense days at the Sheffield Doc Fest.
Tales from Planet Earth 2009 film fest returns with broad community ambitions
by David Medaris Isthmus: The Daily Page
October 28th, 2009
From Isthmus: The Daily Page: Gregg Mitman thought Tales from Planet Earth would be a one-shot deal. The UW-Madison history of science professor and interim director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies was a principal organizer of the 2007 environmental film festival.
Working Films goes to college!
Working Films is partnering with UW-Madison's Nelson Institute's on Tales from Planet Earth Nov. 6-8 2009.
Real Girls, Reel Change Workshop
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
October 21st, 2009
We just wrapped up Day 1 of the Real Girls, Reel Change, a collaborative workshop between Working Films, The Fledgling Fund and Chicken & Egg Pictures.
Updates and Opportunities from Including Samuel
by Molly MurphyWorking Films Blog
October 21st, 2009
Some exciting things have been happening with the Including Samuel campaign this month, Disability Awareness Month; from broadcast dates to cutting-edge articles, research, curriculum, essays and more on inclusion.
Join the Garbage Dreams' Tour
by Molly MurphyWorking Films Blog
October 13th, 2009
Launching nation-wide on October 15th, the Garbage Dreams' Tour is a community-based screening campaign aimed at demonstrating the true value of trash and the cost of throwing out the expertise of the Zaballeen, Egypt’s “garbage people,” who recycle 80% of everything they collect.
Huffington Post Hosts No Impact Week
by Kristin HenryWorking Films Blog
October 12th, 2009
Will you go No Impact for a week? Come on, it’s only a week.
Freeheld to Show at 92YTribeca
by Judith HelfandWorking Films Blog
October 9th, 2009
Chicken & Egg Pictures and Working Films along with our special guest presenter The Fledgling Fund invite you to join us at Story Leads To Action – a monthly series at the 92YTribeca Screening Room.
Burma VJ Wins Matter Documentary Award
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
October 6th, 2009
I was invited to be on the jury for the Matter Documentary Award at the Branchage Jersey International Film Festival this past weekend. (That’s the Jersey that is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France – not New Jersey in the U.S.) The Matter Award goes to the “best socially conscious” documentary film in the fest. It includes £2000 to the filmmaker, plus £1,000 to a charity of the winner’s choice.
Film Fellowship Opportunity in NC
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
October 5th, 2009
Fundraising for documentary films is never easy. One source filmmakers often overlook are local and statewide funders and arts councils in particular. For our colleagues in North Carolina, here’s a great opportunity.
Recent Research on Impacts of Documentary Film, with Working Films as Case Study
by Robert WestWorking Films' Blog
September 29th, 2009
Matthew Nisbet discusses the growing influence of documentary film and the various approaches of audience engagement campaigns in his post Recent Research on Impacts of Documentary Film on ScienceBlogs. He offers a preview into the forthcoming issue of a special issue of the journal Mass Communication & Society that he co-edited with American University colleague Patricia Aufderheide.
Real Girls, Reel Change Participants!
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
September 28th, 2009
Working Films is proud to announce the films and filmmakers that have been selected for our Real Girls, Reel Change workshop, an innovative new platform that will nurture the work of filmmakers, non-profit organizations, and funders that are focused on supporting the physical, emotional, and social well being of girls and young women.
Working Films’ Residency Alumni Launches in a Big Way
by Anna LeeWorking Films Blog
September 18th, 2009
We are always excited to hear about the development of filmmakers audience engagement plans and to see how ideas and energy from residencies have transformed into film campaigns. I recently received an update from Dawn Valadez with Going on 13 that I thought I’d share.
Welcome to Boot Camp
by Lynn CasperWorking Films Blog
September 14th, 2009
Last month, Kristin and I attended the kickoff for the Community Engagement Through Film course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Good News from the Good Pitch
Moving to Mars Blog
September 11th, 2009
From the Moving to Mars' blog: We have just arrived back in the office after a very successful few days at The Good Pitch. Despite our pitching team (producer Karen Katz and director Mat Whitecross) being first up on stage in front of an audience of more than 200 people – not to mention the fact that Mat is currently trying to finish another film and Karen ran 5k on Sunday morning in support of these guys – the pitch went really well.
The Good Pitch at IFP
by Robert WestWorking Films Blog
September 4th, 2009
Working Films is excited to continue our collaboration with the Good Pitch. In North America, the Good Pitch is a partnership between the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP), generously supported by the Fledgling Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Tides Foundation and anonymous donors.
