Online Resources >>
Looking for tools you can use that will increase your film's impact? Check out the resources and organizations you should know below.
If you are an organization and would like to be listed, please send a description and request to Kristin at khenry [at] workingfilms.org.
- Audience Engagement
- Online and Social Media
- Filmmaker Support Organizations
- Peer Support Networks
- Measuring Impact
Audience Engagement Planning Outline
Use this helpful outline to guide you through your campaign planning process.
IMPACT: A series of stories about films making change
A new series of videos created by Working Films and The Fledgling Fund focused on building film campaigns that ignite social change.
Answers to your most burning questions on audience engagement.
Community Screening Guide
Working Films’ guide to hosting a screening that brings impact.
Examples of audience engagement budgets for a 10 month and multi-year campaign.
Online and Social Media Resources
Social Media Basics
A primer on social media for beginners.
Tools You Can Use: Maximizing a Film’s Outreach with Social Media
Guide to creating a website in tandem with your film's campaign.
Emerging Technology Resources List
Glossary and list of tech resources available that can enhance your film's campaign.
Digital Bootcamp Wiki
Shooting People’s resources on new media – from self distribution to film campaign website examples and more.
Audience Engagement Sites
There are a number of film campaigns who are experimenting with new ways to engage audiences online through widgets, websites and social media. Here are a few that incorporate many features within their sites, as well as others who incorporate different technologies that suit their communities.
End of the Line
• Partnerships that offer action: http://www.fish2fork.com/default.aspx
• Co-branded widget that supports action: http://endoftheline.com/campaign/widget
• Sharing selects from the film for free online: http://www.babelgum.com/endoftheline
The Age of Stupid
• Use of social media: http://twitter.com/ageofstupid
• Partnerships and collaboration: http://notstupid.org
• Crowd funding: http://ageofstupid.net/money
• Self Distribution: http://indiescreenings.net
• The Stupid Show at Copenhagen: http://workingfilms.org/blog/?p=806
Going on 13
• Social networking
• Using existing social networks
No Impact Man
• Take action widget
What’s On Your Plate?
Filmmaker Support Organizations
Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC)
The Bay Area Video Coalition is a nonprofit media arts center with a mission to inspire social change by enabling the sharing of diverse stories through art, education and technology.
Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)
The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. We do this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media.
Center for Social Media
A part of the American University's School of Communication, the CSM investigates, showcases and set standards for socially engaged media-making. They organize conferences and convenings, publish research, create codes of best practices, and incubate media strategies.
Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation
The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation is a social entrepreneurship organization that is bringing new thinking to public service delivery. The Foundation exists to nurture new talent and approaches in documentary filmmaking.
Cucalorus Film Festival
The Cucalorus Film Festival is a multi-day celebration with film screenings, workshops and social events that takes place each year in early November in historic downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. In 2008, Working Films began partnering with Cucalorus on a presentation of “works-in-progress” – a focus on progressive social issue films that we will host at community screenings.
Firelight Media is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing talented documentary filmmakers who tell stories about people, places, cultures and issues that are underrepresented in the mainstream media. Firelight Media’s flagship program is the Producers’ Lab, a mentorship program for emerging producers of color.
Free Speech TV
Free Speech TV is a publicly-supported, independent, non-profit TV channel that reflects the diversity of our society, provides perspectives that are under-represented or ignored by the mainstream media, and shines a national spotlight on engaged citizens working for progressive social change. FSTV is available nationally, 24/7 on Dish Satellite Network.
Full Frame Festival
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international festival in Durham, North Carolina that celebrates the power and artistry of documentary film. Recognizing the power of documentary films to change hearts and minds, from 2005 – 2009 Working Films presented the Working Films Full Frame Award to a film that has the most potential to support serious grassroots organizing, concrete impact and social change.
Independent Feature Project (IFP)
IFP fosters the development of 200 feature and documentary films a year through Independent Film Week™, the Independent Filmmaker Labs™ as well as offering education in the art, technology and business of independent filmmaking through workshops, seminars, conferences, mentorships and Filmmaker Magazine™, the premier publication in the field.
Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB)
Latino Public Broadcasting supports the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural television that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to the public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. By acting as minority consortium, LPB provides a voice to the diverse Latino community throughout the United States.
MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art) has become one of the world's premier centers for making and showing the best art of our time, thriving on making and presenting work that is fresh, surprising, and challenging. From 2005 – 2009, Working Films hosted our Content + Intent Documentary Institute, an annual residency for filmmakers, at MASS MoCA’s campus.
National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)
The National Association of Latino Independent Producers is a national membership organization that addresses the professional needs of Latino/Latina independent producers.
National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC)
NAMAC fosters and fortifies the culture and business of independent media arts. Through dialogue, collaboration, research and advocacy, we connect, organize and develop organizations.
National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC)
The National Black Programming Consortium was founded in 1979 and is dedicated to developing black digital authorship and distributing unique stories of the black experience in the new media age.
Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT)
Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT) shares Native stories with the world through support of the creation, promotion and distribution of Native media. NAPT offers media maker training opportunities and resources such as the Producer Handbook, as well as the NAPT Public Television Program Fund. NAPT operates AIROS Audio, offering downloadable podcasts with Native filmmakers, musicians and Tribal leaders. VisionMaker is the premier source for quality Native American educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media--to be the next generation of storytellers.
Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC)
The mission of Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) is to support, advance, and develop Pacific Island media content and talent that results in a deeper understanding of Pacific Island history, culture, and contemporary challenges. In keeping with the mission, PIC helps Pacific Islander stories reach national audiences through funding support for productions, training and education, broadcast services, and community outreach.
Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences.
Tribeca Film Institute
The Tribeca Film Institute creates innovative programs that draw on the power of film to promote understanding, tolerance and global awareness.Working Films has partnered with Tribeca Film Institute (formerly Re:New Media and National Video Resources) since 2006 to host an annual filmmaker residency for media fellows on audience engagement. Tribeca Film Institute offers year-round funding and support to help get movies made.
Peer Support Networks
The D-Word hosts discussions about the art, craft, business, and social impact of documentary film.
Filmmakers Collaborative is a non-profit support organization for independent media makers, providing fiscal sponsorship for independent films and professional development and educational programming for media makers.
A catalyst for change, growth and innovation, Shooting People helps its members get their films funded, made and seen. Shooting People is a community of 37,000+ filmmakers who share their resources, skills and experience.
Catapult Film Fund
Catapult Film Fund provides early funding to documentary filmmakers who have a compelling story to tell, have secured access to their story and are ready to shoot and edit a trailer/reel for production fundraising purposes. Their mission is to enable filmmakers to develop their film projects to the next level at a moment where funding is hard to find. They support powerful stories, and moving storytelling, across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives.
Chicken & Egg Pictures
Chicken & Egg Pictures matches strategically timed funding with respectful, collaborative and forthright mentorship. They provide grants and executive producing to women filmmakers who are working to address the social justice, equity and human rights issues of our time, locally, nationally and globally.
Crowd-funding a Short Doc
Nancy Schwartzman wrote a great article for the Cinereach blog about how she raised over $8,000 for her short film, xoxosms. She takes us through her whole strategy and timeline for her kickstarter campaign.
The Fledgling Fund is a foundation that seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable individuals, families, and communities by supporting innovative media projects and community-based organizations that target entrenched social problems.
The Foundation Center is a national nonprofit service organization on organized philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to tools they can use and information they can trust.
From the Heart Productions
From the Heart Productions is dedicated to funding films that are “unique and make a contribution to society”. They fund shorts, docs and independent features under $500,000.
Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media (GFEM)
Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media (GFEM) is an association of grantmakers committed to advancing the field of media arts and public interest media funding.
Impact Partners is committed to financing independent cinema that addresses pressing social issues.
Thoughts on Alternative Distribution
A Working Films blog post that features Made in L.A. and Rethinking Afghanistan.
Center for Social Media's Case Study: Made in L.A.
A field report on Made in L.A, which demonstrates successful community engagement in every stage of a media project – from fundraising and development to outreach and distribution.
Brian Newman presents How to be Better than Free
Distribution Case Study: The Age of Stupid
Welcome to the New World of Distribution
Peter Broderick’s article on new distribution avenues that was originally published in indieWIRE.
Bullfrog Films has become the leading US publisher of independently- produced, environmental DVDs & videos, that point the way to living healthily, happily, and with greater concern for the other inhabitants of this planet, and for our descendants.
California Newsreel produces and distributes cutting edge, social justice films that inspire, educate and engage audiences. They are a leading resource center for the advancement of racial justice and diversity, and the study of African American life and history as well as African culture and politics.
Link TV broadcasts programs that engage, educate and activate viewers to become involved in the world.
New Day Films
New Day Films is a filmmaker-run distribution company providing award-winning films to educators since 1971.
*see more in the Emerging Technology Resources List
Assessing Creative Media's Social Impact
Fledgling Fund’s model of assessing audience engagement impact
From Distribution to Audience Engagement
Fledgling Fund's paper on understanding distribution, outreach/strategic communications and audience engagement.
Impact of The Uprising Of ’34: a coalition model of production and distribution
Journalist David Whiteman, explores, "what the 'impact' of documentary film might mean, especially in terms of its production and distribution, by using as a case study a seemingly 'perfect example': George Stoney and Judith Helfand’s The Uprising of ’34."
Lioness Impact Report
Lioness explores how a group of female support soldiers-mechanics, supply clerks and engineers-end up fighting alongside the Marines in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq war. Read more on how the film's team used Lioness to engage audiences.
Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), Next Generation
BAVC’s Next Generation programs offer a flexible pathway for youth who may lack support systems and the extra-curricular and leadership opportunities that can help young people develop their artistic talent while providing them with advanced, industry-standard training in new media and helping them develop the “soft” skills necessary to successfully collaborate on and produce a high-quality creative product.
Global Action Project
Global Action Project's mission is to work with young people most affected by injustice to build the knowledge, tools, and relationships needed to create media for community power, cultural expression, and political change.
Educational Video Center
The Educational Video Center is a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop the artistic, critical literacy, and career skills of young people, while nurturing their idealism and commitment to social change.
Listen Up! is a youth media network that connects young video producers and their allies to resources, support, and projects in order to develop the field and achieve an authentic youth voice in the mass media.
Get advice from our expert staff on jump starting your plans for community engagement.