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Hunting Ground Registers Impact on Its Debut

The Hunting GroundThe Hunting Ground, the latest film from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War), vividly demonstrates the power of well-told stories to effect change. At a private screening in Washington, D.C just before its opening on Feb. 27, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) discussed legislation to address the issues it raises about rape on campus.

Through interviews with women and men from campuses private, public and religious; old and ivied and mall-like regional; and from cozily small to anonymously big, The Hunting Ground shows the prevalence of rape and its long-term consequences of PTSD and disrupted lives. Read more...

Documentaries Telling Truth to Power

Dangerous DocumentariesMany of the issues most important to understand and discuss are also those that powerful people or institutions don’t want made public. How do independent makers of documentaries that tell truth to power cope with this reality? A just-released report by the Center for Media & Social Impact discusses the risks, and how they can be mitigated to encourage more and better expression on the important issues of the day.

The report, built on interviews with 53 people including makers, lawyers, insurers, funders and programmers, was funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Read more...

Testify: Community Voices on Public TV and Diversity

PubTV ForumAn open forum on the future for independent, diverse voices on public TV packed the theater and featured testimony from dozens of people. The common theme: communities expect public TV to showcase diverse perspectives on important but often overlooked issues in primetime. 

The issue that drew them all to the School of Communication’s theater on a frigid February evening was PBS’ commitment to Independent Lens and POV, two series that feature diverse, independent voices on important but underrepresented public issues. In late December, just before the winter holidays began, WNET announced that it would drop the series from its primetime lineup on its primary station in New York—the largest market in the country. PBS was unsure whether the series would stay in their primetime slot—especially given the pullout by the largest-market station—when the new season is announced in May. Read more...

Building Outreach Campaigns

Brigid MaherWith growing consensus about the importance of social impact in documentary filmmaking, many major funders: The Fledgling Fund, Pare Lorentz Doc Fund, and Tribeca Film Institute, among others, now require outreach campaigns be included in their grant outcomes. Can successful impact strategies can be catalysts for attitude and behavior change?  American University Professor Brigid Maher, Producer/Director of The Mama Sherpas, developed a trial impact study to evaluate society’s thoughts on midwifery; dispelling myths and altering mindsets about nurse-midwives and their practice. Read more...

Social Engagement with Social Television: Sharan Sklar on Media That Matters.

Sharan SklarThe 2015 Media That Matters conference is right around the corner, so we decided to let our #MTMDC panelists to introduce themselves and explain in their own words how they engage with media that matters.

The Independent Television Service (ITVS)’ director of business development, Sharan Sklar is responsible on the growth of OVEE a social TV platform. She will be presenting at  the Media Tools Showcase. Read more...