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 November  2015

CMSI Goes International!  By way of D.C.

To say we’ve been busy here at CMSI would be an understatement! We are thrilled to work with colleagues and collaborators who believe in the power of storytelling to change the world as much as we do. Since you last heard from us…

We have received funding for projects with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (comedy and social change), the The Fledgling Fund (documentary films and public policy), ITVS (evaluation of Kartemquin Films’ documentary, “The Homestretch”), and we’re gearing up for collaborative documentary-impact work with AFI DOCS and Picture Motion.  

CMSI was featured on panels at the first-ever Investigative Film Festival in D.C., we worked with filmmakers at the The Fledgling Fund Residency in Napa, we spoke at a Gates Foundation’s Impact Dissection event in Seattle, and we released our study, “Diversity in Documentary TV Programming.”

Here in our hometown, the converging world of media and social change is a vibrant place these days.  This past weekend, Brigid spoke on a panel at D.C.’s Women in Film & Video’s signature event, Script DC. We premiered our local 2015 Human Rights Film Series, featuring the documentary 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets before its HBO premiere this month, along with Daisy & Max, Out in the Night and 120 Days. We’ve just received funding from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC to expand a successful participatory local storytelling project, Community Voice, from Anacostia and beyond. This project will be a centerpiece of our new Media Incubator, focused on the production of social-change storytelling.  

As for the international part: CMSI is so honored to be an invited juror for the international 2015 Britdoc Documentary Impact Awards, collaborating with leaders from the Sundance Documentary Institute, Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Media Impact Funders, Participant Media, Fledgling Fund, Bertha Foundation and Compton Foundation. Look for us in Amsterdam for the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), where we’ll be speaking on a panel about film impact (Pat), giving a talk to the first-ever Netherlands Impact Academy (Caty), and participating in the inaugural global impact producers summit.

Whew! We promise to share more about all of these projects – and more – in the coming months. There’s so much more, so we hope you’ll check out our blog.



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.

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