Featured Book The Film Business

SPARKS ~ VOL 2 ~ FEB 2016


Excerpts below are from the book Story Money Impact: Funding Media for Social Change, by Tracey Friesen. This series of nuggets and links is designed to inspire those driven to connect art & activism.


STORY Question: Is there one story element that for you is the most important?

Elise Pearlstein (Participant Media): When I’m evaluating material, I’m looking at who the characters are and what they’re engaged in. The most interesting characters tend to be in the moment of something happening to them, not past tense. Sometimes it can be really fascinating to explore recollections and memory, but there’s nothing better than being able to film somebody in the midst of action.

STORY Spark ~ Read Storytelling Matters (Participant Media)



MONEY Question: What first drew your attention to the value of documentary film?

Steve Cohen (Chicago Media Project/ Impact Partners): Impact Partners was my entree. I was always involved in grass-roots and advocacy organizations, and I certainly had the love for film, but I didn’t necessarily have an avenue that brought them both together. IP is a group of like-minded people who are spread out all over the country and have the desire to be involved in supporting impact strategies towards social change and have an orientation towards film and media as a tool for that.

MONEY Spark ~ Explore Chicago Media Project


IMPACT Question: What advice do you have for filmmakers in sourcing and approaching other partners?

Sheila Leddy (Fledgling Fund): If you are looking at nonprofit partners it’s really important to focus on the mutual benefit—not just how they can help you but how the film/campaign can help them, how it might reinforce their message, how it might help them broaden their own base, reach new audiences. It’s best not to lead with Can you send my film out to your list?, but to really think about creating authentic partnerships where you’re figuring out what the alignment is between the goals of these non-profit organizations and your own film and goals.

IMPACT Spark ~ Watch What is Film Impact? (Fledgling Fund)

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