Media That Matters Hosts Important Public Media Forum (Feb. 19)


Has a community screening of “Independent Lens” or “POV” film changed the way you look at the world?

Has a particular film captured your voice and your struggles?

If so, we need your help!

Please attend the D.C Media That Matters event on Thursday, February 19 (details below)

This is a FREE Event – RSVP Eventbrite


Public TV and Independent, Point of View Documentary

Thursday, February 19
6:30 – 8:00pm
Malsi Doyle & Michael Forman Theater
2nd Floor, McKinley Building
American University Campus

Does public TV need independent and underrepresented voices? Do independent and underrepresented voices need public TV? When WNET contemplated moving Independent Lens and POV off the prime-time schedule in December, it triggered a nation-wide protest. WNET and PBS restored the series to the schedule until May, and promised to hold a listening tour. At this public hearing, viewers, organization heads, and filmmakers talk with public TV executives. Join them!


Moderator: Melissa Houghton, WIFV*
Tamara Gould, ITVS
Eliza Licht, POV
Ivana Jackson, WHUT*
Marie Nelson, PBS
Bernardo Ruiz, Quiet Pictures (“Los Graduados/The Graduates”)
Rick Schneider, WETA
Stephen Segaller, WNET
Andy Shallal, Busboys and Poets*
Joseph Tovares, CPB
Larry Unger, MPT

Read Variety article for more information and background for these public forms in several cities.

See highlights from the forum in San Francisco:

If you’re willing to make a short personal testimonial in front of the panel, contact indiecaucus[at]gmail[dot]com.

*Community Cinema [DC] partner

Filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris – “Through a Lens Darkly” online screening (Feb. 18)

THROUGHLENSD_Shareable_01A copy

Harris at 2015 NAACP Image Awards

Harris at 2015 NAACP Image Awards

Wednesday, February 18 at 3p ET, join the online screening of the NAACP Image Award winner ‪THROUGH A LENS DARKLY and chat live with filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris, photo scholar Deborah Willis and other guests. Inspired by Willis’ groundbreaking book, Reflections in Black, THROUGH A LENS DARKLY is the first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity of African Americans from slavery to the present.

Harris and his film team will share highlights from the Digital Diaspora Family Road Show, a touring Roadshow that travels across the African Diaspora to uncover the hidden treasures in family photographic archives. Share your family photos using your OVEE profile avatar or on Twitter using the hashtag #1World1Family for this exciting conversation on telling stories through photographs.

THROUGH A LENS DARKLY will have its television premiere Monday, February 16 on the PBS series “Independent Lens” (check local listings).

Join the OVEE online screening and chat Wednesday, February 18 – LINK:

ThomasAllenHarrisTHOMAS ALLEN HARRIS – Director, Writer, Producer, “Through a Lens Darkly,” winner of 2015 NAACP Image Award for best documentary. His critically acclaimed documentary, “É Minha Cara/That’s My Face” (2001), premiered at the Toronto, Sundance, and Tribeca Film Festivals and won seven international awards, including the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury of Christian Churches at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival. A recipient of the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, CPB/PBS Producers and Sundance Directors Fellowships, Thomas is also the filmmaker for “Tears From Lagos,” and ” Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela.” Thomas is is the founder and president of Chimpanzee Productions, a company dedicated to producing unique audiovisual experiences that illuminate the human condition and the search for identity, family, and spirituality. A graduate of Harvard College, Harris lectures widely on the use of media as a tool for social change.

deb-willisDEBORAH WILLIS – Deborah Willis, Ph.D., is chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Professor Willis and has an affiliated appointment as University Professor with the College of Arts and Sciences, Africana Studies also at NYU. Professor Willis has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Fletcher, and MacArthur fellowships, the Infinity Award in Writing from the International Center for Photography, and recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation Award. Named one of the “100 Most Important People in Photography” by American Photography magazine she is one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography and curators of African American culture.

A Path Appears preview focuses on Poverty – Q&A with Ed Lazere (Jan. 25)

The negative impacts of poverty and income inequality in the District are clear. The District lost half of its low-cost housing in a decade, and the typical low-income family spends two-thirds of its income for rent and utilities. Homelessness has increased to crisis levels. Progress in improving education outcomes is confounded by a high rate of child poverty, with thousands of children coming to school with stress, malnutrition, and other barriers to succeeding academically.

DC Fiscal Policy Report: Reducing Inequality, Increasing Opportunities for DC Residents: Recommendations to the New Mayor and DC Council

Ed Lazere

Ed Lazere, executive director for the DC Fiscal Policy Institute is the guest speaker for the Community Cinema [DC] preview of  A PATH APPEARS. The January 25 screening (5 PM) at Busboys and Poets (14th & V) will feature the 2nd episode from the mini-series, “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty.”

path-appears_email-shareable-web_imageA PATH APPEARS is from the creative team behind the groundbreaking series Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. The series follows author/reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and celebrity activists Malin Akerman, Mia Farrow, Ronan Farrow, Jennifer Garner, Regina Hall, Ashley Judd, Blake Lively, Eva Longoria, and Alfre Woodard to locations throughout the United States, Colombia, Haiti, and Kenya, as they explore the roots of gender inequality, the devastating impact of poverty, and the ripple effects that follow — including sex trafficking, teen pregnancy, gender-based violence, and child slavery. In their travels, they meet with inspiring activists who are creating effective solutions to gender-based oppression, transforming lives, and providing a roadmap for sustainable future change. Based on the book by Kristof and WuDunn, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity (a copy will be given away as a door prize at the event), the three-part series, a pillar program of the Women and Girls Lead initiative, premieres as a special presentation of “Independent Lens” on three consecutive Monday nights, January 26, February 2, and February 9, 2015 at 10/9c (check local listings) on PBS.

Ed has led the work of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute since its inception in 2001. Under his leadership, DCFPI has become the primary source of independent information on the DC budget and one of the most influential policy organizations focused on the District. Lazere is recognized as a leading expert on the District’s budget and tax system, and he is looked to as a resource on a number of policy issues such as affordable housing and welfare-to-work programs.

Ed’s work at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute has received numerous honors, including awards from Bread for the City, the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the DC Employment Justice Center, the DC Primary Care Association, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, DC Jobs With Justice, and the Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council. He is cited frequently in the media, including The Washington Post, the Washington Business Journal, WAMU, WTOP and numerous blogs.

Ed served as the Chair of the Public Education Finance Reform Commission in 2011-2012 and a member of the DC Tax Revision Commission in 2012-13. Lazere also serves on the board of directors of a number of local non-profits, including the Children’s Law Center, the Consumer Health Foundation, the DC Primary Care Association, and Temple Micah.

Ed earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Maryland