Reel Change: Managing Social Issue Film Campaigns

April 28 - 30, 2012
Hosted by American University's Center for Social Media
Washington D.C.

Presented by:

In collaboration with:

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.

This interactive three-day workshop is designed to develop the skills required to be a community and audience engagement coordinator for social issue documentaries and cross-platform media projects. These positions support the development and day-to-day management of nontraditional distribution for film and online projects tied to on-the-ground efforts for social change.

At this training, we’ll explore the core methodologies of audience engagement and showcase best practices. Each session will build on case studies presented by organizers and our outreach and campaign professionals who will share personal stories of hard-won lessons from the field.

The overall agenda will focus on designing campaigns that lay the groundwork for authentic social impact. Topics covered will include developing strategic film or media campaigns, creating mutually beneficial partnerships with key stakeholders like NGOs and other social justice advocates, pursuing opportunities with brands, identifying and reaching target audiences, leveraging social-media tools, fundraising and budgeting. For those participants already connected to a film, the workshop will include time for hands-on learning based on your project’s needs. The entire curriculum will build over the course of the training. Applicants must commit to attending all sessions.

Approximately 16 participants will be accepted into Reel Change. Our competitive application process will include a review of candidates’ current and past work as well as their future goals.

Our goal is for every attendee to leave with the necessary skills to (1) develop audience engagement strategies for a nonfiction film or transmedia project; (2) coordinate key elements of a campaign, understanding how to leverage opportunities for social change concurrently with income-generating strategies for distribution – a.k.a. “meeting the double bottom line”; and (3) create evaluation strategies that will identify and duplicate successes.


Community and issue-focused organizers who recognize the power of nonfiction storytelling to engage audiences and catalyze change.

Employees of NGOs that already utilize or want to incorporate nonfiction media into their ongoing organizing, education and campaign work online or on-the-ground.

Professionals working in nonfiction filmmaking who are, or have been, involved in documentary projects as associate producers, co-producers, researchers, distributors or engagement coordinators.

Marketing, public relations and communications professionals who have worked with social justice NGOs, in particular those with experience in advertising, branding and political campaigning.

Applications are closed.

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