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Social Documentary

"God and Gangs" Short Films Debut on YouTube

God and GangsDocumentary filmmaker Bill Gentile looks at the role of religion in curbing Guatemalan gang violence in his new short film series, “God and Gangs: Criminal Violence and Religion in Guatemala.”

Gentile, who teaches backpack journalism at American University, says Guatemalan gang members “have two exit routes: a coffin and the Evangelical Church”. 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...

Gemma Cubero on Give Up Tomorrow, a Film to 'Save a Life'

gemmacuberoHow did the filmmakers for "Give Up Tomorrow" leverage the film for political action and justice for the film's subjects? Filmmaker Gemma Cubero's research shows how a film's engagement strategies are just as important as the film itself. Read more...

LandofOpportunity: The User Experience

Screenshot from "Land of Opportunity" documentaryWhat does the “user experience” look like for an interactive documentary? LandofOpportunity’s (LoP) Luisa Dantas and Laine-Kaplan Levinson are working closely with Uncharted Digital to figure this out. 

So far for LoP, this means that you are going to watch a short video about an urban equity issue  and then explore layers of additional curated content that knowledgeable  partners have contributed, which will  appear at strategic moments during the video. Read more...

Land of Opportunity: Interactive Design and Intervention

Screenshot of LandofOpportunity DocumentaryOne of the major challenges in interactive media confronting filmmakers—or any media maker—is a fundamental question of how to present a story in a non-traditional format. This was the case for Luisa Dantas and the LandofOpportunity (LoP) team, who recently were “struggling to articulate in creative visual terms what we want to do.” Read more...