The call for submissions for the Good Pitch Forum at Silverdocs 2010 is open! The Good Pitch is a one-day forum set to take place during the Festival (June 22-27, 2010), bringing together specially selected foundations, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, brands and broadcasters to maximize the impact and create powerful alliances around groundbreaking films.
The Good Pitch is a project of The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. It is made possible by The Fledgling Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Tides Foundation and anonymous donors, with campaign development for filmmakers provided by Working Films on June 19-20.
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:
photo by Chicken & Egg Pictures
Three years after filming the reunion of a Congolese girl and her mother, separated by war in Congo, Rose & Nangabire (working title) is almost complete. The work-in-progress screening last Thursday was an exciting opportunity to share our work outside the edit room. With a focus on audience engagement, it was also invigorating to finally explore in a public forum how the film can be used to create change.
While many social-justice issues are covered in the film, our audience engagement strategy focuses on refugee rights and resettlement; peace-building and reconciliation; and women in post-conflict situations. The evening was moderated by Robert West of Working Films, with panelists Matthew Edmundson, Operations Officer, Mapendo International and Desiree Younge, Senior Manager, Global Philanthropists Circle, Synergos. Audience members included representatives from the International Rescue Committee, STEPS to End Family Violence, Witness, Human Rights Watch and The Safe Harbor Project, as well as filmmakers and film fans.
Ideas and thoughts generated by the post-screening discussion included the following uses for the film or modules created from the footage:
• Reaching policymakers and practitioners who are often, due to politicization, desensitized to the issues Rose and her family confront and challenge.
• Targeting schools, because the presence of a teenage refugee going to high school in the film will make the issues accessible to a youth audience.
• Partnering with the Department of Education to train teachers who work with refugees and other ESL populations.
• Bringing together diaspora communities, for example by creating a women’s-only discussion group, and/or a group for teens, where survivors of war can have a safe space to share their experiences.
• Working with women- and girls- leadership programs to provide a portrait of a strong, resourceful role model.
It was also pointed out that while embarking on our project we need to assess who is already doing this work and can program the film into their existing frameworks, and who can use the film to take their work to new places. This thought brings us to our next phase, solidifying relationships with organizations that address our three issue areas, and finessing the ways in which Rose & Nangabire can be used to help them in their work. As we finish up the film and begin to screen at film festivals, we’re also looking forward to using this momentum to inspire thinking and follow up action on the part of general audiences as well.
Stay tuned for announcements about our festival premiere and the launch of our audience engagement plan. In the meantime, if you are in any way involved with our issue areas — refugee rights and resettlement; peace-building and reconciliation; and women in post-conflict situations — please be in touch, we’d love to hear from you. We can be reached at elizabeth at artsengine.net or beth at artsengine.net.
I just came across this great article about the Transition movement. This movement isn’t about sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves because of climate change and peak oil. It’s about doing something, or as the article says, “Transition wants people to envision and create models for that future — and find much to be cheerful about.”
I was excited to see the Transition movement getting the attention it deserves, especially because Working Films just recently worked with Transition USto put together a special offer for their supporters who want to host a screening of Garbage Dreams. We hope those in the Transition US network will be inspired by the pro-active recycling work of the Zaballeen and use community screenings of the film to support their own community- based solutions to environmental and economic changes!
Multiple copies of the DVD can be included so that organizations can reach out to their constituency, raise awareness around hunger and raise money for their organization at the same time.
When the group comes together, it is asked for them to forgo their evening meal and instead watch the film, and eat cooked maise as a show of solidarity for the billion hungry.
As a part of the event, it is encouraged to use the moment to come and talk about initiatives happening in their area, to encourage audience members to volunteer their time if they are able or make a small donation to hunger projects in their community.
For every DVD or Event Box that you buy, $5.00 will automatically be sent to Action4africa, a charity which supports child farmer projects in Swaziland where children are taught the life skills which have been lost in a population ravaged by the effects of AIDs and Famine. You can find out more about this initiative and sign up.
Only a few weeks ago we hosted a strategy summit in partnership with POV for the Adoption Stories series which will air in late August/early September. At the strategy meeting, we brought together the filmmakers and POV team with non-profit organizations that work on adoption issues on many different levels every day. During the two day meeting, we discussed the multiple layers and complexities of adoption and identified overarching themes in the films such as identity, race, multiculturalism and the concept of family. Their diverse perspectives gave us insight to the best ways to approach an adoption awareness campaign around the broadcast and the films. We’re really excited about the results of the meeting and can’t wait to see the campaign develop leading up to the first film of the series, Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy on August 31st.
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 is Your Line? They have also been very strategic in creating dialogues around sexual consent by using popular culture as a springboard.
Take a look as Nancy Schwartzman describes last month’s Valentine’s Day romance with MTV’s “A Thin Line”:
Since its launch, our team has been watching MTV’s “A Thin Line,” a campaign, dedicated to raising awareness of “Digital Abuse,” and helping teens untangle normal versus unhealthy relationship dynamics. They focus on how cell phones can amplify and exacerbate abusive behaviors. Some of my favorite slogans are: It’s a thin line between attentive/obsessive, curious/controlling, love/abuse. I was thinking that we over here at The Line Campaign, have a lot of things in common such as: young people, sexuality, violence, web-based media, and activism.
Submissions are now being accepted for the 34th annual festival to be held Thursday, Nov. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 14. Deadline: March 31 (early), May 3 (final) For more information: http://amnh.org/programs/mead/submit.
From an impressive 220 submissions, eight outstanding filmmaking teams will pitch their projects and associated engagement campaigns. The goal is to create a unique coalition of non-profits, NGOs, for-profit brands and foundations around each film to accelerate its impact and influence. The filmmakers in the Good Pitch 2009 can attest to successes: immediate funding from unexpected sources, strategic partnerships with organizations to reach new audiences, savvy and unique audience and community engagement tactics from allies “on the front lines”. And it keeps getting better, watch for some highlights from us in future blogs.
The selected filmmakers are Tom Rielly (Moving Windmills), Jennifer Arnold (A Small Act), Michele Stephenson & Joe Brewster (An American Promise), Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady (Detroit Hustles Harder), Michael Collins (Give Up Tomorrow), Alexandra Codina (Monica & David), Lee Hirsch (The Bully Project) and Eugene Martin (Anderson Monarchs Soccer Club). Congrats to all of them, and we’re off!