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July 2015 Newsletter


In June, the Center for Media & Social Impact hosted the U.S. State Department and the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television as part of the American American Film Showcase International Workshop Program. Filmmakers from countries around the world spent the day with us and participated in our workshops about shooting video in dangerous locations and expanding the social impact of films.

But June was all about documentaries; we were thrilled to see so many of our friends and colleagues at our hometown film festival, AFI DOCS. At the filmmaker conference, Pat Aufderheide moderated a conversation about dangerous docs and fair use. And as part of the first-ever AFI DOCS Impact Lab, organized in partnership with advocacy firm Picture Motion, Caty Borum Chattoo gave an invited talk to selected filmmakers about documentaries and social change. Read Caty's AFI DOCS Filmmaker Conference roundup article (and learn how PBS's Frontline; and virtual-reality game Minecraft were mentioned in the same sentence!)

Brigid Maher’s social impact documentary, The Mama Sherpas, is currently screening nationwide and will be released to iTunes, DVD and VOD on July 21. The film is already being used to help organize constituent action for pending legislation in California and will be used for a number of state legislative and grassroots efforts throughout the fall. Keep an eye out for upcoming impact updates on the CMSI blog.

The summer is flying and we’ll be releasing details about upcoming CMSI projects soon!

-- The Center for Media & Social Impact Team


Journalism, Web Docs Key Topics at AFI DOCS

Caty Borum Chattoo

For the filmmakers, strategists, industry professionals and film students in attendance at this year’s Conference (June 18-19), the future of documentary was a central theme, along with risk-taking in the blurred lines between documentary storytelling and investigative journalism. The Washington, DC-based conference, presented in partnership with IDA, also focused on its own native themes: the deep impact and connection between documentaries and public policy, legislation and public affairs. Read more...


Fair Use in Music Preservation 

Pat Aufderheide

A new, free guide to preserving precious audio recordings and related archival materials includes crucial information on how to let the copyright policy of fair use help in that process. Read more...


Nuestra Cuba: Women, Filmmaking and Equality

by Amberly Alene Ellis

After the Cuban revolution of 1959, cinema would become a major component in the socio-political revolution of the Cuban consciousness. Read more....

AFI DOCS Screens "India's Daughter"

by Jessica Henry Moriana

The hour-long film chronicles the case of Indian medical student Jyoti Singh, who was brutally raped on a bus by a group of men in December 2012. Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Exhibitions of Copyrighted Art

I work at a museum and I’m on a team that’s putting together an exhibition on art emerging from twenty-first-century protest movements, with a web component and an interactive, online catalogue. Read more...

CMSI Hosts the American Film Showcase

CMSI hosted filmmakers from around the world visiting as part of the State Department and USC's American Film Showcase. The filmmakers participated in workshops about free speech, shooting in dangerous locations and expanding the social impact of films. Read more...

Interview with Georgiy Molodtsov, winner of this year's "Media That Matters" Award for his "Unbind Yourself" campaign. 

Molodtsov discusses his collaborative process with local non-profits to develop a social cause advertising campaign for women's rights in Kyrgyzstan. See the case film below and read the interview here.


The Public Media Development and Marketing Conference

July 9-11, Washington DC

The Public Media Development and Marketing Conference is public media’s largest conference devoted to issues surrounding revenue generation, marketing, and management. Catch Caty Borum Chattoo on a panel. Read more...

Catch Isabelle's Garden, Part of the 4th Annual PBS Online Film Festival

June 15-July 17, Online

Vision Maker Media is pleased to offer Jeffrey Palmer'ss uplifting short film, Isabelle's Garden--a story of a community coming together in reciprocity, through the hopes and dreams of a young, Choctaw girl and her garden. The short film was supported and launched through the Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge. The Festival runs from June 15 to July 17 and is available via PBS digital platforms including, YouTube, and PBS social media channels. Read more....


The Youth Documentary Program from Meridian Hill Pictures

Meridian Hill Pictures is currently fundraising to support post-production on the third film created through the Youth Documentary Program. Over the last four years, Meridian Hill Pictures has partnered with Sitar Arts Center to teach DC youth from low-income families to conceptualize, film, and edit a documentary about social issues impacting their communities. Learn more about the history and impact of the program here...

CMSI Co-Director Brigid Maher named "Filmmaker of the Month" by Office of DC Motion Picture and Television Development 

Award-winning filmmaker Brigid Maher's latest documentary, The Mama Sherpas, executive produced by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, is a powerful film providing an intimate look into how midwives across the country are working to improve how the hospital system approaches childbirth, both medically and spiritually. The film follows nurse-midwives, the doctors they work with, and their patients, over the course of two years. Read more...

The Center for Media & Social Impact

The Center for Media & Social Impact is an innovation lab and research center that studies, designs and showcases media for social impact.

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

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