My So-Called Enemy, Sunday on Global Voices

This Sunday on Global Voices, filmmaker Lisa Gossels presents the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through a human lens in her documentary, My So-Called Enemy. The film begins in July 2002, when twenty-two Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls traveled to the US to participate in a ten-day women’s leadership program. My So-Called Enemy is about six of those girls and how the transformative experience of knowing their “enemies” as human beings meets with the realities of their lives at home in the Middle East over the next seven years. In this post, Gossels shares her motivation for making this film.

There’s many things that a person might look like and you’re one hundred percent positive who they are. And when you talk to them, you’re shocked that they’re completely the opposite. Like whoever looks at me, “No way you’re an Arab.” But I go like, “Oh, dude, I am an Arab!” So, don’t concentrate on the first impression. If you think you don’t like the person, approach them to know who they really are.
-Rawan (Palestinian, Muslim)

by Lisa Gossels, Director

When I introduce My So-Called Enemy at screenings, I always say that making the film was an eight-year journey of both learning and unlearning for me – and a stripping away of personal narratives that I was raised with.  My hope as a documentarian is that audiences will experience some of that same transformation when they watch the movie.

I live in downtown Manhattan and shortly after 9/11, I remember engaging in some heated political conversations with close friends about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. When I tried to express any nuance in those discussions, I came to understand how wars could be fought on words and how easy it is to reduce conflicts to black and white terms. At a conference two months earlier, I had the privilege of meeting Melodye Feldman (the founder of Building Bridges for Peace), and four participants from her just-completed summer program. After listening to the girls’ dramatic stories about how the program had changed them, I begged Melodye to let me film her program the next year! I was excited that Building Bridges for Peace empowers teenage girls because, as Nicholas Kristof wrote, “Focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism.” Continue reading

Ask the Expert: Writing the ITVS Treatment

Programming Manager N’Jeri Eaton hosted an informative webinar last week, reviewing the new Open Call submission process and providing insight into writing the ITVS treatment. This archived webinar is available for those who were unable to attend or are looking to brush up on their treatment knowledge. 

Treatment Webinar from ITVS_VIDEO on Vimeo.

“Writing the ITVS Treatment” was the first in a series of webinars ITVS is hosting in an effort to provide more resources for filmmakers applying to Open Call. The following weekly webinars will be held in the lead up to this year’s deadline:

July 17th
Work-in-Progresses That Work Webinar (https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/q19c8)

July 24th
ITVS Budgeting Basics Webinar

July 31st
Open Call Live Chat

Please note, ITVS will be accepting Open Call applications through Friday, August 8th. For more information about the Open Call initiative or ITVS funding in general, please go to the updated funding pages on our website. And stay tuned to our blogTwitter and Facebook!

Diversity Development Fund: An Inside Look at the Submission Process

Programming Manager N’Jeri Eaton hosted an informative live chat last Thursday to answer any submission questions for the Diversity Development Fund. ITVS will be accepting applications through Friday, August 16th.

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While the chat has come and gone, check out the archived conversation below for helpful submission tips and insights. The original chat can be viewed here.

N’Jeri:

Hi everyone. Thanks for joining us. Looks like we have a small group today. But that just means more time for you to get all of your pressing questions in. My name is N’Jeri Eaton and I’m a programming manager here at ITVS.

Hakeem:

Hello!

N’Jeri:

I manage the Diversity Development Fund. The deadline for the fund is Friday, August 16th at 5pm PT. We’re also going digital for the first time this year. So please make sure to check our site and read about our new online application process. Continue reading

The Diversity Development Fund Is Now Accepting Applications

ITVS is seeking applications for the Diversity Development Fund (DDF) through Friday, August 16th.

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DDF provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding to independent producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television.  Projects should speak to the ITVS mission to serve underrepresented audiences with programs that take creative risks, explore complex issues, inspire dialogue, and express points of view seldom seen on commercial or public television. Please note that the new deadline is FRIDAY, AUGUST 16th.

To date, projects selected for the Diversity Development Fund have had national broadcasts on Independent Lens and P.O.V., and have leveraged support from organizations including the National Minority Consortia, the Sundance Doc Fund, Creative Capital Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ford Foundation.

Funding activities may include travel, research, script development, preliminary production for fundraising/work-in-progress reels, or other early phase activities.

