Annual Report 2009: Creative Programs

Increasing the global impact of independent producers and non-profits

Adapting to ever-changing media workflows and technologies, and the subsequent changing needs of our community, BAVC's Creative Programming has evolved over the last several years. Still driven by the goal of helping independent producers increase the impact of their media, we now focus less on providing traditional access to equipment and services than on incubating new multi-platform applications of media that extend and deepen audience engagement and participation.

BAVC's Producers Institute for New Media Technologies is the cornerstone of these efforts and through that work BAVC has been invited to share our experiences at festivals and conferences around the world. In 2009, BAVC's Director of Creative Programming participated in panels and presentations at the: Sundance Film Festival; Australian International Documentary Conference; Documentary New Zealand Summit; Sheffield Documentary Festival; and lots more.

Producers Institute for New Media Technologies

Since 2007, BAVC's Producers Institute for New Media Technologies has provided an incubator for transmedia and interactive projects that further social issue storytelling. The Institute works to connect independent producers and their documentary content to emerging models of storytelling and distribution. Utilizing high-level technical mentors, developers, and consultants from the public and private sectors, the 10-day Institute has been a key factor in developing new creative work that is changing the face of documentary production, creating a platform for ideas that integrate social innovation, civic engagement and art practice, and catalyzing global communities with story-driven tools for social change.

In 2009, eight teams of producers came from across the world to convene at BAVC for intensive project creation for multi-platform delivery. The Institute's reputation within the independent media community, as well as the caliber of accepted projects, has gained significant momentum over the past three years, and several projects from the 2009 Institute received significant foundation support and distribution deals as a direct result of applications and tools they developed at the Institute.

2009 PRODUCERS INSTITUTE PROJECTS

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"American Meat"
Project Directors: Graham Meriweather and Alejandro de Onis

"American Meat" is a documentary that explores the impact of the recent economic downturn on industrial agriculture by following Joel Salatin, a visionary farmer in Virginia who is leading a small but growing group of farmers looking to expand the influence of local small-scale farms. At the Producers Institute, project leaders Alejandro De Onis and Graham Meriweather, and developer Tom Haskins-Vaughan architected a plan to bring farmers and communities to a "digital dinner table" by integrating the film within an e-commerce and social networking context.

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"Deep Down"
Project Directors: Jennifer Gilomen and Sally Rubin

The documentary "Deep Down" tells the intimate, human story of a town deep in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky, where coal, and mountain-top removal miningl is king. At the Producers Institute, co-directors Jennifer Gilomen and Sally Rubin prototyped a 3D virtual mine in Second Life in order to bring the experience of mountaintop removal mining to a new level.

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"The Elders Project"
Project Director: Marc Boothe, B3 Media

"The Elders Project" is a major cross-media project from B3Media in the UK that will engage inter-generational participants using a combination of photography, oral history, video, spoken word, text and interactive digital platforms to document and preserve the untold stories of the first generation of African-Caribbean settlers who came to Britain in the early 50's. At the Institute, the B3 team designed a three-tiered model of both live physical and virtual spaces where participants experience and create content through a remix interface in the tradition of ‘call and response.