Almost every film we work with tells a unique story of people fighting for social or environmental justice in their communities. Our job is to make those local stories resonate with folks in other places across the country and around the world. Our goal: help audiences make connections between what they see on the screen and what’s happening in their towns, motivating them to take action.
So when free speech came under attack in Working Films’ hometown of Wilmington, N.C. we knew we had to share this story with our friends and allies.
We have been inspired by two of our neighbors who refuse to be silenced and intimidated, and we hope that they will motivate you to speak up on issues of concern wherever you live. Engaged citizens educating themselves and speaking out on community issues is the root of strong democracy and at the heart of what we do at Working Films.
If you want to support Kayne Darrell and Dr. David Hill’s legal defense fund you can donate at fighttitan.com. If you want to learn more about the controversy around the building of the cement plant you can read the back story from our local paper, the Star News.
Gasland Director and member of Reel Power, Josh Fox, has been attacked with anti-Semitic slurs. Read more about this on the Huffington Post and the criticism Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is facing.
Well, sometimes opportunities are so unique and exotic that you can’t turn them down. The Global Social Change Film Festival and Institute invited me, through the kind recommendation of filmmaker Lexi Leban, to present at their upcoming gig. Located in lush Ubad, regarded as the cultural center of Bali, and opening on April 13, the Festival features four days of films, panels, workshops, selected shorts and special events to inspire and build a global community focused on expanding the reach of conscious social change film and media. I will be on a panel called Bringing It All Together: Film, Audience Building & Social Action.
Finalist films include: Climate Refugees, Deep Down, Dog Sweat, Fambul Tok, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, Nothing Rhymes with Ngaparjti, There Once Was an Island and A Village Called Versailles. Cash in your frequent flier miles and join us!
“This year’s must-see documentary” — the New York Times
Budrus is an award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier.
Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known, movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today.
Budrus is the latest production by Just Vision, a nonprofit organization led by a team of Israelis, Palestinians, North and South Americans committed to increasing the power and legitimacy of Palestinians and Israelis pursuing nonviolent solutions to the conflict. The film has won numerous awards at top international festivals, including Berlin, Tribeca and San Francisco, and has been featured in major press outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, Newsweek, Charlie Rose, MSNBC, and others. It is now playing before a variety of Israeli and Palestinian audiences in the region and is showing in theaters, campuses and communities across the US. Watch the trailer below:
After the screening, Director Julia Bacha will be joined by a panel of peace activists, educators and social media practitioners, including Ingrid Kopp of Shooting People, among others. We are planning a lively interactive discussion about the film’s strategic community organizing and engagement campaign in Palestine, Israel and the U.S., with a special focus on the upcoming campus and community organizing tour. The discussion will be moderated by Peabody-winning filmmaker, educator, environmentalist and co-founder of Chicken & Egg Pictures and Working Films, Judith Helfand.
Open City Documentary Film Festival
London’s newest film festival is a 4 day celebration of documentary filmmaking brought together by University College London (UCL). Open City runs June 16-19, 2011. They have extended their submission deadline to March 10th. Find out more about submission guidelines on their website and submit your film today!
Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund The Tribeca Film Institute has partnered with the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms Initiative to create the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund (TFI Media). $750,000 in funds will provide support to film projects that go beyond traditional screens by integrating film with content across newer media platforms, from video games and mobile apps to social networks and micro-blogging. All projects will activate audiences around issues of contemporary social justice and equality. Submissions will open on April 4th and run through May 25th. Mark it on your calendars now and start preparing!
Media That Matters The eleventh annual Media That Matters Film Festival is now accepting entries for short films 8-10 minutes long. If selected, your film will become a part of Media That Matters™ — an international, multi-platform campaign streaming and playing to thousands of people at screenings across the globe. Check out the criteria and fill in the online submission form.
George Stoney Fellowship Working Films is seeking candidates with a demonstrated commitment to social justice and an interest in documentary film and social media for the 2011 George Stoney Fellowship. The fellowship will last 8-10 weeks starting in May/June 2011 at our main office in Wilmington, North Carolina. The deadline is May 1st. Please click here for information on how to apply.
Chicken & Egg Pictures
Are you a woman filmmaker? Do you have a unique story and great characters that will transform conversations and inspire the world? If so then submit a funding proposal to Chicken & Egg Pictures. C&E funds female filmmakers and offers them mentorship, collaboration, community building and strategic feedback. The deadline to apply is March 30th. Visit Chicken & Egg’s website for more information.
Games for Changes Submissions are now open for the 2nd Annual Games for Change Awards, leading global advocate for supporting and making games for social impact. The Games for Change Festival is the largest gaming event in New York City and the only international event uniting “games for change” creators, the public, civil society, academia, the gaming industry and media. Deadline is March 31 and the awards ceremony will be presented in NYC on June 22. Please click here to read the full criteria and entry form.
konsonant/ Sounding Together initiative (STi) | Indie Fellowship This fellowship will give free music licenses to indie filmmakers working on socially conscious films. This is the first part of the konsonant/ STi which seeks to help projects aiming to make a difference. konsonant/ will choose a handful of filmmakers to work with throughout the year, providing them with the music their causes deserve. Deadline to apply is March 15, 2011. Apply now!
PUMA.Creative Impact Award
The PUMA.Creative Impact Award is a major new annual award to honor the documentary film creating the most significant impact in the world. This 50,000 Euro award acknowledges the filmmakers and will help the continuation of the film’s campaign work. Deadline to apply is April 1st. Find out more on their website.
Pink Sheep Film Festival Wilmington, North Carolina’s first annual LGBTQ film festival will be one of the main events during Wilmington’s Pride Week on June 10th, 2011. The festival is dedicated to showcasing positive LGBTQ themed films. Deadline for submissions is May 3rd. Click here to apply.
On Wednesday, March 9th at 6:00pm, the Center for Food Safety in collaboration with Congressman Dennis Kucinich will present a special screening of Pig Business at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center’s North Orientation Theater in Washington, DC. The film explores the impact of factory pig farms on the environment, workers, human health, rural communities and animal welfare. Introductory remarks will be made by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr and the director of Pig Business, Tracy Worcester.
Please encourage your Members of Congress to attend this event by signing this campaign letter, or better yet, contact them directly. Please also share this campaign with your NGO members by asking them to write to their Members of Congress urging them to attend this event.
By inviting your legislators they will understand how the factory farming system:
• abuses animals by keeping pregnant sows in narrow steel cages on bare concrete floors
• sickens neighboring residents with toxic fumes
• pollutes rivers and the coast with untreated waste causing massive fish kills
• endangers human health by overusing antibiotics
• destroys rural communities by driving local family farmers out of business