National Geographic President Gary Knell (above left) welcomed attendees to the June 3 celebration of the Media Impact Festival’s award winners at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC:
The Invisible War received this year’s Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media, presented by Elizabeth Christopherson of the Rita Allen Foundation (below at right).
The Ford Foundation received the Woodward A. Wickham Award for Excellence in Media Philanthropy for their support of American Promise, presented by Kathy Im of The MacArthur Foundation (below at left), where Wickham took point on public media investments for many years.
Want to learn more about how documentary films can be used to shed light on issues and move audiences and influencers to action? See in-depth case studies of the campaigns for these two winning films, plus our eight other Media Impact Festival selections: After Tiller, A Place at the Table, Blackfish, Bully, Gasland Parts I and II, Give Up Tomorrow, The Act of Killing, and the Interrupters.
The festival also provided a chance to forge valuable new partnerships with other organizations taking a deeper look at social impact films. Thanks to BRITDOC for sharing their powerful framework for evaluating documentaries and collaborating with us to showcase their Puma Impact Award winners as five of our ten festival selections. We also launched a new initiative with the California Endowment to showcase the Communications Strategies that Fast Track Policy Change research produced by Hershey Cause, including a their own hot-off-the-presses examination of The Invisible War.
In addition to presenting the Woody Wickham and Henry Hampton Awards, Media Impact Funders board member Joy Thomas Moore (pictured above with Media Impact Funders Board Chair David Haas) also offered special recognition to Evelyn Gibson, who organized the Film and Video Festival at the Council on Foundations for nearly 30 years. Evelyn was not able to join us in person, but she received a crystal award inscribed with the following: “Evelyn Gibson For her Commitment to Documentary Film, June 3, 2014.”
Many thanks as well to our festival chair Juliette Feeney-Timsit, to our expert panel of nominators — Renee Branch, Sonya Childress, Rachel Grady, Kathy Im, Beth Janson, Joy Thomas Moore, Debika Shome, Sky Sitney, and Rahdi Taylor—for their insight and dedication, and to the Rita Allen Foundation for their support of the festival.