Line up for the Good Pitch UK
The Good Pitch is returning to the UK on September 7th and 8th. It is hosted by Amnesty International at their East London auditorium and is held in association with One World Media.
Filmmaker Residency is in Full Swing
Chicken & Egg Pictures Blog
August 14th, 2009
From the Chicken & Egg Pictures Blog: I have just come back from Rosendale, NY where Working Films are hosting a residency for our filmmakers to learn about how to position their films to make a difference. I'm sad to have left them all with such an enticing itinerary, including: Elements of a Campaign Overview, Web 2.0 tools, How to support the social movement and support yourself as a filmmaker, Leveraging Traditional Distribution and Media Opportunities to Support the Social Issue, Toolkits and Other Resource Development, How to create budgets for outreach, Alternative Distribution, Creating and using DVD extras effectively and Touring effectively with your film.
Cucalorus Film Festival: Putting Progress to Work
The Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, NC announces that they are accepting submissions for the Works-in-Progress program in the annual film festival.
Fledgling Fund / Chicken & Egg Go the Extra Mile
Working Films will guide a select group of grantees from the Fledgling Fund and Chicken & Egg Pictures as they create and refine audience engagement plans for their non-fiction media and film projects.
New Faces Gets a Face-lift
Thanks to generous support from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Working Films is revising and expanding New Faces: Latinos in North Carolina, a multi-media curriculum. This resource for educators models a popular education approach to learning,
Tips for Creating a Screening Guide
We are often asked by filmmakers: What makes a good screening guide? If you want to help hosts organize an intentional event with your film, a screening guide can be great tool for ensuring the planning process runs smoothly and easily.
No Impact Man Goes Beyond the Individual
Before a film launches, we often times host a strategy meeting, or summit, to pull together a group of organizations that will set the direction for the film’s campaign and point us to the upcoming opportunities where the film can help build the movement. A couple weeks ago we hosted a strategy summit for No Impact Man -
Cinereach Seeking Young Filmmakers for $5,000 Fellowship
Cinereach is now accepting applications for its young filmmakers fellowship. Deadline is July 15th 2009
Good Fortune at SILVERDOCS
We are excited that our former Ithaca Park Scholar, Jeremy Levine, is heading to SILVERDOCS this week for the World Premiere of a film that he has been working tirelessly on with his filmmaking partner Landon Van Soest.
Beth Murphy reports from The Good Pitch roundtable
by Beth MurphyChicken & Egg Pictures Blog
May 23rd, 2009
From the Chicken & Egg Pictures Blog:The Good Pitch opened its doors in North America for the first time this month at Hot Docs. Chicken & Egg were delighted to be invited to participate and had the good fortune of witnessing the amazing legs this forum gave Chicken & Egg grantee Beth Murphy for her project, The Promise of Freedom. Here, Beth shares her experience from this amazing day.
Media That Matters Film Festival - 12 Shorts Making a Difference
Arts Engine presents Media That Matters: More than a Festival on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. This year’s festival includes a spectacular line up of 12 jury selected short films (each 12 minutes or less) on issues of social and environmental concern.
Lineup for the Good Pitch at SILVERDOCS
The Good Pitch North America tour, taking place at the the AFI-Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS Festival on 16 June 2009, is a partnership between the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute documentary Film Program, generously supported by the Fledgling Fund and us, Working Films.
Filmmakers Think Creatively About Distribution
We know that filmmakers are looking for new ways to think about distribution. We hear it on our consultations, at film festivals and our residencies that we host. We often hear questions like: “Should I consider a non-exclusive agreement with a distributor?”, “How can I use Facebook and YouTube to release my film?”, and of course, “How can I increase the access of my film to organizations who are working on the issues?”
Outstanding Filmmaker Honored: Marco Williams
We would like to congratulate filmmaker Marco Williams who has been selected by the Organization of American Historians to receive the 2009 Erik Barnouw Award, which is given annually for outstanding reporting or programming on network or cable television, or in documentary film, concerned with American history, the study of American history, and/or the promotion of history. On Saturday, March 28, OAH President Pete Daniel and President-Elect Elaine Tyler May will present the awards and prizes in Seattle, Washington, during the 102nd Annual Meeting of the Organization.
The Good Pitch at Hot Docs
We are excited to share an announcement of the films in the first Good Pitch North America. Held on May 7, 2009,in Toronto at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival the Good Pitch North America is a partnership between Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, generously supported by the Fledgling Fund. Working Films is acting as an outreach consultant on the Good Pitch. Specifically, we have invited NGO’s and non-profit partners to participate in the event and we are training filmmakers accepted into the program for their individual “good pitch”.
