Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.
Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.
Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential healthy media is to a healthy democracy.
Over the last 15 years, we've reviewed and curated over 1,000 free documentaries and 4,000 short films, plus over 150 pay-per-view documentaries, spanning 34 topics related to changing the world.
Thanks to our patrons, our library is ad-free and 100% supported by member donations, while 99% of our library is free to access and always will be. The pay-per-view films on our site, of course, help support the filmmakers, and 90-100% of the revenue for PPV films hosted by us goes to the filmmakers.
To thank our patrons, we partner with filmmakers and distributors to provide access to a growing number of films that are normally PPV or are otherwise unavailable for free streaming. It's kind of a very, very tiny Netflix-style service, which we hope to grow over time, but its main function is to support the library as a whole.
If you'd like to know more, want to help out, or you're a filmmaker looking to collaborate, feel free to get in touch!
Cheers, Tim Hjersted
“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21
Tim Hjersted - Director. Co-Founder. Lawrence, KS.
Eli Dragen - Code Wizard. Co-Founder. Lawrence, KS.
Andrew Butler - UK Editor. Bristol, UK.
Mason Umholtz - Art Direction / User Experience. Co-Founder. NY, NY.
Matthew Toplikar - Editor. Co-Founder. Albuquerque, NM.
Sara Wilder - Homepage Redesign (2019). Lawrence, KS
Quick Start Guide
Films For Action offers a complementary alternative to transactional VOD services by Vimeo, Youtube, iTunes, and Amazon.
If your film was made to encourage positive social change, Films For Action is one of the best places to sell your film.
Patron Films (SVOD)
Films For Action hosts a mini-Netflix-style subscription service, which currently offers 20 films to Patron supporters donating $5 or more per month. Become a Patron here. If you're a filmmaker or distributor and would be interested in adding your film(s) to our Patron Films library, please contact us to learn more about our licensing model.
Films For Action's Vision for the Future
Does Films For Action Have Bias? - a Statement About Neutrality and Our Values
Films For Action: How We Plan to Help Catalyze a Global Paradigm Shift
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Wall of Films! - 500 Activist Documentaries on 1 Page
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Praise for FFA
"Such important content being shared here. Films for Action is the Netflix for a maturing culture." - Rob Cruz
"I have shared your website and films with many colleagues and college teacher organizations. You are to be commended for your dedication to so many causes and initiatives. You are a national resource for all of the right reasons." - Ned Eckhardt
"Never doubt the impact of a film or documentary, and by extension the work FFA does. A top top site of all time in my opinion. A sincere thank you. If more people watched the films here we'd live in a different world." - Nich Roberts
"You’re the best thing going on FB!" - Caroline Carrie Humiston Earhart
"You guys are the creme de la creme among activist journalists. You have created a global community of like minded people who up till a few years ago lived in isolation, and felt there was no hope for our world. We now have a forum where we feel free to express, watch and read things that are really inspiring. This in itself is such an empowering, imaginative act.. There will always be disgruntled critics of our views. Some of them as troubled about the state of things as anyone else. We can embrace them too." - Sushma Sagar
"Films for Action is outstanding! Thanks so much for creating this incredible tool!" - Elisa Beck
"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
"Films for Action has made me more informed and more effective in my activism. I don't think I could live without it." - Terry Knepp
"Thanks for this website, I can't believe I only just found it. It's a great treasure!!! Kind regards from the Netherlands" - Ellis
"I have been following FFA for a while now and it has been the single best source for mind expanding information I can find. I often am working when I browse, so being able to listen (and occasionally watch) a film is an excellent way for me to keep expanding during my busy day. I am fairly entrenched in the new story (while still keeping one foot (and one eye) in the old corporate story) and I find that your content is always either topical or on the cutting edge of the various movements going on out there. It helps me keep in touch with what I know and learn about those causes and struggles of which I am yet not aware. I just made a small donation. Sorry it is not more. Keep up the good work." - Chris Dietrich
"Hey I really appreciate your site! I put my new climate change documentary up yesterday and I am getting tons of views suddenly ("tons" by my standards at least). It's a wonderful website and it means so much for progressive filmmakers to have a way to present their work to the right audience. So thank you! And I'll make a little contribution too. Peace and solidarity." - Jake Freydont-Attie
"I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the content you provide, the access to reliable media sources that truly tell the real story, and for continuing to remind me and others that it is us who have the power to change the world for the better. Just a few minutes of looking at people's comments drives me too easily to anger and/or a stiff drink, and yet your replies are always informed, professional and inspiring. You guys have the patience of saints... just without all the dogma and martyrdom bullshit. So thank you! You are important. Keep it up. xx Peace and love and light and good stuff." - Ray Gunn Matthews
"I've been a follower of your website and its various contents for about a year now, and want to tell you that the knowledge I've gained and continue to gain from this is immense. It's amazing to see that there are already solutions for so many of our current problems, and so many inspiring people working towards a better world." - Sascha Boden, Germany
"Love you and your posts. You are the real revolutionaries." - Doruk Doğrular
Films For Action is building a people-powered media library for changing the world.
