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MediaStorm Launches Storytelling Projects for Summit Public Schools, ICTJ, and the Aftermath Project

Wondering what we’ve been up to these past few months? We’ve been working hard on these storytelling projects to create impact in these challenging times.

Developing an Immersive Experience for Summit Public Schools

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This summer, we partnered with Summit Public Schools–a transformative charter management organization and nonprofit that uses personalized learning to prepare a diverse population for success in college, career, and life. Summit’s results are amazing–96% of its graduates are accepted into at least one four-year college and its students finish college at double the national average.

To help Summit demystify its process and pedagogy so other educators can implement its model, we built an interactive website that combines video and interaction design to demonstrate what it’s like to teach, learn, and thrive at Summit Public Schools.

The toolset is already having an impact, as more and more educators learn how to implement personalized learning in their schools, helping each child reach his or her potential.

I Am Not Who They Think I Am for the International Center for Transitional Justice

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We know that in the hands of the right partner, film has the power to move people to action. Our experience with ICTJ demonstrates just how much impact a film can have.

“I Am Not Who They Think I Am” tells the story of Janet and Stella, two women from northern Uganda who were abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) when they were teenagers and bore children during their captivity. After eight years as hostages of Joseph Kony’s army, they escaped—together with their children—and are trying to reintegrate back into society in Gulu, amidst stigma and rejection from their community. This is the story of their fight for inclusion.

“I Am Not Who They Think I Am” was first screened for local communities in Kampala and Gulu, in October. Following these screening Janet Arach and Stella Lanam have been awarded the EU 2017 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

We are confident that with ICTJ’s continued leadership, the film will raise awareness of the consequences of wartime sexual violence for survivors around the world.

10-Year Anniversary Film for The Aftermath Project

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The Aftermath Project, a nonprofit visual storytelling organization, has spent the past ten years telling the unreported story of how countries and communities struggle to rebuild post-conflict. In supporting photographers to document these stories from around the world, it creates a powerful visual narrative of the true costs of war. This film, created for its ten-year anniversary, pays tribute to the photographers of the Aftermath Project and its influence on how we tell the story of war.

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“I Am Not Who They Think I Am” Film Premiere

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Join the International Center for Transitional Justice and MediaStorm for the launch of a short documentary narrating the struggle for redress of children born of wartime sexual violence in Northern Uganda. A panel discussion will follow, featuring:

Abigail Disney, documentary filmmaker and producer of the Women, War and Peace series
Lauren Wolfe, Director, WMC Women Under Siege
Tanya Karanasios, deputy program director of WITNESS
Sarah Kasande, the head of ICTJ’s office in Uganda
Moderator: Virginie Ladisch, director of ICTJ’s Children and Youth Program.

The screening will be held on Thursday, February 2, at the Open Society Foundations building at 224 West 57th Street, starting at 6pm.

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Worth Watching #154: Good Morning by Already Alive

Captures the emotion and uncertainty many are feeling right now. – Brian Storm

Good Morning from Already Alive.

See what else we think is Worth Watching.

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Undesired Featured at the Brooklyn Human Rights Film Festival

We are so thrilled to announce that Undersired, a film by Walter Astrada and MediaStorm, will be featured on January 25th and 26th at the Brooklyn Human Rights Film Festival.

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The Brooklyn Human Rights Film Festival features short films on human rights and social justice, focusing on women’s rights, refugees and incarceration. The evenings will also host debate opportunities to support local and global communities.

Undesired by Walter Astrada

Undesired tells the story of women in India who face intense pressure to bear a son and the activists who fight for gender equality.

Please join us for this special event. Samia Khan, Director of Partnerships, will be speaking at a panel after the screening on Wednesday January 25th.

The screenings will take place on:

Wednesday, January 25, from 7-9pm at Berg’n, 899 Bergen Street, Crown Heights

Thursday, January 26, from 6-8pm, at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, at 30 John St., DUMBO

To buy tickets, please click here.

 

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The Long Night Advocates Help Shut Down Backpage.com

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On Monday, January 9th, Backpage.com, one of the world’s largest classified ads sites, closed its adults ads section. Advocates against sex trafficking hail this closure as a victory, as Backpage has been accused by a scathing U.S. Senate report of hiding criminal activity by deleting terms from ads that indicated sex trafficking or prostitution, including of children.

Natalie, the fifteen-year old girl from suburban Seattle who was forced into prostitution and is featured in The Long Night, has been an advocate in this case, claiming that her pimp used Backpage to fuel his business, and her enslavement.

With the help of the ads posted on Backpage, Natalie was repeatedly raped every single day, bringing in as much as $4,000 a weekend – every penny of which would go to her pimp.  With that much money on the table, her pimp became increasingly aggressive and abusive. Natalie had no way to escape.

When her mother, Nacole, an adamant anti-trafficking advocate, first learned of the ads on Backpage, she was shocked. “I live in an American town, how can my kid be sold on the Internet?”

108 days after her disappearance, Natalie’s Backpage ad was targeted as part of a sting by the Seattle Vice Squad. There, she was rescued by officers who understood her situation and have since helped her testify in the case against her pimp. Her pimp, Baruti Hopson, has been sentenced to 26 and a half years in prison for promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor.

Natalie and Nacole, very simply, are our role models. They used their pain and tragic experience to become strong voices against the sexual exploitation of minors. In helping to close the adult ad section of Backpage, they have made the world just a little bit safer for our children. We thank you for all you have done and hope that in documenting your experiences in The Long Night, we made this fight, a little easier too.

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