Films For Action is a community-powered learning library
for people who want to change the world.
Film offers us a powerful tool to raise awareness of important 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 3000 of the best films and videos that can be watched free online, sorted into 40 subjects related to changing the world.
At the local level, 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 throughout the year. With many films we launch an accompanying educational or action-oriented campaign to address the issues presented by the films.
Our local city chapters offer several tools to connect and inform people through our website, including a calendar of local activist events, a directory of local activist groups, and a news section for members to contribute original or republished local news and perspectives.
All in all, through the screenings, action campaigns and the website, our city chapters aim to provide an information and resource network that will reduce our cities' dependence on corporate media, providing more meaningful and reliable ways to stay informed on the issues that matter.
Tim Hjersted - Project Director. Co-Founder. Lawrence, KS.
Eli Dragen - Code Wizard. Co-Founder. Lawrence, KS.
Andrew Butler - UK Editor. Bristol, United Kingdom.
Mason Umholtz - Art Direction / User Experience. Co-Founder. New York, NY.
Matthew Toplikar - Editor. Co-Founder. Albuquerque, NM.
Create an account on Films For Action and join our growing community of people who want to change the world!
As a member of the website you can:
- Add content to our digital social change library (click the Add+ button at the top)
- Rate member submissions
We encourage rating content based on its shareability (how useful it is for raising awareness)
|5 stars if you'd shared it multiple times over time
4 stars if you'd 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).
- Post links, images and notes to your friends on the site
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
50+ Films About Women That Will Inspire You, Anger You, and Make You Want to Change the World
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Praise for FFA
"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
"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 is a community-based media project full of riveting content. Support their effort to become ad free!" - Abby Martin, journalist
"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 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
"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
"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
"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
"41 years ago this week I became a citizen of the United States having immigrated from South Africa. I grew up with apartheid but after serving in the South African Army I decided to immigrate to the land of the free in 1976 and served my stint as a new citizen in the U.S. Army. Post Vietnam War my tour of duty was as a Military Policeman in Germany where I often heard soldiers say "Love Country, Fear Government"! I have come to understand why and am terrified by the blatant campaign of hate and fear that is used to divide us. At the Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline Opposition we had over fourteen thousand People show up in North Dakota in just one week and today most all of the veterans and other groups that formed in support of the Indigenous Americans are divided. The government spent millions spying on and infiltrating us. Subsequent to the events at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation several States have and many more are enacting incredibly harsh legislation against protestors. This should terrify everyone. What the government fears most is educated constituents, thank you Films For Action for helping bring awareness to these issues." - Sam Ballard 2/9/2018
Does Films For Action have bias? - a statement about neutrality and our values
It's hard to believe Films For Action has been around now for 10 years. From our early years focusing on local film screenings in Lawrence, Kansas to our more recent years, focusing on raising awareness globally via our website and social media, our mission has been to provide a DIY alternative to the corporate mass media, which censors, sanitizes, attacks and ignores the diverse voices of humanity in favor of a narrow spectrum of elite, faux left-right consensus that favors the status quo and puts the interests of profit over people and planet.
The mass media claims to be neutral and strives to be objective, but it has always been anything but. This problem has been extensively documented. Chris Hedges called it "The Disease of Objectivity." Noam Chomsky is famous for outlining "the propaganda model of news." Meanwhile, FOX News is famous for claiming they're "fair and balanced" - a line of propaganda so transparent it's been mocked for years. But the deeper truth is that all media has some form of bias. The major news networks and newspapers of the old media - ABC, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, the Washington Post and the New York Times, to name a few, all mask their bias for elite perspectives (both corporate and state) behind a guise of "objectivity." To present oneself as unbiased, while having bias is, of course, one of the hallmarks of any good, persuasive propaganda.
But the old media is lying to itself for another reason. As one of our heroes, Howard Zinn once famously said, "You can't be neutral on a moving train." Neutrality in the face of injustice, in the face of racism, environmental destruction, corruption, colonialism, empire and plutocracy, cannot and will never be neutral.
Media cannot be neutral on this moving train. Too much is at stake when we are quite literally facing a planetary emergency that is reaching its major turning point. We must pick a side.
Does this mean Films For Action has bias? Yes it does. But it is bias rooted in the desire for justice. Our bias is rooted in our love for Pachamama, our Mother Earth, and all living beings. Our bias is rooted in our desire for a society that's just, egalitarian, peaceful, healing and truly democratic in ways that the present system will never offer.
To put it simply, our bias is rooted in our values, which we share openly and honestly. That is the big difference between the old media and the new media. Whereas the old media feigns neutrality and objectivity while promoting a spectrum of thought that benefits their bottom line, the new media is transparent about its values and who it stands for.
The problem with the media isn't bias itself - it's the values, interests, and funding sources that shape and inform that bias.
Accuracy, however, is another story. Accuracy is of the utmost importance and something we treat with the greatest responsibility, as all journalists and media outlets should. With the rise of "fake news," discussion over which media outlets we can trust has become a central concern. While profit-driven alternative media exploded during the 2016 US election, and a vast array of sketchy sites sprung up to take advantage of heightened political concern, we haven't forgotten that the corporate mass media has been responsible for some of the most dangerous and consequential "fake news" stories of our time, including most notably the false story of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which successfully helped take the US to war at a time when alternative media was critical of these "facts" and knew them to be false. Fake news by the "credible, respectable" mainstream press, which often originates by simply repeating government claims uncritically, has been far more disastrous for the planet overall than anything that unethical bloggers have managed to accomplish.