In the past, we relied on the corporate media to tell our stories and represent us and our movements. We relied on them to be the voice of planetary and human concerns, and in that mission, they have failed, again and again, year after year.
Traditionally, protests were used to raise awareness of an issue that society, government or the media was ignoring — it was a way for ordinary people to reach the ears of a corporate media that would not listen or tell our stories unless we staged a ruckus. But over time, even well-organized protests frequently failed to generate the media exposure they deserved.
Observing this, our strategy is to sidestep our dependence on the corporate media altogether by doing their job ourselves.
Films For Action is about reclaiming the power of the media and bringing it under the people’s control. We create our own media and tell our own stories, and we use social media to share and broadcast our messages out to millions of people. So long as the internet remains free, we can do it ourselves — from creation to distribution, we can make the old corporate media giants obsolete.
Films For Action is one node in a vast web of interconnected and allied independent media voices. Our library serves as a clearinghouse for thousands of voices, perspectives, filmmakers and writers who are creating media for a better world.
Our job is to help amplify that media via our website and social media, and millions of people help us by resharing what we share and adding content directly to our library.
Our site today is 100% ad-free and 100% member supported via our Patreon, which currently supports 1 full-time staff member.
It's a small ship, but we manage to accomplish a lot, thanks to our supporters around the world!
Films For Action is a beautiful example of people-powered media in action.
Create an account and join our growing community of people who want to change the world!
Rate Member Submissions
We encourage rating content based on its shareability (how useful it is for raising awareness)
5 stars if you'll share it multiple times over time
4 stars if you'll definitely share it once
3 stars if you might not share it
2 stars if you wouldn't share it
1 star if it isn't right for the site and should be hidden
With the community's help, we'll select the best submissions
and share them across our networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc).
Knowledge Wants To Be Free
Like millions of others in the Creative Commons movement, we believe knowledge should be free to flow and self-replicate.
We believe decentralized information replication across the internet strengthens our collective knowledge networks, like healthy fungi networks distribute information under the soil and protect whole forests above.
That's why we publish all our original works by ourselves or members under a Creative Commons 4.0 license, while a majority of our library is sourced from like-minded filmmakers, writers, and media groups that support the same spirit.
Hat tip to Common Dreams, Democracy Now!, Waging Nonviolence, Yes! Magazine, Open Democracy, Resilience, Sustainable Human, Share The World's Resources, The Conversation, Charles Eisenstein, Guerilla Translation, The Economics of Happiness, and many, many more!
Want to Get Involved?
Become a member. Sign up to start contributing videos and articles to the site. We need people to review change-oriented videos and add the best ones to the library.
Submit content. Add video | Add article | Add pay-per-view or SVOD documentary
Share. Become a micro-independent news distro that your friends can trust! Regularly share links from us and other like-minded sources to help spread the word and amplify our impact. Help our learning library become the definitive community resource for social change film and education.
Donate. In August 2018, we went 100% ad-free! If you believe in why Films For Action exists, we hope you'll become a supporter on Patreon. A monthly donation, as small as $5, will really help! You can also donate by paypal, check or bitcoin.
Join our video curation team. We need members who would like to commit to watching a handful of online videos and films each week and adding the best ones to the library. This will help ensure we don't let any new gems slip past our radar! Contact us for details.
Join our graphic design team. Want to create memes for sharing on social media? Get in touch. We come across so many amazing quotes and we need help making them into memes.
Join our video clips team. This team watches documentaries and finds great 1-5 minute standalone clips from the films that can be used to help promote those documentaries. Example 1. Example 2. Contact us to get started. Video editing experience is not required (you can just provide the minute marks).
Republish! We believe a healthy democracy depends on the free flow of information. All of our original content is published under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, and the vast majority of our republished content is sourced from sites and content creators that also believe in the creative commons ethos, so unless otherwise noted, feel free to republish anything you like from our library. Standard attribution and a link back to the original is of course always appreciated.
News: Democracy Now! | Common Dreams | Real News Network | Truthout
Perspectives: Resilience | Yes Magazine! | Open Democracy | Waging Nonviolence | Tikkun | Adbusters | Jacobin
Groups: Local Futures | Radical Film Network | Pachamama Alliance
Video Streaming: OVID | Films For Change | Uplift | Free Speech TV | Cinema Politica