The Center is proud to announce that founder and longtime director, Pat Aufderheide, is the recipient of the 2015 "George C. Stoney Award for Outstanding Documentary Work" from the University Film and Video Association (UFVA). From UFVA: The award is "given annually by the UFVA's Documentary Working Group caucus to an individual (or production team) who demonstrate(s) the values that George Stoney promoted throughout his career--stories that represent the poor, the lesser known, the working class, and as a hallmark, engage social injustice themes."
This award is particularly meaningful to Aufderheide, who regards Stoney as having been a mentor and hero. His work was foundational to establishing CMSI's mission of showcasing and field-building for social justice storytelling.
Aufderheide launched the Center for Media & Social Impact (originally known as the Center for Social Media) in 2001, which has since been a catalyst for national conversations on fair use of copyrighted material for creative communities--including publication of the pioneering "Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use for Documentary Filmmakers"--as well as ethics in documentary (see "Honest Truths"), documentary impact, and most recently high-risk documentary filmmaking in the form of "Dangerous Documentaries."
George Stoney, considered the father of public access cable television, was a great friend to the Center during Aufderheide's tenure. He visited in 2006 for a screening of How the Myth Was Made: A Study of Robert Flaherty's Man of Aran before a packed class of students and visitors. In 2010, Stoney gave an introduction to the MYMM conference--now known as Media That Matters--which he billed as a "favorite" event and reminded participants of the importance of examining the ethics of making media.
“I constantly keep at the back of my mind that we are playing around with people’s lives,” he explained. “We [media makers] have a tremendous responsibility, and I’d like to thank Professor Aufderheide and her staff for constantly reminding us of that.” George Stoney
The Stoney Award will be presented in August at the UFVA conference banquet (registration is open!) hosted right here at home in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. Aufderheide will continue to carry on this legacy at CMSI as Senior Research Fellow beginning May 1, along with new co-directors Caty Borum Chatto and Brigid Maher. We congratulate her on this well-earned recognition!