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Journalism, Web Docs Are Key Topics at AFI Docs Conference

'FRONTLINE executive producer Raney Aronson-Rath delivers the keynote address at AFI Docs.This article was original published on Documentary.org (Documentary magazine) by the International Documentary Association. 

"Why isn't FRONTLINE more like Minecraft?"

In her keynote address to the AFI DOCS Filmmaker ConferenceFRONTLINE executive producer Raney Aronson-Rath relayed her 9-year-old son’s question posed at an MIT Open Docs Media Lab event. (For the uninitiated, Minecraft, the virtual reality creation game, is the hottest activity around for the most native of digital-natives, the pre-tween iPad generation.) Aronson-Rath spoke of being inspired at her week-long immersion into nonlinear storytelling ideation at MIT, and the importance of paying attention to the Minecraft question—and a Minecraft-playing audience—as the future of documentary storytelling continues to unfold.

For the filmmakers, strategists, industry professionals and film students in attendance at this year’s Conference (June 18-19), the future of documentary was a central theme, along with risk-taking in the blurred lines between documentary storytelling and investigative journalism. The Washington, DC-based conference, presented in partnership with IDA, also focused on its own native themes: the deep impact and connection between documentaries and public policy, legislation and public affairs.Read more...

Nuestra Cuba: Women, Filmmaking and Equality

Young girls in Regla, HavanaAfter the Cuban revolution of 1959, cinema would become a major component in the socio-political revolution of the Cuban consciousness. Some filmmakers would experience a rise to fame, while the names of other filmmakers were almost forgotten in the public memory.  In March, as a graduate MFA candidate in the American University School of Communication, I embarked on the filming of Nuestra Cuba (Our Cuba), a documentary that follows the untold stories of the Institute of Cuban Cinematographic Art and Industry’s (ICIAC) first women and Afro-Cuban filmmakers: Sara Gomez and Gloria Rolando.  Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Exhibitions of Copyrighted Art

Protest artDear CMSI,

I work at a museum and I’m on a team that’s putting together an exhibition on art emerging from twenty-first-century protest movements, with a web component and an interactive, online catalogue. Some of the art is digital, some is ephemeral, some of it was created anonymously. I already have access to most of it, but do I need to get permissions before I can use it? Read more...

CMSI Co-director Brigid Maher's Social Impact Documentary THE MAMA SHERPAS: MIDWIVES ACROSS AMERICA Premieres in California

From left: Executive Producers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein; Director/Producer Brigid Maher; Co-Producer Kari Barber and Associate Producer Kelsey Marsh. Photo taken by: Jenny Quicksall PhotographyNearly four years after having a VBAC delivery attended by a hospital nurse-midwife, CMSI co-director Brigid Maher’s social impact documentary The Mama Sherpas: Midwives Across America premiered this week at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, CA and at the UCSF Nursing School in San Francisco, CA. Executive producers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (The Business of Being Born) were in attendance.

The premiere events were organized to raise awareness about barriers to midwifery practice and specifically brought light to California AB1306, a full practice authority bill currently pending in CA legislatureRead more...

Former CMSI Graduate Fellow Kelsey Marsh Wins Jury Award in "Diversity in Cannes" Short Film Showcase

Kelsey Marsh accepts the Jury Award at "Diversity in Cannes"Former CMSI Graduate Fellow Kelsey Marsh recently won the Jury Award at the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase for her film Noncritical.

The 20-minute short film follows the journey of Valencia Harris, a mother struggling to bring media and police attention to her daughter's disappearance. Unique Harris, a mother of two from southeastern DC, went missing from her home on October 10, 2010. Her disappearance was initially classified as "non-critical".  Read more...