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Creative Distribution 101
37 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Suhad Babaa - Just Vision
Suhad Babaa is the Executive Director of Just Vision, an organization that fills a media gap on Israel-Palestine through independent storytelling and strategic audience engagement. Suhad executive produced their 2017 acclaimed feature-length documentary, Naila and the Uprising, which portrays the women at the forefront of the First Intifada in the late 80s. Suhad was also an integral member of the impact campaigns around Just Vision's critically acclaimed film Budrus, and the Peabody award-winning documentary, My Neighbourhood. She is also a producer, news publisher, media strategist, human rights advocate and leads Just Vision's journalistic efforts as the Co-Director of the award-winning Hebrew-language news site, Local Call.
55 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
In My Blood It Runs
In My Blood It Runs was made and distributed through a deeply collaborative process between the filmmaking team and the communities in the film, which this episode dives into. The acclaimed documentary was directed by Maya Newell who has previously directed the 2015 film Gayby Baby which streamed on Netflix. Rachel Edwardson, producer, is a Native from Alaska and her documentary series on the history of the Iñupiaq was the first all-native produced and directed history series in the United States.
44 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Eliza Licht has been working in the social-issue documentary field for 20 years, and spent 17 years at the PBS documentary series POV, where she spearheaded broadcast campaigns for over 250 films. Eliza has also spearheaded engagement campaigns for over 200 films, including American Promise & Food, Inc. Currently Eliza works at Red Owl, and in this episode she discusses working on the acclaimed Netflix documentary Disclosure, and the award-winning documentaries Roll Red Roll & Belly of the Beast.
45 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
Vanessa Cuervo Forero
Vanessa Cuervo Forero is a queer feminist Colombian cultural organizer, dancer & impact strategist working across art, activism & social justice. With DOCCO LABS she designed a virtual training program for Colombian Impact Producers, creating an online community called !ACCION! As part of the peace process in Colombia, she supports the ongoing work of the Colombian Truth Commission as an advisor for Historias en Kilometros co-creating shorts with Afrocolombian teams, in order to come to terms with decades of conflict in their regions and contribute to the national historical memory. In this episode, she talks about various award-winning film projects she collaborated on.
36 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
Andraéa LaVant - "Crip Camp"
Welcome to our new season, "The Power of Community"! Andraéa LaVant is a nationally and internationally sought-after disability inclusion expert. She is widely recognized for spearheading a global disability justice movement as impact producer for Netflix’s Oscar-nominated film, Crip Camp, executive produced by President Barack and Mrs. Michelle Obama. Andraéa is founder and president of LaVant Consulting, Inc. (LCI), a social impact communications firm that offers cutting-edge corporate development and content marketing for brands and nonprofits. LCI’s specialty is helping brands “speak disability with confidence.” Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, NBC, Essence.com, the Root, and a host of other national media. As a black, disabled woman, Andraéa is committed to working toward a future where disabled people, particularly disabled people of color, are power players in every room.
49 minutes | May 12, 2021
"Just Mercy" & Represent Justice
This episode features Gretel Truong, VP of Impact Campaigns, and Carla Fleisher, VP of Impact Distribution at Represent Justice, which started as an impact campaign inspired by the life and legacy of Bryan Stevenson, featured in the film "Just Mercy", starring Michael B. Jordan and Oscar winners Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson. The campaign was launched alongside the Warner Bros. theatrical release of the film. Represent Justice’s mission is to turn stories into action to change the justice system while building the capacity of system-impacted communities. They fight for a fair legal system, dignity for system-impacted individuals and communities, and an end to extreme sentencing and mass incarceration.
40 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
Sriyanka Ray is a Brooklyn based Indian Video Journalist, Storyteller, and Producer of social issue content. She works as a Senior Producer at BRIC TV, an Emmy Award-winning cable TV and digital network for Brooklyn, New York. She helped create and develop BRIC TV's #BHeard strand of public affairs programming. Her films have broadcast on U.S. public television and earned her eight NY Emmy® nominations among other accolades. In 2018, Sriyanka and her team won a NY Emmy Award for their town hall on school segregation in New York City.
50 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
Sonya Childress served as the Director of Partnerships and Engagement for Firelight Media for 16 years, where she led impact campaigns for veteran director Stanley Nelson’s films, including Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders, Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. Sonya previously held staff and consulting positions at Active Voice, California Newsreel, Kartemquin Films, ITVS, and Working Films. She founded Firelight’s Impact Producer Fellowship, a yearlong mentorship and training program for impact producers of color. She currently serves as a Senior Fellow with the Perspective Fund, a philanthropic resource for documentary film and impact campaigns, where she conducts field-building research.
