THE MASSACHUSETTS CULTURAL COUNCIL RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR SUPPORT

meri.jpeg

In 2004, a diverse group of filmmakers, media arts organization representatives, film/video union and business owners gathered at the home of Lyda Kuth to map out the state of the film and video industry in Massachusetts. We realized that building a strong and vibrant media ecology in our state would require all of us working together, finding solutions to attract new sources of support for the industry and helping one another. We identified a significant opportunity offered by the Massachusetts Cultural Council – The Adams Arts Program—which was designed to provide funds and technical assistance to efforts that include cultural organizations and artists in the design of community and economic development strategies. CID submitted a proposal to this visionary program on behalf of a consortium of partners in the field- and we received the essential seed funding that made the development of the Massachusetts Production Coalition(MPC), and all of its programs and initiatives possible. Simply put, MPC would not be the organization it is today, and the work of developing our industry would not have experienced the success that it has without the support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. From 2005- 2017, CID administered the Adams Arts Grant on behalf of our field.

Some highlights of the impact this funding created:

  • Research and writing of 2 industry economic impact studies
  • Funding for staff and administrative support
  • Hosting the 2007 National NAMAC conference held in Boston with hundreds of representatives of the media arts field from around the country attending
  • Quarterly MPC Member Meetings
  • Seminars and workshop training programs (including a retraining program with the state division of unemployment)
  • Annual Mass Media Expo events
  • Campaign to support local commercial production
  • Print and production guides

These initiatives have supported and brought together the very broad spectrum of film, television and media industry members in the state. And they have been essential to boosting the economic climate for the robust film and media community we now have. To put this in perspective, since 2013 through MPC's Adams Arts funded programs alone, this has generated attendance of over 7,000 admissions to quarterly MPC Meetings; regular workshops and seminar programs, and the annual Mass Media Expo.  2017 is the final year of the Adams Arts program as the Mass Cultural Council pursues new initiatives to advance a cultural economic development agenda. We are incredibly grateful for MCC's support through these formative years. We look forward to furthering our industry's work, continuing to be a leading creative economy generator for the Commonwealth while enriching its cultural assets.

At the Mass Media Expo on November 4 th , we were thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize and thank this early and crucial supporter of the MPC and our industry. CID’s Executive Director (and an MPC founding board member) Susi Walsh, and IATSE local 481 Director Chris O’Donnell presented a plaque to the MCC and Adams Arts Program Officer Meri Jenkins. The Massachusetts Cultural Council has been the very best kind of supporter. We are especially grateful for the guidance of our program officer Meri Jenkins, who accepted this recognition on behalf of MCC. In her remarks presenting the award, Susi Walsh said “Throughout their support Meri asked the hard questions, inspired us to base our vision on real data and hard facts; but most importantly she also asked us to dream, encouraged us to take risks, and be bold in our work.” The plaque is inscribed with our thanks: “With our deepest appreciation of your longstanding support and commitment to the Massachusetts Film and Media Arts community.” In her remarks, Meri Jenkins said “I believe the policy is written by the people who do the work, not by government. Our role is to support the creative ideas of the people who do it. Not to tell you the way we think you should do it. It made sense, and I hope it made a difference. And I hope out of it comes some work that will be truly phenomenal."

CID FILM UPDATES: December

"Getting High" premiered at the (In)Justice For All Film Festival in Chicago in April. A Note From The Filmmaker, Victor Silverman: "Given the current efforts of the Justice Department to reemphasize punitive responses to problematic drug use, we need discussions around alternative forms of intervention as much as ever. To that end, I am now making 'Getting High' available for free viewing on Vimeo. Please share the link below with your friends, social networks and organizations. Stream the film here

 

"A Call To Remember: The David Schaecter Story" will be premiering at the Miami Jewish Film Festival on January 14th.Click here to read more about the film.

 

THE BUDDY SYSTEM, the (not so) little documentary that could, keeps chugging along, building awareness and compassion for the autism community. The film has screened at multiple festivals across the country, won “Best Film” at AutFest and was chosen as the closing night event at the U.S. Autism & Asperger Association World Conference (Autism activist, Dr. Temple Grandin was the key note speaker and it was an honor to spend time with her). We had an extra special experience at the Global Peace Film festival in Orlando. We attended shortly after Hurricane Irma wreaked her havoc and felt privileged to bring light and life to a community that was still recovering. We were also fortunate to have brought Cubby, a young autism assistance dog, along with us, because he brought comfort and many smiles to festival attendees. We’ve also been doing local community screenings at area libraries and schools and will have our Washington, D.C. area premiere this month at the Alexandria Film Festival. We’re about to kick off a year-end fundraising effort and are working towards a Gala Screening during Autism Awareness month in April 2018, which we will be followed by general distribution of the film on a television network and/or streaming platform. The “Be A Buddy” educational initiative is in development and designed for use in schools and support organizations. We’re still actively seeking supporters, sponsors, underwriters, and advisors, so if you’d like to help—in any way, please feel free to get in touch with director/producer Megan Smith-Harris at: megansmithharris@gmail.com

 

Tim McCarthy's "Voices Combating Homophobia" in Uganda is completed! The film will be showing in Provincetown, MA soon - stay tuned for details!

 

Jonathan Skurnik of The Youth & Gender Media Project has been traveling to colleges and conferences to screen his films about trans and gender expansive youth, accompanied by professional development trainings on how to create more inclusive classrooms for all children, regardless of their gender identity or expression. In addition, their film Creating Gender Inclusive Schools recently won the award for Best Documentary at the CMG Film Festival in West Hollywood.