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Rewriting History Through Documentary

Ken Burns: The Civil WarI’ve just discovered a gem on Netflix. For a limited time, the epic Ken Burns series “The Civil War” is streaming in its entirety—all nine “Ken Burns effect” episodes of daguerreotype goodness. Even “Orange is the New Black” will have to go on hiatus for me to soak in the uninterrupted hours of PBS history bliss. Read more...

Pull Focus Interview with Dawn Porter

Dawn Porter

As part of the 2013 Human Rights Film Series, filmmaker Dawn Porter recently visited the Center to share the stories behind her latest documentary project "Gideon's Army." Read more...

"State of Play" Reexamines Gatekeeping Forces in the Media


State of Play: The Gatekeeping of Micro-documentariesSelf-publishing has removed traditional barriers to distribution, but the result is what Nick Michael calls "a soup of undifferentiated content" that makes it harder for filmmakers to get their audiences' attention. These days, the problem isn't putting your message out there; it's finding people who will listen to you.

In today's world of YouTube, Facebook, Wordpress, Tumblr, and Twitter, anyone can self-publish content. The gatekeeping power of the "old media" is no longer a necessary obstacle for mediamakers. But self-publishing platforms are not as "gate-less" as they often seem. Read more...

PBS FRONTLINE Tackles "Nightmare Bacteria"

FRONTLINEOne of the great storytelling challenges when it comes to public health issues is relating to audiences. Luckily for writer, producer and director Rick Young, “the FRONTLINE audience is very sophisticated.”

Young was speaking at a special American University screening and panel discussion for the newest PBS FRONTLINE production “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria,” along with associate producer Emma Schwartz and correspondent David Hoffman. The documentary, a co-production with the Investigative Reporting Workshop, premieres nationwide on PBS, Tuesday, October 22 at 10pm (check local listings). Read more...

Social Change Through Comedy

Caty Chattoo

How can we view social issues differently if the lens is unexpected and maybe even a little controversial? How do we follow a comic’s joke to its sources in real life? What happens when we use comedy as a lens for examining the most pressing issues in global development?

These are some of the questions that Executive Producer Caty Borum Chattoo , Creative Director at the Center for Media & Social Impact , has been working to help raise over the past year with her latest project, “ Stand Up Planet .” Read more...