Guest Blogger – Robin Canfield
Guest Blogger – Robin Canfield is a filmmaker who works closely with Actuality Media to help students create documentaries that help to change the world.
“The world faces global challenges, which require global solutions. These interconnected global challenges call for far-reaching changes in how we think and act for the dignity of fellow human beings. It is not enough for education to produce individuals who can read, write and count. Education must be transformative and bring shared values to life. It must cultivate an active care for the world and for those with whom we share it. Education must also be relevant in answering the big questions of the day.”
The United Nations got it exactly right when they called for transformative education as necessary to change the world. This needs to be a central tenet in advancing social justice, and it always has been a part of the educational method at Actuality Media – our motto from the beginning has been “Make Movies. Change the World.” For years we’ve been taking students – like the crew of “Girls Like Us” which is screening this year at the Show Me Justice Film Festival – around the world to teach storytelling via making a short documentary about changemakers.
The global reach of this is easy to see when we’re taking crews out to Tanzania, Nepal or Peru – but that it’s having a global effect can’t be taken for granted. Making sure our subject changemakers have access to the films to use for self-promotion is essential, and beyond that we work to find festivals in the area where we filmed so that local audiences will also hear every important story we have to tell. If a changemaker we are filming with has a great solution to a local problem, we want other locals to know – as well as people across the world who may be able to adapt that solution. Another of our films from 2016 – “Cada Gota Cuenta” with the water filter-making organization EcoFiltro is an easy example, as cheap and effective water filters are needed the world over. Wanting to make the knowledge of how it’s done available is a perfect example of sharing values important to social justice around the globe.
A gathering in Nairobi to screen three just-completed short documentary films with locals and crews.
Of course, bringing those stories back home is an important step as well – in is not just for the rest of the world to move forward on social justice, and inspiration is needed just as much here at home. For all of the work Actuality Media does abroad, we find it difficult to launch Documentary Outreaches here in the United States, and I would like to applaud all the filmmakers at Show Me Justice who have covered stories at home. We are always looking for ways to push the creation of stories about changemakers here, and 2017 has seen the introduction of our new Changemaker In Your Community Documentary Competition which will see the winner receive a 100% scholarship towards one of our 2017 Documentary Outreaches, and (fingers crossed) will see at least a few films come in that you will see here at Show Me Justice in 2018!
Demonstrating where our values lie at home makes for a more certain base to reach from as we advance social justice around the globe. Making movies that capture these values, that tell stories of people who embody these values, is a key part of the solution to the global challenges of today and we should all be proud to be a part of this change – but not forget there is always more to be done.
photo by Andrea Garcia MárquezBy Robin Canfield