May 31: Reel Mixed Experience, West Bloomfield, MI; 2:30PM-5:00PM

The Mixed Roots Movement will be screening a curated collection of Media That Matters shorts for the Reel Mixed Experience.

The collection, celebrating diversity, has been curated from the past five years of Media That Matters Film Festivals

The Mixed Roots Movement provides resources and education to help create a community that celebrates and respects racial and religious diversity. By aiming to connect, network, share ideas, educate and get educated, advocate as well as explore ways to build awareness about the mixed-race experience and community, the Mixed Roots Movements is embarking on a path towards real and measurable societal change.

This collection of films highlights multiracial and multicultural experiences and the different ways in which race, ethnicity and religion are perceived. 

The films to be included are:

Children of Birmingham
Face to Face
Holla Back Dubai
Is My Neighbor Latino
Cop Watch
The News is What We Make It
Slip of the Tongue
A Girl Like Me
Something Other than Other
Vision Test
We Were Humans

The screening will be held at the West Bloomfield Public Library in West Bloomfield, Michigan on May 31, 2008 from 2:30PM to 5:00PM (the screening begins promptly at 2:30)
The screening will be followed by a discussion. 

So come on out to watch these films, share your thoughts and get connected!

Posted by Austra Zubkovs

Published on May 31, 2008

Eighth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival WORLD PREMIERE!

Arts Engine is pleased to announce the world premiere of the
in New York City!

@ IFC Center

Join us for the world premiere of the eighth annual Media That Matters Film Festival! Be among the first to see the 12 inspiring short films we selected this year. There will be Take Action tables AND a chance to meet the festival filmmakers!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
7-9 pm
IFC Center
323 Sixth Avenue at West 3rd Street
New York, NY
See map

Buy your tickets today at movietickets.com!


@ Tribeca Cinemas

We are pleased to announce that due to popular demand, this year we have added a second screening to our growing festival event line-up! Don’t be left without a ticket for Wednesday’s Premiere at the IFC!
Book your tickets for the Friday evening screening at Tribeca Cinemas.
There will be Take Action tables AND a chance to meet the festival filmmakers!

Friday, May 30, 2008
7-9 pm
Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick Street
New York, NY
See map

Buy your tickets today at brownpapertickets.com!


@ Rose Live Music

Join us for the official Media That Matters after-party as festival winner Democracy in Dakar: Hip Hop In Senegal‘s filmmaker and featured artists spin tracks and lay down beats at the Rose Live Music center in historic Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Rose Live Music & Nomadic Wax Productions presents:
The Waaw Band - Live Senegalese Afro Beat
& DJ Ben Herson spinning Global Hip Hop, Afrobeat, Reggae & more

Saturday, May 31st, 2008
10pm - 4am
Rose Live Music
345 Grand Street between Havemeyer & Marcy
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
View map

There is no cover charge but you must be 21+ to attend!


@ Paley Center for Media, NYC

June 6th there will be an additional free screening for youth as part of the annual Media: Overseas Conference, an international celebration of youth and film.

A three-day event, the conference will include screenings and panels from a host of international participants, brought together to discuss today’s current media landscape. Panelists from Afghanistan, Australia, China, Egypt, Korea, Kuwait, Spain, Sweden, UK, and the USA will lead the conversations. Attendees will include media industry professionals, educators, students, and the general public.

Friday, June 6th, 2008
6-8 pm
The Paley Center for Media
25 West 52nd Street
New York, NY
See map

While this event is free for youth, participants will not be admitted without sending an RSVP to: rsvp@mocnyb.org.


This event will also be a part of Internet Week NY!
For more details visit internetweekny.com or click the image to the right!


Make sure to buy your tickets now, as they sell out fast.


Published on May 28, 2008

May 20 Deadline: AFL-CIO’s First Ever Online Video Contest to “Turn Around America”

“What’s wrong with America and what will you do to change it?”

That’s the question the AFL-CIO is looking for you to answer in their first ever “Turn Around America” video competition. The contest will feature the winners in television ads in part to engage voters and 2008 political candidates in a national dialogue about what is necessary to get America back on track.

The video contest, found at www.turnaroundvideocontest.com, is part of a larger AFL-CIO initiative to “Turn Around America” which will run through the summer. The “Turn Around America” initiative will feature major events in battleground states and build grassroots momentum to elect leaders who will fight for health care, good jobs and an economy that works for all. 

Participants will be invited to submit online videos in any creative form that will answer the question of how to turn around America. The contest will run April 10 through May 20 and winners will be announced in early June.  The winning videos will be featured on national and local television. The categories include a national winner, who will receive $2,000 and the chance for the video to appear in national TV ads. City winners will win $1,000 and may be featured at AFL-CIO rallies and on local television. A “young activist” category will also be awarded to the best video made by someone between the ages of 14 and 25.  The contest is open to the public.

The judges include Gillian Grisman, director and producer of Grateful Dawg and Keeping Time: New Music from America’s Roots; Robert Greenwald, director and producer of Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism and Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price; Barbara Kopple, director of Shut Up and Sing; and more. For official jury lineup and bios, visit www.turnaroundvideocontest.com/judges.php.

Posted by Austra Zubkovs

Published on May 20, 2008

ASPARAGUS!: Full-Length DVD Release!

asp half2.jpg

Media that Matters FOCUS: Good Food participant film, Asparagus! (A Stalk-umentary) has made its DVD debut in its full-length version.

