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What Documentary & Social Change Funders Want: Inside Scoop from the Investigative Film Festival

The importance of risk, storytelling and truth took center stage at the inaugural Investigative Film Festival: Double Exposure in Washington D.C. on October 1 and 2, 2015. In addition to screenings of acclaimed films, the festival featured a two-day symposium that convened filmmakers, journalists, funders, students and commissioning editors to exchange ideas, resources and best practices.

(From Left): Caty Borum Chattoo, John Cardellino, Lauren Pabst, Richard Logan

A particularly important issue for documentary filmmakers, investigative journalists and non-profit organizations alike is funding from the philanthropic community – major foundations, family foundations and other support organizations. CMSI Co-Director Caty Borum Chattoo led a conversation with panelists representing the Sundance Documentary Film Program, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Reva and David Logan Foundation as they discussed their funding strategies and insights for potential applicants.


Whistleblower Reunion: Edward Snowden Meets the COINTELPRO Burglars

At 100Reporters’ “Double Exposure” symposium in Washington, D.C., whistleblower Edward Snowden (via proxy servers), who released information on NSA spying, got to meet some of the team that broke into FBI headquarters in 1971 and released information on the infamous COINTELPRO operation. It was hard to tell who was more impressed with whom. Read more...

Journalism Goes Video in Magazines, Newspapers and TV Series

What kinds of opportunities are opening up for filmmakers and journalists in short-form video on news sites? The field is expanding rapidly, though most folks are still in experimental mode. 

At a panel at 100Reporters’ “Double Exposure” symposium in Washington, D.C., digital video programmers from several news media outlets explained how they’re building knowledge, brand and capacity at the same time.  Read more...

Got a Dangerous Doc? Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Can Help

 At the inaugural Investigative Film Festival: Double Exposure, reading the CMSI report Dangerous Docs, about lowering risks in telling truth to power, was instrumental in planning the symposium and film festival, associate producer Sky Sitney said. And it gave Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press an opportunity to expand its services.

Patricia Aufderheide and Bruce Brown

In a session showcasing the report, the executive director of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Bruce Brown, embraced the report’s conclusion that barriers between journalists and filmmakers should be lowered.Read more...

How a Strategic Alliance Helped Save the Internet: The Digital Futures Coalition

At a September conference at the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University’s Washington College of Law (WCL), participants recalled crucial, but little known public interest activism in the 1990s. At the heart of the story was WCL’s Peter Jaszi, who coordinated the Digital Future Coalition in the 1990s and designed the strategy for the fair use and free speech movement of the current day.Read more...