CMSI Report: "Movies & Grassroots Community Engagement"

The Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI), a lab and research center based in Washington DC, has recently published 'Movies & Grassroots Community Engagement', written by Caty Borum Chattoo and Will Jenkins. This is the second volume of a two-volume report about documentary films’ growing impact on legislative change in the US. In effect, the publication advises documentary filmmakers how to develop an effective public-policy impact strategy.

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Can event cinema happen online?

How do we get more people to watch documentaries on the big screen, especially given that regular theatrical releases of docs mostly fail to reach the right audiences? Moving Docs proves that 'event cinema' is the answer – but how can I participate when I'm stuck at home? 

Event cinema appears to be the one thing that works: never just offer a simple film screening; always combine it with discussions, music, food and drink; better yet, hold these events in unusual places. Moving Docs partners have been good at that: In Cyprus, Lemesos International Documentary Festival held an outdoor screening on a beach, while Doc Lounge in Sweden has gone as far as screening a film in a swimming pool, their audience floating in the water. Slowly, as Fritz Kohle recently reported for Moving Docs from the IBC, the world of traditional cinema is waking up to the concept of event cinema, too.

But what about those of us who are stuck at home: as parents, due to illness, or in remote places? Do we have to miss out on the rise of event cinema? And what could Moving Docs do in order to make us feel part of it, easily, remotely, virtually?

It was in early 2016 – when we had to decide on the Moving Docs strategy for 2017 – that we all agreed we should look into virtual screening rooms that would enable us to bring event cinema to everyone – with a special focus on enabling online audiences to participate rather than just watch a one-directional live stream. And with a bigger question lurking in the long term: if such online events could be monetised through ticket sales for online participation.

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Who wants to see a documentary?

Moving Docs is excited to share news about positive trends concerning documentary audiences in Europe. Moving Docs enables a selection of European documentaries to cross borders and reach new audiences all over Europe. It is the very first initiative of its kind, powered by over 20 local and national partners across Europe, managed by the European Documentary Network, and supported by Creative Europe

Moving Docs data reveals that viewers across Europe are showing growing interest in watching documentaries on a diversity of platforms.  While the traditional theatrical release of documentaries remains financially viable in territories such as Germany, partner data reveals how the targeted release of issue-oriented theatrical documentaries and single event screenings are able to reach large, transnational audiences.

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How Moving Docs boosts its partners' reach through additional content

The Moving Docs initiative, coordinated by the European Documentary Network, brings together many regional and national documentary exhibitors across Europe including festivals, distributors, cinemas, and non-theatrical events.

The common aim is to combine everyone’s powers, both in enabling the acquisition of high-profile documentaries and in jointly developing and delivering audience engagement strategies.

Film & Campaign delivered a comprehensive report on Moving Docs’ online activities in 2016, including a range of recommendations. This new report focuses on developments in 2017, be they results of any measures taken or overall trends in social media use.

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The extraordinary release of Raving Iran

How did a niche documentary by a first-time director, about two unknown Iranian DJs, become one of Germany’s cinematic events of the year? Over 60,000 people in Germany have now seen Raving Iran, the debut feature by Susanne Regina Meures, and a year after its release the film continues to draw interest. On the occasion of the film's online launch in our MOVING DOCS Home Cinema, Kirstin Innes talked to Weronika Adamowska of Raving Iran’s distributors and Moving Docs partners, Rise and Shine Cinema, about how they did it.

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Weronika Adamowska at the Moving Docs Outreach Workshop in Athens

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Tim Horsburgh

Here's a recording from yesterday's Moving Docs online session (more info here) with Tim Horsburgh of Kartemquin Films.

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New survey: "Strategic Investments in the Future of Film"

Here's a new study by Europa Cinemas that may be of interest to Moving Docs partners and the wider industry.

It shows how – while consumer demand challenges the status quo – those venues that continuously invest are the ones that thrive and grow.

The report includes lots of case studies of cinemas across Europe and how they function as social spaces.

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Moving Docs session with Kartemquin

At the next Moving Docs online session for all of our screening partners, we’re looking across the pond again for some cutting-edge inspiration for the outreach work all of us are undertaking.

Kartemquin Films in Chicago have been making social-issue documentaries for more than 50 years – and outreach has been part of that from the very beginning: they’ve always taken their films to the people, they do lots of educational work, and also see themselves as media activists – for example advocating fair use. They’re best known for Hoop Dreams, one of the most successful American documentaries that also triggered a scholarship fund for school children. As an organisation, Kartemquin is not your ordinary production or distribution company either: they’re set up as a non-profit collaborative.

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The Cinema Audience in 2017

Fritz Kohle reports on the latest findings from and trends in audience analysis from IBC 2017.

Every year the film and TV industry gathers in Amsterdam at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) to discuss how technology is shaping content, production, distribution and exhibition. Past keynote speakers have included James Cameron and will.i.am, and panel discussions are led by illustrious figures such as Andrew Neill. Topics are broad-ranging: a recent discussion was called ‘Understanding Generation Z: where are they, how do you attract them and how do you make money from them?’.

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This year I attended the IBC sessions called ‘Who is your Cinema Audience in 2017?’ to discover how the industry is planning to exploit user data to make profit.

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A new season for Moving Docs: all films and two special campaigns announced

With a brand new selection of compelling documentaries and exciting campaigns ahead, the innovative doc screening and promotion platform Moving Docs is launching its next instalment. Upcoming highlights include the pan-European release of Christian Tod's Free Lunch Society and a photo competition in connection with the film Dolphin Man by Lefteris Charitos.

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