Crafting social impact plans for independent filmmakers

About the Project

“Active Voice’s detail and dedication is masterful and I now feel well-armed to go out and engage an audience in an effective and hopefully long-lasting way. Active Voice has not only been a great resource for me, but a wonderful confirmation of the positive good we can do as filmmakers in alliance with the right outreach and engagement.” — Sophie Pegrum, TALKING TO THE AIR

Since 2010, Active Voice has worked with the Hartley Film Foundation to consult with independent filmmakers on their engagement plans. The Foundation supports filmmakers by providing fiscal sponsorship and seed grants for projects about faith and spirituality. With a desire to enhance their support, and a determination to help grantees be more competitive among funders, Managing Director Sarah Masters asked Active Voice to help filmmakers think more strategically about their projects’ impact potential. We provide participating filmmakers with webinars on the basic principles and processes of film-based community engagement, one-on-one consultations using our ACTivate planning process, and a customized set of recommendations for each project. Through this process, filmmakers receive tailored support on how to deepen the social impact of their films, and Hartley is able to take its investments to a new level.

Our Work

  • One-on-one phone consultations with filmmakers
  • Customized engagement strategy for filmmakers, complete with metrics for success
  • Coaching on how to define "impact"


  • Filmmakers better able to define and articulate their films' impact potential
  • Filmmakers new to engagement implemented community engagement tactics for the first time
  • New funders interested in supporting Hartley projects
  • AV consultations are now an ongoing part of Hartley's fiscal sponsorship offerings

The New Black Trailer

Through our work with Hartley, we consulted with The New Black, which later led to further strategy work with the film.




  • Introduction to Film Engagement 101

    Intended as a basic introduction to film-based community engagement, this document provides basic pointers for how filmmakers can start thinking about their film’s community engagement and outreach potential. Download the PDF here.