February 2016 eBulletin—your latest media arts + culture news

February 2016 eBulletin—your latest media arts + culture news

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CamerapersonKirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson, a personal documentary by the acclaimed cinematographer, screened at Sundance last month.

From the Executive Director

Wendy LevyWelcome February!

I often spend the first weeks of February getting my breath back from the Sundance Film Festival. Sundance is a place where one can stand at the intersection of art and culture at every moment, in a state of high altitude and attitude.

There were new films and projects unveiled this year that will slowly enter the media zeitgeist—many stories made by NAMAC members and partners that will appear over the next months in theaters, on headsets, on public television, in museums and galleries, and on all manner of mobile and living room screens. There are others that will be harder to find, and no less engaging. It is on us to seek out the stories we need most, to support the artists making the work, as well as the people and communities revealed inside of it, whose voices and bodies must also be tended.

TrappedCollisions, Cameraperson, Trapped, Sonita, The Fits, Hooligan Sparrow, The Birth of A Nation, Uncle Howard, and so many others will come into consciousness, enter the culture, embed in our memory, change the conversation, spark a paradigm shift. Collectively, let us tend each other’s work, reach out to the artists who have moved us, bring their projects to our cities, broaden the reach of their campaigns, deepen their connections to community, mentor the young ones, and guide those struggling to a place of peace. If we do this for one another, we are all stronger, more abundant and more powerful.

NAMAC is busy with exciting regional and global creative programs supporting innovation and collaboration between artists, organizations and communities. I hope to see everyone participating this year!

CollisionsLynette Wallworth’s short VR documentary Collisions, which screened at Sundance in January, features Australian indigenous leader Nyarri Morgan.

Funded by the Warhol and Adobe Foundations, NAMAC’s arts leadership programs support and develop new creative thinkers and veteran arts leaders—and the application form is live! Deadline is March 31. Facilitated by Gibran Rivera and Melinda Weekes, the Lab will be July 11 – 14 at the Sundance resort—check out the report from last year’s lab and apply!

If you work in youth media and want to connect into a national conversation about a collective and collaborative impact plan, now is the time to get involved! NAMAC Youth Media Impact Producer Jason Wyman is putting together a national panel to guide the process, leverage wisdom from the past, and identify the most pressing goals and challenges. Let’s get to work—contact Jason at jason@namac.org.

HatchLabs are a new kind of global storytelling workshop developed in the NAMAC Innovation Studio. Created in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation, HatchLabs will build creative strategy & storytelling muscles for nonprofit and civil society organizations. HatchLabs facilitate collaborations between filmmakers, movement leaders, scientists/technologists and communities, and offer new tools and opportunities for the voices of those most marginalized to be a central part of creative and social transformation. One-day labs lead to yearlong project-and-process mentorship and funding opportunities. Collaborate with NAMAC to do a HatchLab with your community, your grantees, and your creative partners. Contact Hatchlab Producer Mary Tahui An, mary@namac.org.

The NAMAC Conference is coming to Oakland June 9 – 12 2016. The website is live and earlybird registration is available. If you stopped going to NAMAC conferences, this is the year come back. An incredible lineup of speakers, performers and special guests will be on hand—including Jax DeLuca, the new head of Media Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Chief of Program and Pedagogy at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, artistic director of the 7-part HBO documentary Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country’s “greatest living artists.” Check out the lineup, suggest a panel or workshop for one of the Open Sessions and come join us in Oakland in June!

As always, let me know if you’d like to connect around a new idea, collaborate on a Video Roundtable, support our programs, add your voice. It’s what NAMAC is here for—wendy@namac.org.


Member News and Notes

Georgie Girl

POV and Women Make Movies are screening WMM classics
Celebrating 20+ years of collaboration, POV and Women Make Movies are streaming four acclaimed WMM documentaries this spring: Judith Helfand’s A Healthy Baby Girl (1997), Annie Goldson and Peter Wells’ Georgie Girl (2003), Jennifer Dworkin’s Love & Diane (2004), and Gemma Cubero and Celeste Carrasco’s Ella Es el Matador (2009).

SF Green Film Festival will announce program next month
The SF Green Film Festival is still two months away, but the full program line-up will be released next month, Wednesday, March 16th, at a party open to all SFGFF members.

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Media Policy Watch

Tell Chairman Wheeler: block the Time Warner-Charter merger

By Rose Kaplan

Twitter has been in the news lately, from its response to hacking, to its policies on abuse and harassment. In December, Twitter told more than 50 activists across Europe and North America that their accounts had been hacked by unidentified “state-sponsored actors,” The Guardian reported. Since then, activists have teamed up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to publish an open letter to Twitter asking for more information about the hacking attacks—to which Twitter has not responded, The Guardian reported last week.

In response to this situation and others like it, the EFF has teamed up with Visualizing Impact to launch onlinecensorship.org, aimed at encouraging transparency at social media companies, where users can submit reports of online social media censorship.

A proposed cable merger would create a single huge rival to Comcast: Charter wants to acquire Time Warner Cable as well as Bright House Networks; Charter and Comcast would offer nearly 80% of American homes, Free Press wrote last week. Charter recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a number of civil rights groups pledging to “expand programming targeting diverse audiences,” but historically, also via Free Press, such commitments have not resulted in significant shifts in programming.

Finally, a new Benton Foundation report by Dr. Colin Rhinesmith reveals some of the huge barriers to expanding broadband accessibility for low-income families. In “Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Broadband Adoption Initiatives,” Rhinesmith reports on digital-inclusion organizations’ outreach strategies to poor families—as Free Press noted last month, Broadband access for families making less than $20,000 per year has actually dropped in the past two years, from 46 to 41 percent.

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