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Building Outreach Campaigns

Brigid MaherWith growing consensus about the importance of social impact in documentary filmmaking, many major funders: The Fledgling Fund, Pare Lorentz Doc Fund, and Tribeca Film Institute, among others, now require outreach campaigns be included in their grant outcomes. Can successful impact strategies can be catalysts for attitude and behavior change?  American University Professor Brigid Maher, Producer/Director of The Mama Sherpas, developed a trial impact study to evaluate society’s thoughts on midwifery; dispelling myths and altering mindsets about nurse-midwives and their practice. Read more...

Forming Partnerships to Build Audience

The Mama SherpasIn light of Facebook’s breastfeeding censoring scandal comes a documentary aiming to normalize the birthing process--"The Mama Sherpas." This documentary, by Brigid Maher, producer/director and professor in American University's School of Communication, investigates America’s rising cesarean birth rate and the midwives helping solve this obstetric crisis.

The film shows the outstanding work nurse-midwives do in providing optimal maternal-child health care. Yet, the challenge for Maher, like many filmmakers, comes in actually convincing audience’s to alter their previous attitudes about the role of midwives in modern society.   Read more...

Camera as Catalyst Presents Larry Towell

Co-authored by Matt Shor

Larry TowellInternationally acclaimed Magnum photographer, Larry Towell, recently featured his most popular bodies of work in a talk at American University as part of the Camera As Catalyst series co-sponsored by the Center for Social Media and the School of Communication. Towell, whose business card reads ‘Human Being’, is part poet, part folk musician, part photographer and part social activist; all of which provides a unique perspective as he focuses his lens on documenting human rights issues around the globe. 

Fall 2012 Pull Focus Series

2012 HRFSFilmmakers from the fall 2012 Human Rights Film Series sat down with our graduate fellows to analyze the fundamentals of their films. Answering questions about structural elements, character arcs, creative content, and social impact yielded some surprising results. Read more...