Documentary & Independent Media

CMSI chronicles the crucial issues facing independent, documentary and public media – as well as the dynamic evolution in the contemporary media era. Through reports and investigations, CMSI highlights analysis of independent, documentary and/or public media projects, identifies technology and policy trends, and discusses topics necessary to tackle issues central to our democracy.

Beyond the Impact Report - Executive Summary and Key Findings

Examining what’s really needed to produce and sustain Social Impact in documentary film

The Lens Reflected: What Stories & Storytellers Get the Green Light in Documentary’s Streaming Age?"

New Study From The Center For Media & Social Impact Reveals Race and Gender Disparities Among Documentary Directors And Protagonists

Negotiating Social Impact Rights in Documentary Film

The Negotiating Social Impact Rights in Documentary Film guide provides tangible guidance to assist filmmakers working in social impact today. It is aimed at helping filmmakers, especially independent and relatively new filmmakers, navigate their social impact work in the multi-platform, streaming age of documentary. It also offers recommendations for how effective collaborations with sales agents and funders can help support filmmaker efforts around social impact.

State of the Documentary Field

CMSI's biennial State of the Documentary Field study, in association with the International Documentary Association (IDA), was first launched in 2016 to investigate the contemporary experiences of all documentary professionals.This initiative is supported by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts' Media Arts program. In 2020, the survey went global.

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