DDF accepts:

  • Producers from cultural and ethnic communities historically underrepresented on public television.
  • Single documentaries
  • Projects not yet in production

Join Programming Manager N’Jeri Eaton for a Diversity Development Fund live chat on Thursday, August 1st at 11am PT.  She will be there to answer any of your questions about the initiative ahead of the deadline. You can participate in the live chat here: https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/t42mx

For more information on DDF visit: http://www.itvs.org/funding/ddf

FRONTLINE and City Year Present a Social Screening of Middle School Moment

FRONTLINE and City Year will present an online social screening and discussion of Middle School Moment on Thursday, August 23 at 4:30PM PT/ 7:30PM ET. Special guest panelists will participate in the event, which will take place here.

Watch Middle School Moment on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Nationwide, 7,000 students drop out every school day, but new evidence suggests that the make-or-break moment for high school dropouts may actually occur in middle school. FRONTLINE examines one Bronx school’s unique approach in A Middle School Moment.

Join FRONTLINE and City Year today at 4:30PM PT/ 7:30PM ET for a live social screening of the documentary and take part in an open conversation with City Year’s Charlie Rose, Bethiel Girma, and FRONTLINE producer Mary Robertson. Continue reading

Diversity Development Fund Live Chat

On Thursday, August 23 at 1PM PT / 4PM ET, ITVS Programming Coordinator N’Jeri Eaton will be taking questions from interested Diversity Development Fund applicants in a live chat right here on Beyond the Box.

Diversity Development Fund Live Chat

On Thursday, August 23 at 1PM PT / 4PM ET, ITVS Programming Coordinator N’Jeri Eaton will be taking questions from interested Diversity Development Fund applicants in a live chat right here on Beyond the Box.


The Diversity Development Fund provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding to independent producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television. Projects should speak to the ITVS mission to serve underrepresented audiences with programs that take creative risks, explore complex issues, inspire dialogue, and express points of view seldom seen on commercial or public television. With the upcoming deadline (September 7, 2012), we encourage all interested applicants to register for the live chat taking place on Thursday, August 23rd.

To date, projects selected for the Diversity Development Fund have had national broadcasts on Independent Lens and P.O.V., and have leveraged support from organizations including the National Minority Consortia, the Sundance Doc Fund, Creative Capital Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ford Foundation. Continue reading

Join NBPC for the Season Finale of Black Folk Don’t: Get Married

The National Black Programming Consortium will present an online screening and discussion of Black Folk Don’t: Get Married on Wednesday, August 1 at 1pm PT / 4pm ET. Series creator Angela Tucker will participate in the event, which will take place here.

 

The National Black Programming Consortium is hosting a social screening of the season finale of Black Folk Don’t, a satirical, documentary web series that challenges common stereotypes. Provocative, irreverent, and engaging, Black Folk Don’t asks uncomfortable questions and stirs dialogue about common assumptions of the behavior of black people.

This episode of the Black Folk Don’t web series tackles a long-standing institution, marriage. Do black folk get married? You wouldn’t think so based on all the media coverage around unmarried black women. Join series creator Angela Tucker as she discusses the episode, the issue, and the future of the next Black Folk Don’t season! Continue reading

Watch a Social Screening of Putin’s Kiss on Monday

A social screening of the ITVS-funded documentary Putin’s Kiss will take place on Monday, July 9 at 1pm PT / 4pm ET. Filmmaker Lise Birk Pedersen will be online and fielding questions from viewers. Monday’s event will take place here.

Nashi is an increasingly popular political youth organization in Russia with direct ties to the Kremlin. Officially, its goal is to support the current political system by creating a future elite among the brightest and most loyal Russian teenagers. But the organization also works to prevent the political opposition from spreading their views among young people. 16-year-old Masha Drokova, a Nashi commissar and spokesperson, is an ambitious middle-class student from the outskirts of Moscow. After joining Nashi at the age of 15, she moves to the very top of the organization, and is rewarded for her dedication with a university scholarship, an apartment, and even a pro-Putin talk show.

Everything changes when Drokova becomes acquainted with a group of liberal journalists, including popular anti-Putin reporter Oleg Kashin. At first, she remains devoted to Nashi while pursuing tentative friendships with its left-wing critics — but when Kashin is brutally beaten by “unknown perpetrators,” she has a genuine change of heart and decides to take a stand.

Watch a clip of the documentary after the jump. Continue reading

Celebrate Father’s Day with a Social Screening

This Father’s Day, join filmmaker Theresa Loong for a social screening of her documentary Every Day is a Holiday. The filmmaker will be fielding questions about the doc with her father Paul Loong, profiled in the film, on Sunday, June 17 at 12p PT / 3p ET right here.

In Every Day Is a Holiday, Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong creates an intimate portrait of her father, a man fifty years her senior. In this documentary, she explore the bonds of the father-daughter relationship and place themes of growing older, immigration and racism in the context of “living history.” Paul Loong talks of his experiences as a POW in Japan and his subsequent quest to become an American.