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Notes from the Benevolent Media Festival Part One: Non-profit Storytelling


Benevolent MediaLiz Norton spent the earlier part of her professional career working with policy makers and wondering if her efforts truly helped improve the lives of others. Read more...

Getting into the Story: A Master Class with Marshall Curry

Marshall Curry HeadshotDocumentarian Marshall Curry visited AU last week to screen his film, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, as part of the Center’s Human Rights Film Series. Read more...

Pull Focus: Julia Reichert & Steve Bognar

Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar were nominated for an Oscar for their 2009 documentary, "The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant".  Their 2007 documentary, "A Lion In The House", won a Primetime Emmy and was nominated for an award at the Sundance Film Festival as well as an Independent Spirit Award.  This past semester, the pair taught a Film & Video Production I course as well as the Social Documentary course at American University.

Julia & Steve graciously agreed to sit down with us to tell us why they decided to become filmmakers, stories about their own personal highlights from their filmmaking careers, and what their advice would be to beginning social issue documentary filmmakers.

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Documentary Filmmakers vs. the IRS

Documentary filmmakers across the United States should be turning their attention to the U.S. Tax Court of Arizona where filmmaker Lee Storey awaits a verdict on whether documentary filmmaking can be considered a “for profit” endeavor. This idea may sound crazy, but as director Paul Devlin wrote in a piece for Filmmaker Magazine:Read more...

Pull Focus: Doe Mayer

Doe MayerDoe Mayer is an award-winning professor and filmmaker. She is the Mary Pickford Chair of Film & Television Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and holds a joint appointment with the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Mayer has been working in film and television for the past 30 years and has produced, directed and provided technical support for hundreds of productions in the United States and numerous developing countries. Much of this programming has been in the areas of family planning, basic education, health and nutrition promotion, HIV/AIDS prevention, population and women’s issues. On April 7, 2011 Mayer joined us here at American University as part of the Center for Social Media's Visiting Filmmaker series. Before screening the film, “The World According to Sesame Street,” (directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton and Linda Hawkins) we had a chance to sit down to learn more about her approach to making entertaining educational films.

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