And the Award Goes to...
Judith and I just announced the Full Frame / Working Films Award at the barbecue. Our award is for the film that holds the greatest potential for supporting serious grassroots organizing, equity, justice and human rights.
Be a Change Maker This Summer!
Read about the experiences of past George Stoney Fellows. Apply today! Deadline is March 30th
The Good Pitch Comes to SILVERDOCS - Call for Entries
The second stop for The Good Pitch in North America will be at SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival June 18-22nd, near Washington, D.C.
Announcing the 2009 Content + Intent Documentary Institute Participants
We are excited to announce the 8 film projects selected to be part of the 2009 Content + Intent Documentary Institute, Working Films’ Residency at MASS MoCA. We reviewed a number of extraordinary projects and faced a difficult decision narrowing it down to the 8 films that will be part of the residency, which takes place March 11-15th in North Adams, MA.
The Good Pitch Comes to Hot Docs - Call for Entries
The Good Pitch is a unique opportunity for filmmakers to pitch social-issue documentary projects and associated campaign strategies to an audience of NGOs, foundations, campaigners, advertising agencies, brands and media. Last summer we co-hosted the inaugural Good Pitch at the BritDoc Film Festival, and had a spectacular time.
Eighth Annual Cine Noir Festival of Black Film Deadline Extended
Rhonda Bellamy, Festival Director of the Cine Noir Festival of Black Film has announced that the deadline has been extended due to several late inquiries.
Don't Just Watch: Participate!
On a cold night in January while I was visiting NYC, I ventured out to the 92YTribeca for the screening of The Accidental Advocate co-hosted by us at Working Films, and our good friends at Chicken & Egg Pictures.
Application Deadline approaching for 2009 Content + Intent Documentary Institute
Send in your application today for the 2009 Content + Intent Documentary Institute, Working Films' residency at MASS MoCA. If we have your application in our inbox by January 28, and your project is selected you will spend 5 jam packed days with the Working Films team in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. From March 11-15, 2009 we will guide you through the creation of an outreach plan for your film project.
What is Real Food?
What is your favorite food? If you are like me, that is an easy question to answer.
Building Intention:
Saving Jackie is a snapshot of a recovering addict’s attempt to strengthen her damaged relationships with her two estranged daughters. Over the course of the documentary, daughter/director Selena Burks revisits life changing events and examines the long-term side effects of abusive behaviors on family relationships.
What I learned from the LGBT Bloggers Summit
Our Social Media Strategist just got back from the LGBT Blogger and Citizen Journalist Initiative Summit in Washington, DC which was sponsored by Jonathan Lewis, Human Rights Campaign, Bolthouse Farms, Victory Fund, Center for American Progress Action Fund, National Organizing Institute, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and many others.
Filmmaker reflects on MASS MoCA 2008
As we begin taking applications for the 2009 Content + Intent Documentary Institute, Working Films’ Residency at MASS MoCA we wanted to give you a sense of what the experience was like for other filmmakers. In March of 2008 Sean Flynn joined 10 other documentarians for our 5 day workshop in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
Women’s Power Exemplified: Pray the Devil Back to Hell opens in NYC
Pray the Devil Back to Hell is opening in New York City 11/7/08, with additional openings in select cities. In collaboration with Fork Films and Auburn Media, we have coordinated special screening events and we hope you can make it out to one of them.
The Medium and the Message, Participant Productions and Working Films Catalyze Awareness for Social Issue Docs
by Tracie LewisInternational Documentary Association
Working as a team, Helfand and West determined that after the initial screenings or broadcast debuts, the films may go away, but the issues inherent in the films don't. "Our sole intent is to link high-quality documentary filmmaking with really concrete impact," West says.
Works-In-Progress at the Cucalorus Film Festival
gives filmmakers an opportunity to test their work before an audience - at many different stages of production. Working Films will be hosting free screenings of The Wounded Come Home, Cape Wind, and The Appropriate Genius. We will be facilitating a Q&A after each film with the filmmaker and community organizations. The Cucarolus Film Festival is November 12-15th 2008 in Wilmington, NC.
Call for Entries: Ninth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival!
Each year Working Films awards $1000 to a filmmaker who has created a short with potential to inspire activism.
Fellowship Opportunity for Creative Professionals
Are you an excellent photographer, photojournalist, filmmaker, artist, or other creative professional?
Out of Your Seats and Into the Streets
This week 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.
(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.
Climate Matters Video Contest
What is 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?