That said, inaccurate and false information is harmful regardless of whether it comes from corporate or alternative sources, and there is plenty of bad information coming from the entire spectrum of media, from the far left to the far right, and from corporate outlets to the smallest indie operations.
While our values and the diversity of perspectives we share naturally put us on the spectrum from center-left to far left, we're committed to always putting accuracy first, and holding ourselves accountable to the 5 principles of journalism.
Films For Action's Vision for the Future: "Humanity Can Live in Harmony With Nature."
Unlike the old media, which feigns neutrality while representing powerful political and corporate interests, we're transparent about who we stand for. We're part of a new media paradigm, which exists explicitly to support all of the global movements working to create a more just, sustainable, vibrant and egalitarian future.
We imagine a world that's deeply participatory, more horizontal, more decentralized, less hierarchical, and ecologically healing in ways that the present system cannot offer. Our fire burns for a vision of a global paradigm based on trust and cooperation rather than fear and competition. So long as there is suffering in the world, our work is not done.
We believe that the primary nexus of focus for our efforts will come from the transformation of cities - culturally, ecologically, and economically. We envision a future where cities have become not just sustainable, but ecologically regenerative, just and thriving places to live for both humans and the rest of nature. What is inspiring to us is knowing that the solutions necessary to make this happen already exist. Whether here in Lawrence, Kansas, where Films For Action got started; in Curitiba, Brazil; or in Samso, Sweden - transformational solutions already exist. They are in development all over the world, by millions of people and thousands of organizations.
This movement has no name - no "ism" to tie us all together. There is no single manifesto that articulates our vision in a single language. In its place, we have a thousand different ways of articulating this vision, spoken in the words of every language. However, the vision we share of a better future is common. We just need to connect the dots.
We support the Defend the Sacred manifesto. We support the 10 principles of Radical Ecological Democracy. We support the Earth Charter, the philosophy behind permaculture, and many more like-minded expressions of what we believe represents a common-shared vision of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
This idea that "I am because you are" - that your happiness is my happiness - this is the guiding principle of love, of Ubuntu that is what keeps our feet moving and our hearts in action. We are all one human family in relationship with each other and the rest of the community of life on Earth. We seek power with, not power over.
We celebrate the diversity of peaceful cultures that exist across the globe while recognizing our underlying unity. We stand against the homogenization of the world in all its various forms - this toxic belief in the 'one right way' which has been responsible for all of the colonialism and conquest and subjugation we have seen in the past.
We believe that the old way should not be replaced with a new best way (which would be a repeat of the old way) - but rather 10,000 new and ancient ways of living. There is no one solution to the world's problems. There are 10,000 solutions, 10,000 ways of life - and we need them all.
But do you know what we need most of all? We need you. We need people who have come alive, people who are pursuing their passions and sharing their gifts, people who are dreaming of a better world and putting their dreams into action.
They say many hands make light work, and we need all of us helping our 'movement of movements' in whatever way feels right for each other. We need both a diversity of tactics and a diversity of efforts. We need people challenging the old and building the new, in all the different ways this is possible. The more we can see this and support each other and see how our efforts complement each other, the stronger we'll be.
As for us, we aren't here to fix the old media. We're here to be the new media - one part of a diverse and decentralized network made up of hundreds of indy media efforts working towards our common dreams.
We don't believe in the false promise of neutrality, nor that that is even desirable. All media has bias, rooted in the values, funding sources and owners of that media, and rather than pretend otherwise, we believe the new media should simply be more transparent about who and what it stands for.
The new media is also far more participatory and is built around everyone being a part of it. Films For Action offers a good example of the model. On the content side, anyone can become a member of the site and contribute videos and articles to our library. The best content gets rated up by our members and shared by us on social media. On the distribution side, our model is entirely people-powered. We have no marketing budget, no large staff or other tools a news network might rely on to get its content seen. Yet our content has been seen by tens of millions of people thanks to the power of social media - the power of each individual sharing alternative media with their friends on a regular basis.
We now have 900,000 supporters on Facebook and other social media who are sharing content from our library. We're able to reach millions of people each week thanks to the seemingly small acts people make every day. It all adds up, and this trend is only poised to grow, as more and more of us become a part of the new media, sharing quality information across the internet. Eventually, we believe this people-powered model will dwarf the impact of the old media. Eventually, our alternative models will make the old media obsolete.
And this is important - because the foundation of change really rests on awareness - on people being deeply informed and knowledgeable, far more than what the corporate media and our educational system is presently offering.
Education is really the key that opens the box of keys. It's what makes all other change possible.
Join us! >> filmsforaction.org/join
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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.
Make lists! Use our list creator to make beautiful lists of top content, such as a top 100, or 6 short films about __.
Donate. It's no longer possible to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going. If you believe in why Films For Action exists, we hope you'll become a supporter on Patreon. A monthly donation of $1, 3, 5 or more dollars per month will really help!
Join our content curation team. We need members who would like to make a bigger commitment to adding a couple videos or articles per week to keep the site fresh. Our curation team (request here to join) will stay in communication about themes we want to give special attention to each week and other great stuff.
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.
Start a Films For Action chapter in your city. Creating and sustaining a chapter is a solid commitment, but it also offers one of the greatest ways you can have a positive impact on your city. Click here to learn more.