Empowering Media That Matters

The Center for
Media & Social Impact

The Center for Media & Social Impact is an innovation lab and research center that studies, designs and showcases media for social impact.

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The Center's latest report examines risks and resources for filmmakers challenging the status quo. 

Visual arts community launches Code of Best Practices in Fair Use!

Just Released! Public TV remains leading source of diverse programming.

“Stand Up Planet” Impact Evaluation Demonstrates Power of Comedy for Change

Our latest report takes an in-depth look at the range of media impact tools currently available.

Media That Matters

Josh Oppenheimer Wants to Reinvent the Human Rights Film

The Look of SilenceAt the Based on a True Story conference associated with the True/False Film Fest, filmmaker Josh Oppenheimer explained why his latest film, The Look of Silence, is not about past genocide but about current trauma.

The maker’s earlier Oscar-nominated work, The Act of Killing, followed Indonesian gangsters who are still congratulating themselves on their work in the mid-1960s murdering workers who were accused of being Communists. In The Look of Silence, he follows a survivor—the younger brother of a man whose murder was, unusually, witnessed. The survivor begins a process of confronting murderers who are still supported by the most powerful political forces in the society.

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Visual Arts Community Embraces Fair Use Code

At the annual College Art Association conference, the news was about fair use. 

Thousands of attendees received a copy of the just-created Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. At the Committee on Intellectual Property’s annual panel, Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi joined CAA Board President Dewitt Godfrey, a sculptor; Anne Goodyear, a museum curator; Christine Sundt, a journal editor; and CAA’s counsel Jeffrey Cunard to introduce members to the resources.

As members asked questions, panelists were able to showcase the related resources for them, including an FAQ that included answers to all the questions audience members raised.

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Fair Use Question of the Month: Teaching About Copyrighted Art

Dear CMSI,

Next Fall I'll be teaching art history for the first time. I've got some great donations of slides from fellow profs, as well as my own photographs from museums, monuments, books, and websites - but I don't have permission for any of this, and at least half of it is probably copyrighted. How much can I do with it? I'd like to show it in class and put relevant slides up on the class (password-protected) website.

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Hunting Ground Registers Impact on Its Debut

The Hunting GroundThe Hunting Ground, the latest film from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War), vividly demonstrates the power of well-told stories to effect change. At a private screening in Washington, D.C just before its opening on Feb. 27, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) discussed legislation to address the issues it raises about rape on campus.

Through interviews with women and men from campuses private, public and religious; old and ivied and mall-like regional; and from cozily small to anonymously big, The Hunting Ground shows the prevalence of rape and its long-term consequences of PTSD and disrupted lives.

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