Connecting Indies to community – July 2011

I wrote a couple of articles about educational distribution for IndieWire’s Hope For Film blog. These are mostly geared towards encouraging filmmakers to think beyond the standard theatrical and home video markets but I would also suggest sending them over to your film departments to hand out to students:

The first is how to begin the educational adventure:

The second are examples of making a difference using media in education:

A third article is in development about online and streaming media usage in the educational environment. It will include highlights from the College of Direct Support, and American Council for the Blind.

Working Title is being used to through a U.S. Department of State library program to help appreciate the living circumstances of being a fine artist. A recent user explained: “Importantly, this film goes a long way in making ‘artists’ analyze what that title means for themselves and it inspires the confidence to boldly accept and embrace who they are. I saw my students absolutely captivated by WORKING TITLE and it served as a great discussion starter.” — Edwin M. E. Smith, Bermuda College (

The Collector of Bedford Street won Best Story at the BOSI International Film Festival in Belgrade! (

Meanwhile, the trip to Uzbekistan that director Alice Elliott and self-advocate Diana Braun ( took continues to have an impact as the local disability movement enthusiastically explained:

Possible Future Utilities?

A startup company called Orson is looking to create a new website/software service for filmmakers that will focus on booking services like theater rentals and VOD outlets by themselves. However, they want filmmakers feedback in the process to make sure to cater to what filmmakers find important. If you’re interested in adding your 2 cents (as I can never stop myself from doing), you’ll find a survey here:

For those of you looking at both open source media and new developments in interactive production, a new program is in development called Zeega: “an open-source HTML5 platform for creating interactive documentaries”. It is in alpha. You can sign up for updates. Here is a story from the Harvard Gazette:


Connecting Indies to Community – April 2011

I’d like to share a great example of how to make media a part of the educational process. On March 10, MIT screened Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy ( and I spoke alongside a member of the disability advocacy group The Arc of Massachusetts. The event was a collaborative effort between the Student Disability Services department and the Women & Gender Studies division. MIT wrote a brief article about the event for its Undergraduate Newsletter “The Inside Scoop”, which can be found here (look about ½ way down the page):

If you’re looking to get a glimpse into Persian culture, created a portal with 24 films which are introduced and contextualized by scholars, sponsored by the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute at the following website: is in development to set up similar portals for Korea, Japan, and other countries in the near future. If you would like access to use these sites in your activities, please let me know. Note that all video content streams online only, no hard copies, but you’ll notice downloadable PDFs.

I am headed to the Popular Culture Association conference in Texas April 20-24. If you’re going, or interested in seeing if your material would fit into the conference, please let me know!

I will also be attending American Library Association in June in New Orleans, so let’s connect if you are also!

And just for the joy of sharing some history, a recent article from the American Library Association magazine…about the very first Black librarian in Florida. I hope to read her book soon:

Separately from media, my first theater directing project that I’ve been helping to develop for 3 years has been programmed into the Illuminating Artists Series run by the Emerging Artists Theater in its One Woman Standing section. The show is called Flozetta and was created for actress Amelia Fowler. The writer, Nadine Graham, Amelia and I have been close friends for over a decade and we’re really proud of what we’ve made. I hope you can share it with us, though the theater only has 100 seats so I don’t expect everyone to fit! Still, if you have plans to be in the NYC area on Sunday, May 15 at 6:00pm – the link to buy tickets (which are $10) is: