Fueled by the belief that every movement needs a powerful story, Active Voice campaigns are driven by a set of goals for social change, and a path for getting there. With each project, we ask: What is the strength of this film? How does it fit into a particular field or social movement? Given those circumstances, how can the film contribute to a positive change for that movement?
After undergoing strategic planning, and establishing a clear sense of a story’s role in advancing change, we customize a plan that is designed to activate, ignite, or strengthen a movement. Throughout the life of our campaigns (and beyond!), we keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities or “hooks” that might further our goals, and constantly evaluate to improve our process as we go.
Our campaigns include a combination of the following:
Expert Campaign Coordination. Film campaigns have a lot of moving parts, and we’ve mastered the ability to keep a lot of balls in the air while making sure everyone’s needs are met. Whether working with distributors, handling screening logistics, or serving as a liaison between grassroots groups and production teams, we ensure continued communication across a multitude of stakeholders. We are rigorous and detail-oriented, and believe our success is directly linked to the success of our partners and collaborators.
Partnerships. For more than a decade, we have worked with major organizations, government agencies, and think tanks on the front lines of philanthropy, research, policy, grassroots organizing, and social enterprise. With a knack for cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships, we leverage these trusted relationships in order to get films to the right audiences. We also take great care to build our partners’ capacity to think strategically about how storytelling can advance their work, both internally and externally.
VIP Screenings. From Capitol Hill to Hollywood, we produce special events to engage influentials — funders, policymakers, and other important stakeholders — to build buzz around a film’s release, spark dialogue and problem-solving, and pave the way for sustained impact.
Community-Based Events. We know change happens locally, so most of our campaigns include community-based activities — produced in partnership with local experts — that spark collaboration, engagement, and action in support of local or statewide policy goals.
Online Events. From exclusive pre-broadcast screenings for mayors’ offices around the country, to large-scale advocacy screenings followed by a live Twitter chat, we seek out opportunities to use the latest online viewing technology to contribute to a campaign’s goals.
Toolkits & Discussion Guides. We produce event planning materials that help organizations design creative, outcome-oriented community screenings, as well as discussion guides that allow viewers to dig deeper into the issues. Our guides are carefully researched, vetted by experts, and enhanced by our experience with dialogue facilitation.
“Repurposed” Video Modules. While a feature-length film provides an incomparable cinematic experience, sometimes a movement might need a shorter version that frames the issue for specific audiences, incorporates data and statistics, or can be used in classrooms and workshops. When this is the case, we work with filmmakers to co-produce video modules — informed by focus groups and other research — and create tailored discussion materials to go alongside them.
Engaged Distribution. Films today have multiple outlets, from suburban multiplexes to smartphones and many screens in between. We consider each of these distribution points in a campaign, mobilize grassroots networks around film festivals and theatrical releases, and collaborate with broadcasters and distributors to insure that a film is connected to the movement it serves.
Evaluation. Throughout all our campaigns, we bring an evaluative focus as to how story and strategy can be most effective at the organizational, community, individual, and policy level. We continually refine our evaluation processes, measuring the contribution of film to social change efforts relating to a range of key issues, including food security, juvenile justice, immigration and demographic change, youth empowerment, and economic sustainability. More on Evaluation.