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Social Documentary

Designing for Impact - Case Studies (Continued): Out in the Silence

Out in the Silence Sometimes fear and hatred come from ignorance. When that occurs, the best way to eliminate hate is to foster understanding.

The film “Out in the Silence” started with an "unexpected" same-sex marriage announcement on the local newspaper of Oil City, PA. Letters and phonecalls from all over the town rushed in. A few people showed their support, but many expressed their resentment. Read more...


Out in the Silence is a feature-length documentary film that shows how the citizens of a small, conservative town in western Pennsylvania confronted homophobia within the boundaries of religion and tradition. An active outreach campaign designed to reach small towns and rural communities nationwide accompanied regional and national PBS broadcasts and festival screenings. The film and campaign, which have fortified a national network of LGBT and civil rights, support organizations reaching underserved communities with special focus on engaging young people.


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...

Designing for Impact - Case studies (Continued): Lioness


Lioness tells stories that would otherwise have been lost to history. Jesse Ellison, NEWSWEEK

How did a group of female support soldiers – mechanics, supply clerks and engineers – end up fighting alongside the Marines in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq war?Read more...

Reflections on The Interrupters: Screening | Poetry Reading | Community Dialogue

Panelists at Interrupters ScreeningIn the dark theater, with the credits still rolling, I could hear sniffles to my right and excited whispers to my left. As the brightening lights gradually illuminated the crowd seated around me, their faces reflected what my ears had already suggested – that this film had resonated deeply with this audience and they were now eager to share their thoughts and their experiences. I felt privileged to be witnessing first hand the tremendous social impact that powerful storytelling like this can have. And to see a film inspire such immediate response and community dialogue affirmed for me that I was pursuing the right line of work. The Interrupters was truly a model for Media that Matters if I ever did see one.