FILMS FOR ACTION

BEWARE OF IMAGES (2016)

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From cave paintings to virtual reality, Beware of Images embarks on a fascinating journey through the history of mediated representation. This is the history of media you will never find on TV.


Statement from Films For Action: Thanks to the filmmaker, you can watch Beware of Images (free!) on Films For Action.

That said, the director still has $200,000 to recoup in production costs. If you'd like to support the filmmaker and the film's global proliferation, you can donate to the Kickstarter campaign. You can also buy the film via this page for $5 (100% of the funds will go to the campaign). Let's spread media literacy!


Statement from the filmmaker, Sergio Toporek: As a teacher for the past 15 years, I've experienced the transformative power of education. Media studies is one of my favorite subjects to teach, as it encourages students to engage with media in a more analytical way. Not only do students learn how to identify the source of our cultural constructs, prejudices and misconceptions, but they gain a better understanding of their enormous responsibility as future visual communicators.

My media studies course has been awarded Best Course multiple times by the students. It was they who encouraged me to turn that course into the Beware of Images documentary.

Since its release, the film has been available through Vimeo on demand. This means it has been slowly recuperating its production costs, but it also means that it has sat behind a paywall that limited its reach.

It took me eight years to complete the film, and I'm still about $200,000 away from recuperating my personal investment. That said, the main purpose of this project was not to make money but to generate awareness about a subject that is increasingly affecting us all.

So, the time has come to tear down the paywall and release Beware of Images for free!

The main goal of this campaign is to encourage as many people as possible to engage with media in a more conscious, analytical and inquisitive manner.

The best way to enable parents, teachers and students to expand and share their understanding of media literacy is to provide them with engaging educational materials and resources. To foster this understanding, I will be releasing the Beware of Images documentary for free through a Creative Commons license.

The second goal of this campaign is to fund the film's extras, which will also be made available for free, and will include teaching resources, guides, bibliography and film subtitles in multiple languages.

The third goal of this campaign is to fund and produce materials that help everyone understand the broader implications of our current and evolving media technologies. Specifically, I will produce materials that will enable and encourage users to confront the social media platforms which are financed exclusively through behavioral manipulation.

To better understand how this last issue affects us all, please read Jaron Lanier's Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now and James Williams' Stand out of our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy. You can also watch both Jaron Lanier's and James Williams' TEDtalks here and here.

In a time when the boundaries between journalism, public relations, marketing, disinformation and social interaction are blurrier than ever, media literacy education is the only way we can protect ourselves, our communities and our institutions from the corrupting influence of propaganda. It is also our best defense against the negative polarization being constantly instigated by our new media technologies, and our best chance at pressuring those in charge to change them for the better. 

By supporting media literacy education, you will be contributing to a healthier media environment for everyone.

Click here to support the Campaign.

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