The Media That Matters – Sixth Annual Film Festival premieres tonight in New York City, composed of 16 short social-issue documentary films and organized by the terrific non-profit Arts Engine (related to MediaRights). You can watch all the short films on the Festival’s site, but get the whole experience by subscribing to the MediaRights channel (copy this feed or search the Channel Guide) in Democracy player, if you’re not already subscribed… the video quality is remarkable. MediaRights uses Broadcast Machine’s BitTorrent publishing option to feed these videos into Democracy player– you can check out the gallery and download any of the torrents.
This is actually one of the great things about internet TV: it works really well for longer-form, higher-quality video. If you’re an independent creator putting out something longer or episodic, internet TV channels allow you to build a regular audience and community around your work. You’re free to publish high-resolution video, the kind that can effortlessly engage viewers, the kind that’s so much more enjoyable when it’s not crammed in a web browser.
All the films look interesting, but in particular check out “In Transit” from our friends B.J., Nelson, and Louis. It’s a six-minute version of their feature-length documentary LUMO: A Light in the Congo: “LUMO is a documentary about the lives of rape survivors in war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo as they work with medical staff and counselors to regain their health and dignity.” It’s easy to talk in the abstract about the power of video to open up people’s understanding in a nuanced yet immediate way — but it makes total sense when watching the young Congolese woman LUMO deal with a hugely affecting situation, watching this amazing documentary footage of peoples’ lives in the city of Goma.
All 16 of the films in this year’s Media That Matters Festival are now up on the MediaRights channel — check them out and share them with friends, and check this events calendar to see when the Festival might be showing near you (including dates in D.C., S.F. and more in NYC). Compelling internet TV is absolutely here today.