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Media That Matters 2014: Conference


Date: Friday, February 7, 2014 - 8:15am - 5:00pm

Location: Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

Media That Matters 2014: 
Building the Story Experience

Click to register!

Media That Matters is an annual conference designed for established and aspiring filmmakers, nonprofit communication leaders, funders, and students who want to learn and share cutting-edge practices to make their media matter.

As the center’s flagship program, conference brings together top players in the field to talk about media and social change.

This year’s 10th anniversary highlights the Center’s important role serving as a resource for social impact media makers while celebrating the community’s ongoing success and innovation.

Sponsorship opportunities available!


MTM 2014 banner



8:15am Conference check-in and registration open / Bagels & Coffee

9:15am Welcome and Announcements

9:30 - 10:15am Keynote Address

SpeakerAlden E. Stoner, Vice President, Social Action Film Campaigns, Participant Media
ModeratorCaty Borum Chattoo, Center for Media & Social Impact

How can media makers take advantage of innovative storytelling platforms and strategies to effect meaningful change? Participant Media's Alden Stoner talks with the Center's Caty Borum Chattoo about the process of running a successful social action campaign, the importance of independent media, and the challenges that face future makers.

10:15 - 11:30am First Talk

Radio Matters: How sound carries a story and other takeaways
SpeakersErika Lantz, PRX RemixRob Rosenthal, Transom Story WorkshopRebecca Sheir, Metro Connection
ModeratorRussell Williams, American University

The first thing we learn in film school is there are no second chances to get the audio! Strategic sound design can create an intimate and powerful storytelling experience and is an essential tool in social impact media. In Radio Matters we talk to the audio experts: radio producers who rely exclusively on sound to carry the story. How can you leverage your audio to build a better story experience?

11:30 - 11:45am Shout Outs

Step up to the mic and introduce yourself! We set aside this time to help facilitate networking - find your next program partner and grab lunch together.

11:45am - 12:45pm Lunch

12:45 - 1:15pm

Festival Matters with David Holbrooke, Mountainfilm

The Netflix Original Documentary "Mitt" began streaming just days after it premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In an age of video on demand and digital distribution, are film festivals still relevant for distribution? Join a conversation with CMSI Director Pat Aufderheide and David Holdbrooke, festival director with Mountainfilm in Telluride, on festivals strategies in the digital age. How important are festivals for social impact documentary? What's unique about Mountainfilm, and how are festivals like it evolving?

1:15 - 2:30pm Second Talk

Digital Games: Using persuasive play for social impact
SpeakersKunal Gupta, Babycastles and Silent BarnColleen MacklinParsons The New School for Design; Meghan Ventura, Games For Change
ModeratorLindsay Grace, American University

Why should social impact media makers pay attention to games? Professor Lindsay Grace--game designer, researcher and purveyor of play--introduces persuasive gaming and constructing digital experiences that lead to social impact. Grace will lead a discussion on the status of public purpose gaming, its potential for future impact, the capacity of the new AU gaming lab, and how strategies for social impact documentary relate to gaming.

2:30 - 3:00pm Networking Break

We know that's why you're here! Refresh your coffee cup and collect some emails.

3:00 - 4:15pm Third talk 

Image Matters: Graphic ways to visualize policy, history, news and more
SpeakersDaniel Burwen, Cognito ComicsGreg Pak, comic book writer; Marissa Valeri, Common Cause
ModeratorAndrew Lih, American University

The right combination of aesthetics can take your social impact media to the next level. From traditional journalism to iPad apps, comics and creative graphics can be an exciting new way to build an emotional connection with audiences. How can these graphics help build your social impact story? Where can you find the artists, and what are the keys to a successful collaboration? 

4:15pm Raffle and Closing 


Click to register!


Media That Matters 2014

What are people saying about MTM?

"It is informative, thought provoking, resourceful, eye opener, interactive and broadens the outlook towards documentary film making and advocacy driven documentaries."

"Inspiring sessions and great networking, well-planned and executed event."

"One of two must-attend events for the DC-area documentary film community."

"Sessions that provide new ideas. Industry contacts. Moments of discovery when sharing with colleagues."