36 minutes | May 21, 2020
Adele Free Pham, Director of "Nailed It"
Adele Free Pham is an activist and filmmaker whose work has appeared in over 20 film festivals, on HBO, PBS, and The Smithsonian. Her feature documentary called “NAILED IT”, about the genesis and culture of the Vietnamese nail industry, premiered on PBS in May 2019 and is the highest streamed film of the documentary series “ America Reframed”. She’s also Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow.
34 minutes | May 13, 2020
Leah Warshawski, Director of "Big Sonia"
Leah’s career in film began in Hawaii working in the marine department for the tv show LOST and HAWAII. She’s a director and producer and her first feature, called FINDING HILLYWOOD won multiple awards and screened at more than 65 festivals. She gave a TedX talk entitled “How Do You Cope With The Trauma You Didn’t Experience?” Her 2016 feature film, called Big Sonia, features her grandmother, Sonia Warshawski, who is one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors in Kansas City and one of the only survivors there who speaks publicly about her wartime experience. The film has screened around the world and was praised by critics in the New York Times, NPR, and more and is currently available for educators and digitally on Amazon, Vimeo on Demand, and Kanopy.
26 minutes | May 6, 2020
James Ward Byrkit, Director of Coherence
James Ward Byrkit is a director and writer, known for the science fiction thriller Coherence, for which he was nominated for a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Director. He was the storyboard artist on the first three films of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the storyboard artist and Co-Writer of the Academy Award-winning film Rango. "Coherence" earned critical and audience praise around the world. The film follows eight friends at a dinner party who experience a troubling chain of events due to the influence of a passing comet.
29 minutes | Apr 29, 2020
Deia Schlosberg, director of "The Story of Plastic"
Deia Schlosberg made national news in October 2016, when she was arrested and charged with 45 years' worth of felonies for filming the #ShutItDown pipeline protest in North Dakota. She is currently directing the docuseries Bootstraps about universal basic income and her feature documentary The Story of Plastic, just premiered on April 22, for Earth Day, on the Discovery Channel. Previously, Deia produced the Sundance film, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change, directed by Academy award nominee Josh Fox. She also co-produced Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock distributed on Netflix, among many other environmental projects.
43 minutes | Apr 22, 2020
Caitlin Boyle, Founder of Film Sprout
Caitlin is the new Director of Industry and Education at DOC NYC, North America’s largest documentary festival. Before that, she founded and spent a decade at the helm of Film Sprout, a grassroots distribution and audience engagement firm which paved the way for a lot of the campaigns we see today. She has worked on so many award-winning and impactful documentaries, that I recommend you to watch, such as, The Invisible War, Vessel, The Hunting Ground, Fed Up, Where to Invade Next, Unrest, Whose Streets? And Trapped, which premiered at Sundance in January 2016 (and not 2015, quick correction for the following interview). Please note that this conversation took place before the pandemic hit.
39 minutes | Apr 14, 2020
Mia is the founder of Fourth Act Film, where she works with filmmakers and content-creators on distribution strategy, sales, and innovative marketing tactics. She has worked on distribution and impact campaigns for award-winning films, including Sundance hits like The Game Changers, The Great Hack, Always In Season, and indie gem “306 Hollywood”, which was a recipient of the Sundance Creative Distribution Fellowship.
40 minutes | Dec 19, 2019
Heidi Nel is a social impact strategist and producer. As the head of The Raben Group’s Impact Entertainment division, she provides pro-social consultation to leaders in media, entertainment, and philanthropy, including the American Film Institute, Beachside Films, The Fledgling Fund, Fuse Media, Google, One Community, PBS, Peabody Awards and Media Center, Sony Pictures TV, STX Entertainment, and YouTube, as well as independent artists, filmmakers, and change-makers. Heidi has developed impact strategy and led successful engagement campaigns tied to award-winning films, such as Batkid Begins, The Best of Enemies, Food Chains, Happening, The Human Experiment, The Hunting Ground, The Invisible War, Newtown, The Return, Racing Extinction, and The Rape of Recy Taylor. Currently, she is working on Just Mercy featuring Michael B Jordan and Jamie Foxx. She has guest lectured at American University, Boston University, and George Washington University, and was an adjunct instructor at Duke University in the Sanford School of Public Policy. She has been featured in Variety, Real Screen, Screen Daily, Washington Life Magazine, and HuffPost. She has been recognized by the Case Foundation as a “Millennial Leader to Follow” and received the Media Impact Award from the PVBLIC Foundation and the United Nations Office for Partnerships.
