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Media That Matters






MTM 2012

This year's theme, "Change for Good," features conversations about how independent social change filmmakers can execute integrated campaigns that are strategic, action-oriented, and have enduring impact.

Arts Engine Logo
The Media That Matters conference is a joint project of The Center for Social Media and Arts Engine, Inc.



Thank you to our Conference Sponsors


POV     Active Voice  WIFV

        Kartemquin FilmsSilverdocs

  IDAWorking Films  





Friday, February 10, 2012

NEW! Designing for Impact Clinic with Jessica Clark, CSM Senior Fellow:

2:00 - 4:00pm

AIR Media Strategist and co-author of the report Social Justice Documentary: Designing for Impact, Jessica Clark, will be hosting 15 minute sessions with filmmakers to answer questions about strategic design for your project. To register for a time, please contact Jessica at jessica@buildtheecho.net.
**You must be registered for the conference in order to participate.

Fair Use Workshop

GmapLOCATION: Mary Graydon Center, Room 200
 American University Main Campus
4400 Massachusets Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016

Fair use--the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment, under some fair usecircumstances, has saved many filmmakers money, without jeopardizing their own royalties. How does it work? Spend an afternoon learning how to make a fair use decision without a lawyer; finding out the latest news on employing fair use, and on DMCA exemptions that allow you to break encryption on a DVD; and testing out your fair use talents. Led by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, with CSM Grad Fellow Katie Bieze.


GmapLocation: Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016

5:00pm Conference check-in and registration open

6:00pm Welcome and Keynote Address

The Center welcomes keynote speaker Meredith Blake, distinguished attorney, social entrepreneur, and Founder and CEO of Cause & Affect--a strategy consulting and management firm in the business of high-impact social change. Blake successfully marries high visibility and grassroots strategies to target real solutions for social change. How can independent filmmakers leverage documentary, social enterprise, influencers and corporate entities for a movement that is achievable and effective? What are the keys to mobilizing audiences for a movement? Blake will tell independent filmmakers what does and doesn’t work to create enduring impact.

Meredith Blake, Founder & CEO, Cause & Affect

The chief strategist of Cause & Affect, Meredith Blake is a nationally recognized public interest attorney and social entrepreneur with twenty years of experience in creating positive social change.  In the role of Founder & CEO, Meredith works with clients to create deep impact philanthropic initiatives and social impact campaigns grounded in research and with an eye toward sustainability.

7:30pm Light Dinner Reception

Saturday, February 11, 2012

9:15am Conference check-in and registration open

10:00am Welcome and Talks

Screening of Arts Engine MTM 2011 Jury Award Winner:
"It's In Your Hands" is a short film and Media That Matters Festival jury award winner on building hand washing stations using readily available material and minimal environmental impact, to help eradicate dysentery and spread of disease.

10:15am First Talk

Thinking Big:
Find out about strategies from media makers who are targeting wide-scale change with practical actions. Your social campaign can be scalable and replicable; don't be afraid to think big.

Moderator: Pat Aufderheide, Director, Center for Social Media; University Professor, School of Communication, AU

Michael Collins - Director, Give Up Tomorrow; Founder, Thoughtful Robot
Give Up Tomorrow: Thanks in part to the making of the film and the media attention it encouraged, the death penalty was abolished in the Philippines. Now that the film is finished, Michael and Marty are embarking on a worldwide campaign with Amnesty International and a whole host of partners to continue abolishing the death penalty, demand fair trials, reform penal systems, obtain justice for Paco and for everyone. 

Will Sylvester - Producer/Post-Production Supervisor/Installation Specialist at Question Bridge
Question Bridge: The Question Bridge team is using video-mediated dialogue among black males designed to radically transform black male identity from the inside out. Launching through museum installations, with an interactive immersive video experience, and eventually a documentary, Question Bridge is turning the cameras on black males, and putting social change media in the hands of the audience.

Inside Story: The Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership is hoping to transform HIV/AIDS education throughout the African continent. The feature film Inside Story premiered in North America at AFI on January 11, 2012. This unique film is a marriage of fiction and non-fiction, combining explicit science education about HIV/AIDS contraction along with high entertainment value through a mass appeal soccer storyline with hip soundtrack and attractive young actors. Social documentary is facing its greatest challenger yet.

11:45am Shout Outs

Step up to the mic and introduce yourself! We set aside this time to help facilitate networking - find your next program partner and grab some lunch.

