This election has made many Americans keenly aware of how much they live in their own bubbles. So often we surround ourselves with likeminded people and don’t know or listen to those who don’t agree with us. Filmmakers have the skills to engage people outside of their bubbles. When they pick up their cameras they have the opportunity to find and listen to people with political perspectives that differ from their own or those around them.
More than 140 filmmakers from over 30 states have volunteered to participate in America Heard, a collaborative web series project of short documentary films that will bring diverse voices throughout the nation in conversation across political and physical divides.
To reach the goal of having at least one film from every county in the country, the organizers behind “America Heard” are looking for filmmakers who are from, visiting, or have a connection to the following states:
Alaska. Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming
Additional films can made in states that are already represented.
The America Heard organizers also need volunteers to review films to be selected for public viewing on the America Heard website. Small teams will assure that each film meets the parameters that have been set for the project as well as assess its ideas, craft, and clarity.
The goal of the project is to have at least one film from every congressional district. America Heard aims to have a cross section of perspectives that encourages filmmakers who decide to participate in the project to find a subject whose voice they feel has been missing from the political dialogue and/or profile someone with a view different from their own.
America Heard is an all volunteer-based project so the films made for this project will need to be self-funded. Each filmmaker has editorial control over and will own the film they create. Films can be any style including but not confined to verité, archive, or interview. Respectfully, we do ask that filmmakers adhere to professional standards for documentary ethics and production.
The initial launch of the project’s website is scheduled for January 19, 2017, the day before the Inauguration, though filmmakers can submit their work for content published after the inauguration, as well.
Parameters of the films:
- Five minutes or less
- Region-specific in focus
- Encourage conversation among individuals of differing perspectives
- Must not promote or entertain hate speech
- Professional documentary production standards
Project participants need to get an appearance release from the subjects in their films.
Sample questions for films:
- Who are you? Where are you from? Tell us about your family and job.
- What are the issues that concern you, and what do you want for your community?
- What do you find interesting about local and national politics?
- What do you think of voting? Do you vote?
- What makes you vote for a candidate? What do you look for in a candidate?
- Who did you vote for? Why?
- Do you talk about politics? If so, who with? If you avoid it, why?
- What is the future of the America you want?
If you are interested in making a film, please sign up here. People interested in being on the Review team should email firstname.lastname@example.org