63 minutes | Dec 11, 2019
Sarah Mosses, CEO of Together Films
Sarah Mosses is the founder and CEO of a fast-growing company, called Together Films. Together Films is a Marketing, Distribution & Data agency, specializing in Impact Distribution Strategy. They have worked on campaigns for amazing, award-winning films such as Sundance hit The Hunting Ground, on sexual assault on college campuses, the Oscar Shortlisted documentary Unrest, by Jennifer Brea, the HBO film The Tale by Jennifer Fox with Laura Dern and Common, and they also handled the US distribution for the award-winning film Roll Red Roll by Nancy Schwartzman, tackling rape culture, among many other projects. Together Films also manages marketing campaigns for film festivals such as the Human Rights Watch Festival and Doc NYC. they are currently helming the campaign for 2040, by Damon Gameau, an award-winning film on solutions to reverse global warming, and the film “For Sama”, by Waad al-Kateab, a documentary about the Syrian war, which won Best Doc at the Cannes & SXSW Film Festivals and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards.
53 minutes | Nov 21, 2019
Naomi McDougall Jones
Naomi McDougall Jones is an award-winning actress, writer, producer, and women in film activist. Naomi wrote, produced, and starred in the 2014 indie feature film, Imagine I'm Beautiful, which took home 12 awards on the film festival circuit. Naomi’s second feature film, Bite Me, is a subversive romantic comedy about a real-life vampire and the IRS agent who audits her. The film premiered at Cinequest, and then went on to the innovative, paradigm-shifting Joyful Vampire Tour of America in summer 2019, a 51-screening, 40-city, three-month, RV-fueled event tour that involved Joyful Vampire Balls, capes, a docu-series and a whole lot of joy. Naomi shares her distribution journey with radical transparency to create a new distribution model for independent films. Naomi's first book, The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood, will be published by Beacon Press on February 4, 2020 and is now available for order on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, and Beacon Press.
39 minutes | Nov 7, 2019
Emily Best, Founder & CEO, Seed&Spark
Emily Best is the founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, an entertainment platform building a new studio model, with fair and transparent business practices, to provide every filmmaker the opportunity to create a sustainable career, no matter where they live or what they look like. Seed&Spark has curated streaming platform, which is fed by its crowdfunding platform, which has the highest campaign success rate in the world. An advocate for diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, Best regularly speaks at conferences and events about leveraging entertainment to build equity and sustainability for everyone. In 2011, she produced the feature film, Like the Water, starring Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex, UnREAL). Since then she has served as executive producer on a host of film and virtual reality projects that have played at festivals from Sundance to SXSW to Tribeca and beyond. Most recently she co-created and co-directed the web series F*ck Yes!, which Refinery 29 called, "The sex education you wish you had in high school." Emily was named a 2013 Indiewire Influencer, a 2014 New York Woman of Influence, was included on the 2015 Upstart 100 list, and graduated from the 2016 class of Techstars Boston. She has raised millions of dollars in traditional funding, equity crowdfunding, and rewards based crowdfunding, and contributed to over 300 crowdfunding campaigns to date.
43 minutes | Oct 17, 2019
Curtis Chin, Director of "Tested"
Curtis has written for ABC, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon, and won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the San Diego Asian American Film Foundation. As a community activist, he co-founded the Asian American Writers Workshop and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress. His first film, Vincent Who? has screened at nearly 400 colleges, NGOs and corporations in four countries. Curtis is currently a Visiting Scholar at NYU. His documentary, "Tested," which follows a dozen racially and socioeconomically diverse eighth-graders as they fight for a seat at one of New York City’s schools, has screened at hundreds of schools and communities around the world, and Curtis planned this campaign himself. He’s here to tell us how.
48 minutes | Sep 30, 2019
Leah Meyerhoff, Founder of Film Fatales
This is episode 6 with Leah Meyerhoff, whose debut feature film I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS premiered at SXSW 2014 and continues to travel the film festival circuit. Her previous short films have screened in over 200 film festivals, won a dozen awards, and aired on IFC, PBS and MTV. She has been shortlisted for the Student Academy Awards and Gotham Awards and received high profile grants from IFP, the Tribeca Film Institute and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. She was honored with the Adrienne Shelly Director's Award and has been featured in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times. Leah also created in 2013 the acclaimed non-profit Film Fatales which advocates for an inclusive community of women feature film and television directors.
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