May, 8, 2009

“Story Leads to Action” Summit at 92YTribeca

Working Films Summit — Linking Non-Fiction Films to Cutting Edge Activism.

Screening (Wet Dreams and False Images, The Guarantee and 34x25x36) with workshop and panel discussion.

What an experience! Providing a huge amount of feedback and specific outreach strategies, the event was incredibly helpful. I came away with a large stack of note cards that I am still sorting through – with input from audience members and the panelists about strategic ways the films can be used and who to reach out to. Especially useful was insight from Karina Lynch (panelist from Educational Alliance) and Amy Levine (Sex Ed. Educator) about the process of getting films “approved” for schools. They suggest organizing pilot screenings at High Schools and After-School programs which can be models for more educators. I have screened the films at high schools and after-schools but didn’t quite know how to best build on these screenings to reach out to more institutions. Going to have a follow up meeting with Karina Lynch from Ed. Alliance and make a game plan.

Planning also to follow up on the panel and meet with Connect about partnering on a screening series in barbershops in NYC. Connect has been doing some community outreach and organizing in barbershops and seems like a great partner to help develop a screening kit. My plan is to co-host a pilot screening with barbers from the film Wet Dreams and False Images and have them lead the Q&A.;

After hearing feedback from the awesome girls on the panel from the Lower East Side Girl’s Club it seems like a co-ed screening might be the most effective.

Overall I have to say it was incredibly exciting and energizing to think about new ways the films can be used outside of traditional distribution models. I’m grateful that the films were part of this think-tank with such a high-level panel!

The panel included wonderful people from the Lower East Side Girl’s Club,Educational Alliance, Connect, two Media literacy experts, a Sex Educator who works with teens and parents, and a High School teacher from Brooklyn (who happens to be Dee Dee the barber’s sister).

Now that I have really begun to connect with potential project advisors and partner organizations, the work that needs to be done to get the films into the hands of educators and activists seems more specific and is starting to feel manageable. I’m excited build on the connections made at the “story leads to action mini-summit”  this really does feel like team building rather than something I need to do on my own.

Big thanks to Working FilmsChicken & Egg Pictures, and The Fledgling Fund!