12:00pm Lunch

Lunchtime table discussion:
The Good, the Bad and the Partner: Jot down your anonymous partner stories and questions to kick off the next talk.

1:00pm Interstitial

Webisodes for Change
What's truth and what's stereotype? Find out how "Black folk don't..." is using webisodes to change--or sometimes confirm--perceptions about black people. Hear from Director/Producer Angela Tucker on why she chose webisodes and how "irreverant inquiry" is an essential element of change for good.

1:15pm Second Talk

Partnerships for Change:
What were your partnership success or horror stories? We’ll read out loud some of your anonymous comments and address the challenges of partnering. What’s the right way to partner and what’s the right partnership for your project? What do partnerships look like in an interactive, digital world? Hear from documentarians on the ground who are working with web developers, nonprofits, and the audience to define the next generation of partnering.

Moderator: Shaady Salehi, Deputy Director, Active Voice

Lee Hirsch - Director, Amandla! a Revolution in Four Part Harmony, The Bully Project
The Bully Project: Director Lee Hirsch says that his former bullies have found him on Facebook and contributed to the campaign to create a positive safe environment in schools everywhere. Hirsch is working with students, teachers, parents, foundations, policy makers, and everyone in between to put a stop to bullying.  A campaign of this scale requires the help of individuals as much as organizations, along with strategic use of networking both on and off line.

Liz Norton - Director/Founder, Stone Soup Films
Stone Soup Films:  What do you need to know about working with nonprofits? Liz Norton, seasoned producer and video strategist, discusses what the Stone Soup model reveals about strategies for storytelling with nonprofits as partners or clients. Stone Soup was founded on the philosophy that “collectively we can achieve things that we could never do on our own.”

Aman Ali - Writer, Comedian, Co-Creator of 30 Mosques in 30 Days
30 Mosques:  30 Mosques in 30 Days is the blog by Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq chronicling their journey to a 25,000 mile road trip to all 50 states during the 30 days of Ramadan to visit mosques and document daily life for the 3 to 4 million Muslims living in America. The documentary in production is taking their stories off of the blog and onto the big screen. Aman and Bassam participated in the Mozilla + ITVS Living Docs Project HackJam, which challenged filmmakers to consider how documentaries connect to people through new forms of engagement on the web.

2:45pm Networking Break

We know that's why you're here! Refresh your coffee cup and collect some v-cards.

3:15pm Third talk

Small Acts Are Big Acts:
Sometimes, maybe even most of the time, long-lasting change happens incrementally and through individual, daily actions. This dialogue explores how filmmakers are encouraging small acts that lead to big change.

Moderator: Caty Borum Chattoo, Assistant Professor, School of Communication, AU

 Dara Kell - Co-Director/Producer of Dear Mandela
Dear Mandela: "When their shantytowns are threatened with mass eviction, three ‘young lions’ of South Africa’s new generation rise from the shacks and take their government to the highest court in the land, putting the promises of democracy to the test." Dara Kell and husband co-director and producer Christopher Nizza have made it their mission to share the stories of these intrepid shack dwellers. Kell was also co-editor of The Reckoning (Sundance 2009) and Oscar-nominated Jesus Camp.

Suzan Beraza - Producer/Editor/Director, Founder of Reel Thing Films
Bag It: With over 500 community screenings across the country since Juanuary 2011, Bag It takes on the curious and extreme proliferation of disposable plastic bags. The Colorado towns of Tellluride and Boulder go head to head to see who can reduce their usage of plastic bags, and along the way the film’s narrator uncovers just how damaging plastic is for health and environment. After all, “Just because plastic is disposable, doesn’t mean it goes away.” Next on Suzan’s list, tackling the truth behind unranium mining.

Ronit Avni - Producer/Director, Founder/Executive Director of Just Vision
Just Vision: The producers of Budrus and Encounter Point are bringing us a new series. Home Front is four video portraits chronicling the resolve of a neighborhood, and the support it receives from the most unexpected of places. The sereis is the lates in Just Vision's response to the lack of media coverage of Palestinian and Israeli civilians working to end the occupation and the conflict. 

4:45pm Raffle and Closing

5:00pm Closing Reception


Accommodations and Directions

Georgetown Holiday Inn  (be sure to mention you're part of the conference at American University for a reduced rate)

Days Inn 

Campus Map  (Katzen Arts Center located on corner of Nebraska and Massachusetts)