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Forming Partnerships to Build Audience

The Mama SherpasIn light of Facebook’s breastfeeding censoring scandal comes a documentary aiming to normalize the birthing process--"The Mama Sherpas." This documentary, by Brigid Maher, producer/director and professor in American University's School of Communication, investigates America’s rising cesarean birth rate and the midwives helping solve this obstetric crisis.

The film shows the outstanding work nurse-midwives do in providing optimal maternal-child health care. Yet, the challenge for Maher, like many filmmakers, comes in actually convincing audience’s to alter their previous attitudes about the role of midwives in modern society.   Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Can I Use Footage From a Copy-Protected DVD?

Encrypted DVDDear CMSI,

I’ve been playing with some new remix platforms, and I have a really funny video that does a mashup of similar scenes in three recent popular comedies, plus some old stuff from an educational film. I got the comedy stuff by breaking encryption on the DVDs. Am I in trouble? I can hardly wait to upload it to YouTube, but I don’t want to get busted.   Read more...

2014 BRITDOC Impact Award

britdoc impact awardNow in its 4th year, The BRITDOC Impact Award celebrates social impact documentary film through rewards for extraordinary achievement sponsored by PUMA and Netflix. This year's winners: "American Promise," "Blackfish," "Granito," "The House I Live In" and "No Fire Zone."  Read more...

Online Magazine Tries New Revenue Model

latterlyLatterly, a new online magazine launched Nov. 18, aims to revive narrative journalism without relying on advertising. The publication would be based solely on contributions and reader subscriptions.

Readers can subscribe for $3 a month or $8 for three months, as well as make a donation to Latterly’s crowdfunding campaign. The magazine promises to invest 100 percent of its revenue back into its journalism for its first months. Read more...

Games for Civic Engagement—What Do You Really Want?

Image via @angiechuangAt an American University Faculty Forum, new faculty member Benjamin Stokes explained what makes games for civic engagement actually work.

There are plenty of games for civic engagement, he noted, and we’re gradually learning about what works. There’s a “push” or broadcast model for games like Darfur Is Dying or Peter Packet. There are “pull” games like the many 311 apps that let citizens report problems to city agencies. Read more...