Media That Matters Film Festival – A Success!

Posted by Lauren Fischer

Any reason to visit New York City is a good one, but this June I had a great reason. I was invited to attend the Media That Matters film festival and awards ceremony (MTM). I found out later that I would be presenting an award on behalf of NEED magazine! I felt honored, nervous and excited all at the same time.

Although my mind was distracted with nerves, both events went extremely well. The film festival at the School of Visual Arts Theater was completely sold out and emotions ran high. Enrico Cullen, Arts Engine’s director of development and external affairs, explains that most of the audience related to the films’ messages. By bringing important issues to the screen, MTM reminds all viewers that they are not alone.

The awards ceremony hosted by Arts Engine was another exciting aspect of my trip to the big city. I felt privileged to present the Immigration Award to Richard Levien, director and producer of “Immersion.” His short film presents a powerful narrative about children falling behind in English-only curriculums.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Screen, Act, Impact.” Along with each film there will be “take action” tools that empower the viewer to learn more about each film’s topic and direct them to specific ways to help. The collection will be distributed on DVD through Netflix and do-it-yourself screenings. Last year, more than a million people participated in the festival online and through local screenings held around the world.

The festival is one of the world’s first and largest online film festivals. This means that all 12 short films can be viewed online in their entirety at the MTM website. You can also find a calendar of screenings that take place year round. Arts Engine’s Maia Ermita explains the power of this unique model: “The case to connect audiences with causes and instant ways to take action has taken shape before our eyes this year, proving the Media That Matters model to be a sustaining model in redefining how we regard media to move mountains and engage audiences worldwide.”

If you live in the Twin Cities area, stay tuned for details on a MTM screening in Minnesota. NEED is currently working with Arts Engine and Cinereach to bring this film festival to you in September. We’re also working to bring local nonprofits and film organizations for a Q & A afterwards. Hope to see you there!

Media That Matters
Arts Engine

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