Films For Action is a community-powered alternative news center and learning library for people who want to change the world
At an International Level:
Films For Action uses the power of film to raise awareness of important social, environmental, and media-related issues not covered by the mainstream news. Our goal is to provide citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.
Our website has cataloged over 1500 of the best films and videos that can be watched free online.
At the Local Level:
On the ground, our City Chapters are working to create alternative media channels that will inform, connect, and inspire action at a community level.
Our city chapters screen documentaries at independent theaters and other venues regularly throughout the year. With most films we launch an accompanying educational and action-oriented campaign to address the issues presented by the films. Some of our chapters air films on their local public Access TV channel. And all the films we buy we make available for people to borrow from us for free, either to watch themselves or to screen in their own neighborhoods.
Our local city chapter sub-sites offer several tools to connect and inform people through our website, including a calendar of local activist events, a directory of local progressive and radical groups, and a blog for writers to contribute local news and perspectives.
All in all, through the screenings, public access TV, this website, and our Lending Library, our City Chapters aim to provide an information and resource network that will reduce its city's dependence on corporate media, providing more meaningful and reliable ways to stay informed on the issues that matter.
"Films for Action is outstanding! Thanks so much for creating this incredible tool!" - Elisa Beck. Transitionpgh.org
"I love how different people from all over the world are coming here to watch amazing films, write and discuss. Greetings from Lithuania!" - Danny Crowe
I just discovered this terrific resource. Try it! - Jo Sippie-Gora
Films For Action Launches New Website, a "Learning Library for People Who Want to Change the World"
Films For Action Launches New Mobile Site
Films For Action is Ready to Hit the Tipping Point in 2012
Tim Hjersted - Project Director. Lawrence, KS.
Eli Dragen - Computer Programmer. Lawrence, KS.
Mason Umholtz - Graphic Designer. Chicago, IL.
Matthew Toplikar - Editor. Albuquerque, NM.
What We're About:
Today, the corporate consolidation of the mass media in our country stands as one of the greatest bottlenecks impeding the efforts we take to create solutions and build a more sustainable world.
Over the last 60 years, we've seen the consolidation of ownership create a media that is increasingly sensationalized, slanted for profit, censored, homogenized, and now finally, and most fatally - irrelevant - as the crisis within the news industry is now showing.
Yet despite the news industry's crisis of purpose and waning support from the public, the dominant news institutions of our day still have a tremendous influence over public policy and debate. They select the stories that get told and the ones that don't. They help shape the way we see the world and how we live in it. This would be fine if our media represented the full spectrum of voices, ideas, and perspectives that exist in society, but it doesn't.
Currently, six multi-national corporations dominate 90% of the media that we read, see, and hear. ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, CNN and most if not all of the channels on cable television are owned by parent companies: Disney, News Corporation, General Electric, Westinghouse, Time Warner and Viacom. These six multinationals also hold ownership shares in dozens of other media properties (creating financial relationships that often pose significant conflicts of interest. For example, NBC is owned by General Electric, which is a major defense contractor that profits millions from the United State's wars abroad).
With media this concentrated and this entrenched in their own interests, the idea that the media could still serve the public's interest and act as a watchdog for corporate and government abuse seems like a bad joke. People don't even act surprised anymore. If it wasn't for the Daily Show, examples of the mainstream media failing to do its job would have stopped being funny a long time ago.
But as the IndyMedia saying goes, "Don't just complain about the media. Be the media." And that's exactly what Films For Action is all about.
By creating our own media communication channels and building upon and supporting the increasingly diverse network of independent news sources that are growing on the internet, we can break the bottleneck they have on the flow of information and cut right to the root of the problem.
With a robust, diverse, and independent media ecosystem, we'll be able to launch more ambitious campaigns and win them more effectively. We'll be able to organize our community's latent collective energies into a powerful movement for social, economic and environmental justice. And we'll finally see the tipping point where our energies spark a creative and widespread renaissance of sustainable innovation, new thinking, and new ways of life. At its essence, we'll be able to make real change happen for ourselves and for the earth.
It all starts with an independent media.
Be the Media. Change the World: A Summary of Films For Action's Strategy for Change
Films For Action Presents: The Top 100 Documentaries Inspiring the Shift to a Sustainable Paradigm
Principles of a Strategic Path Forward
(Written by our friends at NextStepTogether.com - No Need to Re-Write the wheel when possible)
Just Do It!
This is Powerful and Fast. We are all in dire straits and there’s no time left for failure or fiddling around.
It's time to begin treating your world like you treat your toilet. When your toilet is broken, you fix it. You don't pray to goddess or God to fix it. You don't go to a protest against the injustice of its brokenness. You don't write a letter to your congressperson asking for action. You don't give to a charity for sick toilets. You don't read or write articles or books arguing that the socialist way to fix toilets is better than the capitalist way. Your toilet is important, so you don't piddle around. You just fix it. If fixing the toilet requires more work than you can do alone, you get help fast. If the break is complicated, you problem-solve and plan practically and effectively.
Today and every day, 50,000 people die unnecessarily from poverty. We are quickly destroying our Earth's species, forests, oceans, rivers, atmosphere and life support systems. Economic inequality is worsening. Wars rage. But, judging by the evidence of human actions, it appears that our planet and the life on it are not as important to us as our toilets.
This is a call to action. Your friends are calling you. We need a mass movement. We must use our great numbers. The numbers are on our side, but we must connect and work together.
We'll stay focused on the root causes of problems: We will not bother putting Band-Aids on cancer. Lots of folks already do that. This is an overwhelmingly powerful mass movement. It's about actually effecting lasting change using whatever efficient means we all consent to. It’s a global evolution.
Critical mass will vary depending on the task at hand: Before acting on a specific project we'll build our numbers until we have enough people organized to complete that project quickly and efficiently. What’s the use of protesting the war every Wednesday afternoon? Let’s organize every afternoon until we can do one giant action and just end the war in a week.
Barn-building is an effective strategy: Quickly and in a practical sequence, we will combine our energies and act on as many groups’ projects as we can. We all help Mary build her barn, then your barn, then mine.
We'll plan: We'll be proactive, not reactive. We lose battles fought on ground our opponent chooses. By the way, our opponent is not individual people. People are all doing the best they can. The opponent is status quo systems of governance and commerce in our world in which might makes right, and in which the needs and potential contributions of the many, the weak and the voiceless are disregarded.
We'll have fun! Most people move in the direction where they see the possibility of getting joy, hope and pleasure. We'll foster a culture that meets everyone's need for a rich, enjoyable and wholesome life.
Everyone's invited and expected to share an equal role: We assume that everyone on Earth, in their heart of hearts, is in the circle and ready, or almost ready, to participate in the process of determining and taking next steps together.
We'll start where we are: We'll build on the relationships that already exist, connecting individuals and groups who already care. We'll not force anything on anyone. We'll not steal anyone's thunder, money or constituencies.
This is simple: We use commonsense ideas that spread virally. We avoid artifice, single-issue politics and identity politics. This is non-invasive, natural, organic, smart and elegant.