September 2015 Newsletter


Last month we were thrilled to present a series of panels and workshops on Fair Use, Dangerous Docs and Designing for Impact at the University Film and Video Association's Annual Conference, which was hosted this year by the School of Communication at American University.

Coming up this month, we're excited to support the Media Rise Festival here in DC. And, don't forget to mark your calendars for the annual Human Rights Film Series starting in October!

-- The Center for Media & Social Impact Team


>> Human Rights Film Series 2015
>> What Makes a Documentary Durable?
>> CMSI Partnership with MediaShift
>> Q&A and Case Study with Claudia Myers
>> Media Rise Festival
>> Can Public TV and Indie Filmmakers Get Along?


What makes a documentary durable?
Pat Aufderheide

CILECT North America's Docu-Day conference opened at American University with a manifesto-like volley from professor emeritus and field leader Michael Rabiger, who asked, “What makes a documentary durable?” His answer: Film art, featuring creative use of elements ranging from cinematography, sound, and editing, bringing to viewers “the meaning and weight of experience.” 

Too often, he argued, film professors let students believe that documentaries, unlike fiction films, are primarily about communicating ideas, a branch of journalism, rather than an artform that brings viewers empathically into someone else’s experience. Read more...


Q&A and Case Study With Claudia Myers, Director of FORT BLISS
Brigid Maher

Claudia Myers (Kettle of Fish) is a producer/writer/director and an associate professor in the Film and Media Arts Division of the School of Communication at American University. Her latest feature film Fort Bliss (2014) chronicles the story of a female army medic who returns from her tour of duty and struggles to reconnect with her son. The film touches upon issues of managing work and family, PTSD and sexual assault. CMSI sat down with Professor Myers to discuss the film and its social impact since its release last year. Professor Myers also shared with CMSI a case study of the film's impact and reach thus far. Read more...


Can Public TV and Indie Filmmakers Get Along?

by Pat Aufderheide

At the University Film and Video conference in August, the challenging but rewarding relationship between indie filmmakers and public TV was celebrated—by pubtv insiders as well as indies. Read more...

How to Make Membership in Public Broadcasting More Meaningful

by Pat Aufderheide

Melody Kramer, a former NPR staffer and digital wonk par excellence, has just published a study,Putting the Public into Public Media Membership, that addresses pivotal questions in the world of Public Broadcasting: How can pubcasters pull in younger, more diverse members? And how can those members contribute to pubcasting the way they contribute to so much else in their socially-mediated life: By doing something that uses their skills? Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Images of Copyrighted Work 

I found an acceptable-quality copy of the public-domain painting I need to illustrate a point in my new book. The same image is available from a museum, but the museum would charge me a permissions fee. Can I just use the copy I found for my book? Read more...

How Participatory Filmmaking Saved My Career

by Bryan Bello

Bryan Bello discusses how his work with the Street Sense Filmmakers Cooperative empowers marginalized members of society to tell their stories and changed his perspective as a filmmaker. Read more...



Oct. 15 - Oct. 29, Nov. 12, 5:30 p.m., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored in part by Al Jazeera America and Participant Media. 

Join us for the 16th Annual Human Rights Film Series at the American University Washington College of Law! This year’s selection of films highlight issues of identity, race, immigration and social justice. Each screening in the series also features Q&A sessions with filmmakers and experts. This year's screenings include Daisy & Max (sponsored by Al Jazeera Media), 120 DaysOut in the Night, and 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets, (sponsored by Participant Media in association with HBO Documentary Films).  Read more...  



As part of our new Media Incubator, CMSI has partnered with MediaShift's EduShift to offer the upcoming digital training sessions! 

DigitalED: How to Create a Video with Impact
Sept. 30, 1:00 p.m. 

This seminar will consider why a sharable short web video just might be the best vehicle for your message. 

DigitalED: Smartphone Filmmaking 101
Oct. 7, 1:00 p.m. 

This seminar will illustrate the use of the iPhone as a low-budget professional production camera.  



DC Premiere at American University

Oct. 7, Washington, D.C.

Please join the School of Communication and the Entertainment & Media Alumni Alliance (EMAA) for an exclusive Washington D.C. premiere of SHOUT GLADI GLADI. This film is produced and directed by EMAA Executive Committee member, and award-winning producer Adam Friedman, SOC/BA. ’79.  The screening will be followed by a discussion with Adam Friedman and Ann Gloag, founder of the Freedom from Fistula Foundation.
SHOUT GLADI GLADI is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep. Filmed in Malawi and Sierra Leone, the film spotlights the quest of Ann Gloag, the indefatigable philanthropist and former nurse, driving the movement to save African women and girls from obstetric fistula, a medical condition that can turn these vulnerable women into reviled outcasts.  Read more...


Media Rise Festival

Sept. 28 - Oct. 3, Washington, D.C.

We're excited to support Media Rise, dedicated to elevating media for social good. Join us at the Media Rise Festival in Washington, D.C. on September 28 - October 3. Events include a pitch night for media innovators, a video challenge connecting filmmakers with local nonprofits, a forum of panel talks, a youth festival for teens and educators, and other community-driven events. Learn more:

AFI Latin American Film Festival 2015

Sept. 17 - Oct. 7, Washington, D.C.

Now in its 26th year, the AFI Latin American Film Festival showcases the best filmmaking from Latin America and, with the inclusion of films from Spain and Portugal, celebrates Ibero-American cultural connections. This year's selection of films will once again include numerous international film festival favorites, award winners, local box office hits and debut works by promising new talents. Read more...

The Investigative Film Festival 2015

Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, Washington, D.C.

100Reporters presents the Investigative Film Festival amid an explosion of creativity, as traditional boundaries blur and collide between journalists and visual storytellers. The festival will feature films and cutting-edge form of visual storytelling inspired by the investigative instinct. News making Q&As, as well as interviews with the reporters, directors, legal experts, whistleblowers and real people behind the films will punctuate both full-length screenings for the public and a concurrent symposium for practitioners to take place at the Newseum and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre.  Read more...

75+ Films Streaming on PBS POV During September & October!

Sept. 2 - Oct. 25, Online

Over 75 feature-length films and short documentaries. 13 News and Documentary Emmy Award nominated films. Appearances at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival. During the months of September & October, celebrated films such as American Promise, 5 Broken Cameras, After Tiller and High Tech, Low Life will be streaming on Visit PBS POV for the streaming schedule and a complete list of streaming films. Read more....

The Center for Media & Social Impact

The Center for Media & Social Impact at American University is an innovation incubator and research center that creates, studies, and showcases media for social impact. Focusing on independent, documentary and public media, the Center bridges boundaries between scholars, producers and communication practitioners across media production, media impact, public policy, and audience engagement. The Center produces resources for the field and academic research; convenes conferences and events; and works collaboratively to understand and design media that matters.

Learn more about CMSI.
Copyright © 2015 Center for Media & Social Impact, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp