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The 2021 Media Impact Forum
Session 4 is Wednesday, May 19
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April 2021—
26
1:00 pm

Zoom online meeting

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This program is organized by The International Documentary Association, JustFilms at the Ford Foundation and the Center for Media & Social Impact.

The past year has exposed long-standing fissures in the documentary ecosystem. Although the phrase “Golden Age of Documentary” gets bandied about, the narrative and economic wealth of this industry are inequitably divided. The challenges of the pandemic, the uprising for racial justice, and an economic recession have made inequities more clear and the status quo is not sustainable. And yet, we face tremendous opportunities for documentaries in the streaming media age. If we are to build documentary structures for the future, we must understand more about challenges and opportunities. Where is the abundance and where is the scarcity?

This panel will discuss research as a tool for reparative action in our documentary field. From the Center for Social Media’s State of the Field 2020 study and the Ford Foundation’s Beyond Inclusion to more informal membership scans, we will hear about a spectrum of field-led research efforts and the activism it inspires. Researchers and activists will discuss a range of research methods and strategies for putting the results to work for change.

Moderated by Chi-Hui Yang of Ford Foundation’s Just Films, with researchers Caty Borum Chattoo and Sahar Driver, and activists Sonya Childress and Lisa Valencia-Svensson.

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