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Media That Matters: Screen. Act. Impact.

MTM11The Center extends a warm congratulations to Arts Engine for assembling a stellar collection of Media That Matters™ short films that engage diverse audiences and inspire them to take action. At the premiere screening, I had the privilege of helping to present awards along with two other jury members: Alice Elliott, an Academy Award nominated director, a writer producer and cinematographer; and George Orwel, a 20-year veteran journalist, award-winning author, and an adjunct professor of modern African history at the City University of New York.

The awardees are a distinctly diverse group in subject matter, age, background and experience. You can watch all of these tremendous films online and make a donation to help get this collection into schools. This showcase of diversity is what makes the the Media That Matters™ collection an essential effort of the social documentary landscape. Arts Engine plays an important role in the engagement of young people and building their capacity to contribute voices to making media that matters.

Media That Matters™ is more than a screening of these visually compelling films that inspire people of all ages into action. It's also an Impact conference and for the first time this year, a sold out Women and Girls Matter convening. The Center was so privileged to have been a co-presenter at this year's conference and looks forward to picking up the conversation again at our sister conference February 10 -11, 2012, here in Washington, D.C.

To peak your interest, here's a few takeaways from a fantastic conversation on funding your independent film, beyond the enormous out of reach grants, with Marilyn Ness, director of Bad Blood and Eleanor Whitney from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

From Eleanor:

1. Get organized.

2. Figure out your target audience.

3. Look at small grants (before jumping to crowdsourcing or big grants ala Sundance).

4. Consider fiscal sponsorship.

From Marilyn:

1. Break up your budget into phases.

2. Learn how to (have your friends) host a fundraising party.

3. Meet your contacts and potential partners (non-profit or other) IN PERSON.

The bottom line, says Marilyn, " I spent a lot of time not making my film."

There's so much more where that came from. If you missed the action, you'll find it all on the Arts Engine USTREAM channel.