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Case Studies

Case Study: Changing the World, One Documentary at a Time

This case study examines how a documentary, The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez, can become an instrument for social change, while also giving some important advice on what to focus on when making an issue based film.

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Positive: Life with HIV: When a Film Doesn't Receive a National PBS Broadcast

From the Making Television Matter book listed above, the outreach campaign for Positive: Life with HIV is detailed, recognizing both the obstacles between independent filmmakers and public television and proposes new ways to overcome them.

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Go to: http://www.benton.org/publibrary/mtm/Pages/four.html

Take this Heart: A Coalition Model

From the Making Television Matter book listed above, the outreach campaign for Take the Heart demonstrates the potential for collaboration between funders, filmmakers, television stations, and community organizations.

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Go to: http://www.benton.org/publibrary/mtm/Pages/three.html

Enhancing Education: A Producer's Guide

This comprehensive website contains 12 case studies documenting how producers have integrated educational outreach into their productions. The archived broadcast projects range from children's programs, to one-off documentaries, and to nonfiction limited series. The list includes programs such as Africa, Building Big, Culture Shock, and Cyberchase, among others.

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Go to: http://enhancinged.wgbh.org/cases/index.html

Report from the Road: Two Towns of Jasper

Linking the film with community change is the goal of the outreach campaign surrounding this highly acclaimed documentary from the POV series on PBS. Read this report on the outreach campaign to find out how Two Towns of Jasper is "sparking change one city at a time."

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Impact of "The Uprising of '34": A Coalition Model of Production and Distribution

As much an article as a case study, Whiteman examines George Stoney and Judith Helfand's film as an example of a project that raised awareness about lost history.

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Go to: Impact of "The Uprising of '34"

Blue Vinyl and the My House is Your House Consumer Organizing Campaign, 2002-2003

Blue Vinyl Blue Vinyl co-directors Judith Helfand and Daniel Gold "hit the road to tell the truth about America's favorite plastic." After the film, the makers formed partnerships and turned the film into an organizing tool called My House is Your House. Read a report on the results to date of this ground-breaking campaign.

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Case Study: Indians, Outlaws and Angie Debo

The making and distribution of Indians, Outlaws and Angie Debo shows how a network of feminist activists and scholars working with public-spirited citizens in New York and Oklahoma brought the dramatic story of an important but little-known writer of American Indian history to national public television audiences. It demonstrates how the telling of little-known stories that enrich our view of American history can be enabled by a vital web of cultural activists and public institutions.

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Well-Founded Fear: A Case Study

Well-Founded Fear

This case study of the POV documentary A Well-Founded Fear analyzes how filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini moved the project from idea to broadcast, and how it impacted audiences.

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