Banished at the Center for Constitutional Rights
The Banished post-broadcast outreach campaign is in full swing! Since its broadcast in February 2008, there has been overwhelming interest in intersecting Banished with on-going activism around reparations, displacement and gentrification.
A ‘Good Pitch’ Across the Pond
Robert West reflects on the BritDoc Film Fest and their groundbreaking Good Pitch session for social issue flicks.
The Real Picture
by Daniel LeeThe Guardian
August 6th, 2008
Documentary-makers tackling social issues are increasingly turning to charities for funding and support. But can such collaborations be trusted?
Infinicine's Interview with Shooting People's Ingrid Kopp on new distribution
"I am endlessly impressed by the work of Working Films, Active Voice, Sandi DuBowski and others in this area," Ingrid Kopp
Film Weekly Podcast
by Jason
July 24th, 2008
BritDoc Festival Podcast: Interview with Robert West, Executive Director of Working Films at around the 6 minute mark.
Getting caught up on the Web
The mini movies are online at Each short is paired with "Take Action" links. The festival "really engages audiences and makes them feel part of something bigger, whether you're participating at home or at a screening," says Katy Chevigny, cofounder and executive director of Arts Engine. Festival sponsors include Netflix, Working Films, American University School of Communication's Center for Social Media, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Media That Matters Film Festival 2008
May 21st, 2008
Working Films Board Member Vanita Gupta attended the Media That Matters Film Festival on May 29th, 2008 to present the Changemaker Award to Melissa Mummert, for her short film, Perversion of Justice.
Two docu titles worth considering from the Full Frame Documentary Film Fest
by Eric LavalleeIon Cinema
Lessin and Deal's Trouble the Water tells the story of a streetwise young couple that survives the flooding of New Orleans by any means necessary, rescuing dozens of neighbors along the way, and using video to capture the storm and its aftermath. This redemptive tale of outlaws who become heroes is set against one of the largest diasporas in American history.
Postcard #4 from Full Frame
by Darleen OrtegaOpinionated Judge
I also saw a rescreening of "Trouble the Water," which won the festival's top prize, the Grand Jury award, as well as the Award for Human Rights, which is presented to a film that addresses a significant human rights issue in the U.S., and the Full Frame/Working Films award, which is a pretty cool prize that aims to assist the outreach efforts of films that have the greatest potential for supporting serious grassroots organizing and social change.
'Trouble the Water' wins festival honors
by Chris BellamyThe Herald Sun
"Trouble the Water," a film by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, uses footage shot by New Orleans residents Kimberly and Scott Roberts as the basis for their documentary about Katrina and its aftermath. Besides the Anne Dellinger Grand Jury prize, the film also received the festival's Working Films Award, and the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights.
Courage takes the spotlight in film fest honors
by Craig D. LindseyThe News and Observer
"Trouble the Water," which dealt with a New Orleans couple and the video journal they recorded during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, snatched three awards: the newly named Anne Dellinger Grand Jury Award, the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights and the Full Frame/Working Films Award, which it shared with "Please Vote For Me."
Featured Alumni of the Documentary Institute: Jolene Pinder
The Documentary Institute
An interview with The Documentary Institute Alumni, Jolene Pinder, talks about being accepted into Working Films’ Content + Intent Documentary Institute.
The 1000 Kites Summit
by Linda Frye BurnhamCommunity Arts Network
Thousand Kites is an artists’ response to the burgeoning U.S. prison industry, sometimes called Incarceration Nation.
Moving Images: The best documentaries do more than educate—they inspire real change
by Elizabeth AngellAIVF The Independent
April 1st, 2006
Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me (2004) was an unqualified hit. The documentary, which followed Spurlock as he ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days and interviewed a string of experts on the rapidly worsening American obesity epidemic, was nominated for an Oscar.
Border-watching factions explored in student film
by John E. MitchellThe Transcript
March 17th, 2006
A school research project at Ithaca (N.Y.) College snowballed into a full-blown documentary project that sent students down to southern Arizona to patrol the border with a number of gun-toting conspiracy theorists.
Three documentaries at MoCA this weekend
The Transcript
March 16th, 2006
Filmmakers and activists from around the country are at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art through Sunday for the second annual Projections Film Forum. The museum is presenting the event — both a festival and an interactive workshop for documentary filmmakers — with Working Films.
