Annual Report 2010: Creative Programs

It was a transformative year for Creative Programming at BAVC.

The Producers Institute for New Media Technologies was global. Creative Programming staff spoke to international audiences on interactive documentary, emerging web 3.0 technologies, storytelling and social change, capacity-building for NGOs, and the role of public media in global communities. BAVC’s voice was heard at the United Nations, Skoll World Forum, Mozilla Drumbeat conference in Barcelona, The Australia International Documentary Conference, Documentary Edge New Zealand, Hot Docs in Toronto, Sundance Film Festival, Silverdocs, Media That Matters, and many other convenings around the world.

Two seminal projects from the Producers Institute, connecting filmmakers with new technology and social change partnerships, launched to great acclaim in 2010. The Working Group launched NotInOurTown.org, an interactive portal for national communities working together to combat hate crimes. There was a packed event at BAVC and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office named April 5th Not In Our Town Day. Producers Institute project IJCentral became a resource for concerned citizens around the world who want an effective International Criminal Court to prosecute perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. Producers Institute alumni Paco de Onis says of the project, “As the IJCentral network builds, our collective voice will become a way to press political leaders to fulfill the mandate of the ICC.”

In 2010, IJcentral launched “Ask The Prosecutor” through which any member of the global community with access to the Internet could ask a direct question to Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo of the International Criminal Court. In 2010, the award-winning site became the central digital news aggregator for the ICC, providing real-time geo-located data feeds, blogs, video stories, and breaking news from around the world.

In the Bay Area, thanks to support from the Creative Work Fund, BAVC worked with local artist Pamela Z on her new project Baggage Allowance. Baggage Allowance is a sonically and visually layered intermedia work developed jointly by Pamela Z and BAVC, and features three interconnected components: a solo multi-media performance, a gallery installation, and an interactive web portal – all with shared content and materials. The performance of Baggage Allowance had a bi-coastal premiere. The world premiere was at Z Space @ Theater Artaud, San Francisco in May 2010 and the New York premiere at The Kitchen in September 2010. Scored for voice with electronic processing, found text, fragments of recorded interviews, sampled sounds triggered via a gesture-activated MIDI controller, and multiple channels of interactive video, Baggage Allowance takes place on a set of non- conventional projection surfaces, and found props including antique luggage and vintage technology.

The BAVC 2010 MediaMaker Awards Program supported SF-based filmmaker Banker White to design and launch the new web portal for WeOwnTV.org. WeOwnTV launched in Sierra Leone by facilitating a month-long filmmaking workshop for 18 young men and women just outside the capital city Freetown. Leveraging a community-engaged curriculum in which project participants collaboratively create and produce their own independent media.

Also in 2010, BAVC MediaMaker Yoav Potash finished his documentary Crime After Crime: The Battle to Free Debbie Peagler, got into the Sundance Film Festival, and under the guidance of BAVC interaction design mentors, launched a website to bring a powerful campaign for justice for the wrongfully incarcerated into communities all over the country. The website features Debbie’s Campaign, a national nonprofit project aimed at bringing public attention and real change to the issues documented in the film. The project intends to fulfill Deborah’s vision that her story be told in order to help others.

Continuing the local to global theme, the 2010 Producers Institute for New Media Technologies developed new platforms and tools based on stories from Guatemala, India, Israel/Palestine, and Iraq. BAVC connected designers, developers and technical strategists from Google, Pentagram, and Child Count (among others) with award-winning producing teams to create new interactive story maps, mobile data collection tools, games, and much more.

In 2010, the work of Creative Programming at BAVC continued to define and embolden the “New Documentary Movement” around the world, and inspire the work of independent artists and partner organizations from Oakland to Calcutta in new models of storytelling and real civic engagement.