“Documentaries and the Corporate World: Uniting for Global Challenges”
Moderated by: Sharon Anderson Morris, Managing Director, FiReFilms
Filmmakers in Attendance:
-Roger Ressmeyer, Director and Producer, Visions of Tomorrow
-Robert Stone, Director, Pandora’s Promise
-Josh Tickell, Producer / Director of FUEL and PUMP!
-Louie Schwartzberg, Founder, Moving Art
The breakout session highlighted the current projects of four distinguished filmmakers that have been in attendance at FiRe. As the session began, they went around the room and each filmmaker explained who they were, what passions and issues drive them as a filmmaker, and segments from their current works were shown. Topics covered included environmental issues such as the future of nuclear power, America’s addiction to oil, the role of mushrooms in our ecosystem, in addition to a visionary project about the power of positive thinking and it’s role in shaping our future world.
After the intro presentation from each of the filmmakers, a robust discussion began about the types of films and issue trends that the participants in the room would like to see addressed in future films. Issues identified included the commoditization of human beings in the international slave and sex trades, the growing economic, political, and social gaps that are surfacing and causing issues in the developed world, and continued emphasis on global warming and climate change.
Key Takeaways from the session:
- Making a film takes a certain level of passion and dedication to a particular issue and must be a labor of love to get it to the finish line. Fundraising is never a complete process.
- The questions of funding and new models of distribution are ever present in the current world of documentary filmmaking. No one has yet to figure out an efficient model to solve these problems.
- A brand new distribution model for documentaries- simultaneous international release on iTunes in 25 countries, will be attempted for the first time by Robert Stone, Director of Pandora’s Promise. He is uncertain what the result will be, but curious to see if this will be a viable model going forward.
- Last year’s Sundance Film Festival only included one documentary on environmental issues. This is a major festival for social change documentary filmmaking, and this fact left the crowd wondering why this was the case. This fact helped lead into the discussion of what films they would like to see made in the near future.
- FiReFilms will continue to work to reach out to the SNS Network to help make and spread the word about social change documentary film, in addition to further defining the role that it can best play in this process.