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Got a Dangerous Doc? Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Can Help

 At the inaugural Investigative Film Festival: Double Exposure, reading the CMSI report Dangerous Docs, about lowering risks in telling truth to power, was instrumental in planning the symposium and film festival, associate producer Sky Sitney said. And it gave Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press an opportunity to expand its services.

Patricia Aufderheide and Bruce Brown

In a session showcasing the report, the executive director of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Bruce Brown, embraced the report’s conclusion that barriers between journalists and filmmakers should be lowered.Read more...

The Death of the PSA? The challenge of effecting social change in the digital entertainment age

Breaking Through

Social change communication is at a crossroads, and communicators must adapt – and quickly – in order to remain relevant and impactful. A growing body of research shows two clear trends in the United States. (1) The mass media landscape is increasingly saturated with content, and (2) the public is gradually shifting to prefer digital media over traditional media.[i]Read more...

How Participatory Filmmaking Saved My Career

Filmmaker Bryan Bello rides the metro with Director Levester Green. Photo courtesy of Bryan Bello.That Sunday morning began as all the others, with a rest on the Red Line. Real, uninterrupted rest - well, relatively uninterrupted. The winter walks to the metro from the McDonalds where Levester and I sought refuge between hours of rail operation, always presented the illusion of coming rest.

But no more than thirty minutes into the ride - the distance from Shady Grove to the American University stop where we first met - an all too familiar cold crept into my bones. Metro kept the cars cool to deter us, and others like us, from actively hunting shuteye on their grounds.

When I say “us” I should say, “him.” Levester is actually without housing. I’m just a filmmaker (a student filmmaker at the time) with a rented apartment, who chose to spend his winter weekends on the streets in pursuit of some direct-cinema pipe dream.Read more...

Q&A and Case Study With Claudia Myers, Director of FORT BLISS

Director Claudia Myers on the set of Fort BlissClaudia Myers (Kettle of Fish) is a producer/writer/director and an associate professor in the Film and Media Arts Division of the School of Communication at American University. Her latest feature film Fort Bliss (2014) chronicles the story of a female army medic who returns from her tour of duty and struggles to reconnect with her son. The film touches upon issues of managing work and family, PTSD and sexual assault. CMSI sat down with Professor Myers to discuss the film and its social impact since its release last year. Professor Myers also shared with CMSI a case study of the film's impact and reach thus far.


AFI DOCS Screens "India's Daughter"

After Jyoti Singh was attacked, Indians took to the streets in protest. Photo Credit: India's Daughter official websiteThe AFI DOCS film festival screened Leslee Udwin’s retrospective documentary, “India’s Daughter,” last week in Washington, D.C. The film is Udwin’s directorial debut and her first documentary, although she has produced six other films and worked as a professional actor for decades.

The hour-long film chronicles the case of Indian medical student Jyoti Singh, who was brutally raped on a bus by a group of men in December 2012. The night Singh and her friend were attacked in Delhi, they were returning home from an early movie. She had just finished a year of medical school – a remarkable triumph for a girl who had grown up in poverty. Singh survived the attack, but she died of her injuries only days later. Her case spurred public backlash against the cultural norms and laws that may tacitly condone gender-based violence in India.Read more...