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Baba Joon Opens the Washington Jewish Film Festival

On Wednesday, February 24th, the 26th annual Washington Jewish Film Festival commenced with an opening night featuring the new Israeli film, Baba Joon at AFI SilverDespite the weather, the crowd as well as the praise for the film was quite substantial. Baba Joon was this year's Oscar entry from Israel for Best Foreign Film (but did not make the cut) and was the Ophir Award (“Israeli Oscar”) winner for Best Picture. The film is set in the Negev in the 1980s and tells of a Persian Jewish family who own a turkey farm. The Morgian family speak mostly in Farsi with Hebrew thrown in intermittently but purposefully (much like the way Gettjuggles Arabic, Hebrew, and French). The young son, Moti (Asher Avrahami), speaks mostly Hebrew and responds to his parents' Farsi with Hebrew. Director Yuval Delshad, himself an Israeli Jew of Persian descent, is making his major directorial debut and uses language here in such an interesting and nuanced way.Read more...

The Community Voice Project is now a featured program within CMSI!

The Center for Media and Social Impact is proud to announce the Community Voice Project has now joined CMSI as a featured program. 

The Community Voice Project (CVP) is a community storytelling initiative led by American University Filmmaker-in-Residence Nina Shapiro-Perl that connects members of American University’s student population with communities in the Washington Metropolitan area to produce short documentary films and digital stories. The CVP partners with a local community organization to focus on a topic and tell the stories most important to that community.Read more...

Photojournalism From the Inside: The Bill Gentile Collection

Photography and journalism students, among others, now have a rich new resource in the 30,000 photographs 
donated by international journalist and American University professor Bill Gentile.

What Documentary & Social Change Funders Want: Inside Scoop from the Investigative Film Festival

The importance of risk, storytelling and truth took center stage at the inaugural Investigative Film Festival: Double Exposure in Washington D.C. on October 1 and 2, 2015. In addition to screenings of acclaimed films, the festival featured a two-day symposium that convened filmmakers, journalists, funders, students and commissioning editors to exchange ideas, resources and best practices.

(From Left): Caty Borum Chattoo, John Cardellino, Lauren Pabst, Richard Logan

A particularly important issue for documentary filmmakers, investigative journalists and non-profit organizations alike is funding from the philanthropic community – major foundations, family foundations and other support organizations. CMSI Co-Director Caty Borum Chattoo led a conversation with panelists representing the Sundance Documentary Film Program, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Reva and David Logan Foundation as they discussed their funding strategies and insights for potential applicants.