PicMo Monthly Reel: November / December 2020

We almost made it to the end of 2020! Let’s close out this year with some celebrations and donations. 

Congratulations to the My Beautiful Stutter filmmakers and the PicMo impact producers for receiving the Shorty Social Good Award for Accessibility. The inspiring film following five kids who stutter on their journey to self-acceptance and breaking barriers will be available to watch on Discovery+ when the platform launches in the new year! 

This holiday season we made donations to these organizations and we invite you to as well. Every $1 matters. 

  • Give towards Black Public Media’s newly announced BPM Emergency Relief Fund which provides a permanent aid resource to assist Black media makers who find themselves in dire financial situations brought on by an unforeseen emergency.
  • Use Give Blck’s directory to find Black-founded organizations that would greatly benefit from your support.
  • The Town Hall project’s Mutual Aid Hub will connect you with local organizations in your community in order to support your neighbors who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and/or who are experiencing financial hardship.
  • Support Firelight Media in honor of their 20th anniversary! Firelight Media curates many powerful initiatives that enable BIPOC filmmakers to direct and produce nationally recognized documentary films. 
  • Donate to the Black, Indigenous, POC Sci-Fi Screenwriting Lab that is working to uplift filmmakers and break the cycle in which Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres in mainstream Hollywood leave Black, Indigenous, and People of Color out of the equation.
  • Or give your time and volunteer using a resource like Volunteer Match that can match you with causes in need of help near your own location.

‘Tis the season for cheesy holiday romcoms. But it’s also the time for personal reflections and acting charitably on your values. Help spread the word on a range of films from different perspectives, specifically from underrepresented filmmakers and/or non-English speaking storytellers by tagging us on Twitter or Instagram, and we will repost to our followers. 

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday!

Warmly, Team PicMo

TIME Gives Intimate Insight Into The Effects of The Prison-Industrial-Complex

TIME is a new documentary that captures the intimate ways that lives are affected by the prison-industrial complex, through the story of FoxandRob Rich and their decades-long journey towards freedom. Our impact campaign is grounded in partnership development, where we are working with grassroots organizations, coalitions, and communities of justice-involved people to amplify their work and their stories alongside the film’s virtual release on Amazon Prime. In order to make the film more accessible to audiences and communities, Amazon placed the film before the paywall and made it available for free on YouTube over Thanksgiving weekend. If you’d like to learn more about the film and its role within organizations advocating for criminal justice reform, watch this conversation with film participants FoxandRob Rich and Raj Jayadev of Participatory Defense.

Inspiring Activism and Connection Across Communities for Hulu’s I Am Greta

I Am Greta is a documentary following a prolific 17-year-old climate activist, with Aspergers, as she ignites the largest youth-led movement. We teamed up with Hulu this past month to organize virtual screenings with partners across neurodiverse and youth-led climate justice communities, engaging students, educators, and parents around special screenings of the film in our virtual screening room. In addition to raising awareness around the Hulu release, these screenings have been empowering audiences to think about the climate crisis, as well as the lives of young adults who are neurodiverse — just like Greta. We’ve been encouraging communities to be creative and put their ideas in motion on social media at #IAmGreta! Sharing stories of greatness – like convincing your family to go green or voicing your opinion in front of a group of people. No action is too small!

#HEADLINESAREFRONTLINES Tour Inspires Thought Across The Aisle

Ahead of this year’s 2020 election, artist Smriti Keshari produced Disintegration, a film and music installation that takes audiences through 1,460 days of headlines from the New York Times featuring Donald Trump. It sought to provide an emotionally engaging opportunity for Americans of all political inclinations to question the role that the media has played in shaping our new reality.

One week before the election, the #HEADLINESAREFRONTLINES tour became a mobile art exhibition of Disintegration exposing 500K+ people, which toured 16 U.S. cities, including seven battleground counties. We produced the installation on trucks, equipped with 20-foot large-scale screens, and then deployed the film installation to the streets of Scranton, Flint, Detroit, Charlotte, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Madison, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, Nashville, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and New York.