Socially conscious filmmakers get a hand
by Leslie BrokawThe Boston Globe
March 12th, 2006
''We try to get documentary filmmakers to think about their projects in a different way," says Robert West, cofounder and executive director of Working Films, a North Carolina organization that helps socially minded film projects find long lives at the grass-roots level. ''It's not about 'Who can fund my project?' but 'Who can I ally with?' It's about embedding the work into ongoing organizing."
As costs drop, local activists make their points via video
by Lisa KocianThe Boston Globe
August 26th, 2005
Andy Bell got tired of just talking trash. And he wanted a video camera anyway for his family's upcoming Grand Canyon vacation. That's how a short film criticizing Holliston's transfer station was born. The 25-minute production may not be PBS quality, but Bell and other activists in town are hoping it will change some minds about the station's proposed expansion when people see the film on the local public access channel.
Four-day film forum a first for MoCA
by Jennifer L. SmithNorth Adams Transcript
March 3rd, 2005
Combining the popularity of a traditional winter screening of documentaries and the theme of a major instillation at the museum, Mass MoCA has created a four-day film forum featuring seven films that advocate social change.
That's motivation!
by Belinda BaldwinInternational Documentary
April 1st, 2004
Sundance's saving grace
by Pat AufderheideThe Progressive
April 1st, 2002
One of the less likely Sundance premieres this year took place in the basement of a suburban public library outside Salt Lake City. Thirty-five people gathered to watch a tape of Blue Vinyl on the day before it opened at the festival's Salt Lake City site.
The doc's good news
by Pat AufderheideIn These Times
March 1st, 2002
From its crunchy-granola origins, the Sundance film festival has become a major marketplace at the base of a spectacular ski slope. Party tickets are as important as movie tickets, and lift tickets are only for civilians. Cell-phoned dealmakers in snowboots scout budding talent and find the next crop of upscale Cineplex morsels. This year, for the first time, there was an official sales office for the industry.
Lights! Camera! Social action!
by Scott RenshawSalt Lake City Weekly
January 24th, 2002
Judith Helfand, co-director of the 2002 Sundance competition documentary Blue Vinyl, sits for a few minutes without saying a word. She’s nursing a wicked case of laryngitis, and seems content to let her co-director and cinematographer Dan Gold do the talking. But eventually, Helfand can no longer contain herself and begins speaking in a whisper that’s still filled with passion. Nothing so mundane as an inability to talk is going to keep her from spreading the word about her film.
Demos seek hate-crime debate
by Derek JensenDeseret News
January 18th, 2002
Utah Democrats are hoping a Sundance film about the racially motivated killing of a black man in Jasper, Texas, will help spark a long-awaited debate on hate-crimes legislation on the House floor.
Layton getting a lesson in air quality
by Rob RogersDeseret News
January 14th, 2002
The common thread was blue vinyl siding. It's produced in a factory at Lake Charles, La., and destroyed at the burn plant in Layton and other incinerators like it across the country. Beth Zilbert found the toxin dioxin all over the place in Lake Charles. Now she's in Layton showing residents how to use buckets to detect dioxin and other toxins.
Docs that make a difference; Film as activism
by Patricia ThomsonIndie Wire
January 13th, 2002
Documentary filmmakers at Sundance 2002 are a harried lot. Not only do they worry about the usual festival business -- sales, press, buzz, party invitations -- but they've got other matters on their minds.
Moving audiences to action: advice from Working Films
by Nicole Betancourt and Ranjanl GopalarathinamMedia Rights
June 26th, 2001
Organizing an outreach campaign isn't usually the filmmaker's primary concern in pre-production, but maybe it should be. There are many advantages to thinking about how a film can be best utilized by community leaders and nonprofits, before production begins.
Working Films Profiles: Judith Helfand and Robert West
by Nicole BetancourtIndependant
May 1st, 2001
A packed house watches your documentary film on an important social issue. When the lights go up, everyone bursts into applause, then engages in a heated discussion. Grassroots organizations at the event offer resources on the issue. It’s a filmmaker’s dream screening.
Reelpolitics: Cinematic activism is enjoying a comeback
by Alissa QuartThe Nation
April 2nd, 2001
This past January, a Salt Lake City audience that included several state politicians watched Invisible Revolution, a documentary film featuring images of a teen Klan wedding replete with gun-toting (and –shooting) guests, shots of racially motivated murder sites in nearby Nevada, doggerel-spouting white supremacist young men, and street showdowns between Anti-Racist Action youth members and bigoted skinheads.
Working Films' goal: Keep documentary drive alive
by Lawrence ToppmanThe Charlotte Observer
September 10th, 2000
Great documentaries are often like fireworks: We go away exhilarated, but we quickly forget what we've seen.

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