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Bleeding-Edge News at SXSW

SXSWSXSW panels and events take the pulse of cutting—OK, bleeding—edge trends in tech for film. Seven takeaways from panels:

#1: Streaming video: Open and closed video streaming platforms are now mainstream, and funding programming. In fact, according to Buzzfeed’s Summer Anne Burton, YouTube (c. 160M monthly desktop viewers) is now a lean-back, longform(ish) medium—suitable for evening viewing. Read more...

Josh Oppenheimer Wants to Reinvent the Human Rights Film

The Look of SilenceAt the Based on a True Story conference associated with the True/False Film Fest, filmmaker Josh Oppenheimer explained why his latest film, The Look of Silence, is not about past genocide but about current trauma.

The maker’s earlier Oscar-nominated work, The Act of Killing, followed Indonesian gangsters who are still congratulating themselves on their work in the mid-1960s murdering workers who were accused of being Communists. In The Look of Silence, he follows a survivor—the younger brother of a man whose murder was, unusually, witnessed. The survivor begins a process of confronting murderers who are still supported by the most powerful political forces in the society. Read more...

Visual Arts Community Embraces Fair Use Code

At the annual College Art Association conference, the news was about fair use. 

Thousands of attendees received a copy of the just-created Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. At the Committee on Intellectual Property’s annual panel, Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi joined CAA Board President Dewitt Godfrey, a sculptor; Anne Goodyear, a museum curator; Christine Sundt, a journal editor; and CAA’s counsel Jeffrey Cunard to introduce members to the resources.

As members asked questions, panelists were able to showcase the related resources for them, including an FAQ that included answers to all the questions audience members raised. Read more...

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...

Indies Talking, Public TV Listening

Media That Matters 2015When indie filmmakers talk to public TV officials on Feb. 19 at the Media That Matters conference, they’ll be bringing up longstanding issues for public broadcasting: diversity and representation.

The free, public hearing on Feb. 19 will showcase the voices not only of filmmakers like Black Public Media’s Jacquie Jones and renowned cinematographer Gary Griffin, but also legislators such as Cong. Donna Edwards, and representatives of communities and constituencies that benefit from indie perspectives on public broadcasting. They include members of nonprofits such as the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, and funders such as Joy Thomas Moore of the Annie E. Casey FoundationRead more...