📸 PicMo Team Member Snapshot 📸

Meet Ellis Watamanuk! Ellis (he/him/his) is our VP of Impact Strategy based in Brooklyn, NY, and oversees our team of strategists as they form meaningful partnerships, develop impact roadmaps for our films, and execute digital/social media campaigns.  

His passions: I am trying to devote as much thought and energy towards the health of our planet as I can. The climate crisis is the biggest challenge of the modern era, and the way it intersects with other issues like racial justice, migration, and capitalism is undeniable. I have such respect for the youth-led movements that are leading the charge and need to hold myself more accountable for sustainable behaviors in my daily life.

What he is working on right now: I am so honored to be working on some of my favorite documentaries of the year – TIME and A Thousand Cuts. Both of these campaigns have let me connect with experts and organizations that I admire; you can watch TIME on Amazon Prime now, and tune in to A Thousand Cuts on PBS Frontline in January. 

His favorite recent film: Not a movie, but in lockdown I am now obsessed with tiny home/apartment videos on YouTube. As a New Yorker, it’s so fun to get inspiration from what other people are doing in a limited space. Highly recommend the YouTube Channel Never Too Small. 

His favorite recipe: I am the world’s worst vegan chef and probably very nutrient-deprived, so I have started juicing more. For better or for worse, I never actually use recipes but chuck in whatever I have in the fridge. Big fan of – carrot, ginger, garlic, celery, apple, and lemon. Never fails! 

Say hello! ellis@picturemotion.com

  • Encourage your friends, family, and peers to have a Hulu Watch Party to celebrate the US release of I Am Greta
  • Watch The Antidote on Amazon Prime and then visit VolunteerMatch’s take action page to learn about ways you can get involved in different causes, and commit to taking action in your own community.
  • Shop local this holiday season! Seek out small businesses that are women and/or BIPOC owned.
  • Camden IFF’s North Points Institute is currently accepting applications for their $15k filmmaker grant. The grant, sponsored by TV5MONDE USA will support the production of a documentary short highlighting Maine’s Francophone culture through their community of immigrants from Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, and Angola that make up a minimum of 5% of Maine’s population. The finished short will premiere at the 2021 Camden International Film Festival. The deadline is Jan 11th!
  • Phone bank or volunteer virtually to connect with voters ahead of the Georgia Senate Runoffs in January.
  • 30 virtual community screenings of I Am Greta with organizations and schools that work across neurodiverse and youth-climate justice communities.
  • 10,624  people watched The Antidote in our virtual screening room.
  • 13 organizations engaged for a virtual screening of The Antidote, while amplifying kindness.org’s Make Kindness Visible campaign in honor of World Kindness Day on November 13th. Over 500 people submitted to the project!
  • 5,500 people across 39 states watched and discussed Purple through our screening tour with Resetting The Table. 
  • 170 virtual screenings of Public Trust took place, with 99 post-screening discussions.
  • 370 people joined the Picture Motion Screening Room for a special screening of Public Trust, hosted by NDN Collective, Utah Dine Bikeyah, and Patagonia to raise awareness and funds to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during the Trump administration’s 30 day comment period after announcing plans to open it up to drilling.

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors on What She Expects From the Next Administration | Hollywood Reporter

How Michaela Coel Turned Trauma Into Hope With ‘I May Destroy You’ | WSJ

How New York’s Small Cinemas Are Hanging On | The New York Times

In a Post-Trump America, Muslims Must Be Uplifted in Hollywood | Hollywood Reporter

IndieWire, NYU Tisch, Rolling Stone, and Yellowbrick Launch Online Film and TV Education Program | IndieWire

MTV Ent Group commits $250M to fuel creation of BIPOC, women-owned prodcos | Realscreen

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