Titled Asparagus! Stalking the American Life, the filmmakers are happy to announce that a percentage of each sale goes directly back to the U.S. Asparagus Growers and to support local community farm programs!

Read below for the official press release.


Asparagus! Stalking the American Life - the multiple award-winning documentary film about the “Asparagus Capital of the Nation” - is scheduled for release on DVD May 1, 2008. The DVD includes the 53-minute broadcast cut of the film as well as a number of Special Features including “Extra Scenes,” “Asparagus Tips,” and a “Recipe File.” The DVD will be available at www.asparagusthemovie.com, farmer’s markets and at special screening events beginning May 1, 2008.  It will retail for $24.99, with a portion of sales going directly to support Michigan family farms and asparagus growers.

The film tells the story of Oceana County, Michigan, whose spear-struck residents built their identity and economic survival on asparagus, but now find themselves taking on the U.S. War on Drugs, Free Trade, and the Fast Food Nation, all to save their beloved “roots”.  Asparagus! Stalking the American Life journeys to the heart of Asparagus Country to discover why one little vegetable matters so much. New York Magazine called the film “Oddly Brilliant,” and the Kansas City Star heralded the film “A Charmer!”

Asparagus! Stalking the American Life had its World Premiere in 2006 at the acclaimed Full Frame Documentary Film Festival - the largest documentary film festival in the U.S. - and toured the festival circuit throughout 2006-2007. It garnered Best Documentary awards at the Rural Route Film Festival in New York and East Lansing Film Festival, as well as Audience Awards at the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival and Waterfront Film Festival. The film also won the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Good Food Film Award at the Media That Matters Film Festival and a special finishing funds grant from P.O.V./American Documentary through New York’s Museum of Television and Radio (recently renamed as The Paley Center).

The DVD is being launched in tandem with a “GrassRoots Film Screening Series” in communities and schools across the country.  Beginning with a special screening sponsored by The Food Literacy Project at Harvard University on April 29, and including other school, community and special screenings across the nation, including this year’s National Asparagus Festival in Oceana County, MI where the project was filmed.

The documentary is a 4-year independent film project of Michigan native, director Kirsten Kelly, and her film partner Anne de Mare from New York, who worked extensively with Michigan arts, humanities and agricultural organizations from the film’s inception to its completion. Kirsten was raised on an asparagus farm in Oceana County and was a proud member of the pre-teen asparagus dance troupe “The Oceana Stalkers.”   


Thirty years ago, Oceana County, Michigan proclaimed itself the Asparagus Capital of the Nation! Hailed as “Green Gold”, asparagus was exactly what this poor rural community needed - a spring cash crop at the end of the long cold winter.  Asparagus quickly became Oceana’s biggest claim to fame, with everyone from the local clown band to the dance teacher inspired by the “Super Stalk.” Then, in a twist of fate, the U.S War on Drugs ushered in a free trade agreement that threatens to take it all away. Virtually overnight, Oceana’s asparagus farmers find themselves smack-dab in the middle of international drug policy and the turbulent global economy. They call an Emergency Asparagus Summit, pull up their bootstraps, and jump head-on into the fray. While Mrs. Asparagus advocates at Oceana’s National Asparagus Festival, the farmers leave their fields and head into a world of high-powered marketing think-tanks and Asparagus CheezePak Volcanoes—determined to save their most prized crop.

This is the story of one rural American community scrambling to keep its proud identity and source of survival against impossible odds. Asparagus! Stalking the American Life journeys to the heart of asparagus country to discover why one little vegetable matters so much.

asp big2.jpg

Buy the DVD now through PayPal, or watch the trailer Asparagus! (A Stalk-umentary) through the Media That Matters FOCUS: Good Food site.

Posted by Austra Zubkovs

Published on May 10, 2008

May 10: BY-STANDING Wins REEL 13 Competition, Airs on Channel 13, NYC; PLUS Performer Kelly Tsai at

By-Standing wins REEL 13 competition

Thanks to your support, By-Standing: The Beginning Of An American Lifetime has won the Reel 13 weekly competition and will air Saturday May 10th on Queen’s Thirteen/WNET, in their segment for local independent filmmakers.

The short will air following the 9PM airing of the classic Hello Dolly! and before the indie flick Cry Funny Happy. The line-up of the three films will begin again at 1AM if you miss the first showing.

Kalamazoo College - May 14 - 15, 2008

“Move This Earth,” spoken word preformance by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, featuring poetry and music on the issues of growin up Asian-American, cultural pride, political activism, immigration, sexual assault, and violence against women.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spoken Word Performance
Kalamazoo College
Dewing Hall Room 103, LAC
Kalamazoo, MI
8:00 PM

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Spoken Word Workshop
Kalamazoo College
Location TBA
Kalamazoo, MI
Time TBA

Posted by Austra Zubkovs

Published on May 10, 2008

May 10: Asian American Feminist Short Films at Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY; 2 p.m.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler’s Center for Feminist Art is hosting a screening of short films made by Asian American filmmakers.

Curated by Arts Engine’s Filmmaker Services Coordinator Felix Endara, the films include Media That Matters Film Festival winner Karen Lin’s expansive visual interpretation of a Kelly Tsai spoken word performance, surrealist animation of Erica Cho, and experimental fiction of Larilyn Sanches and Riza Manalo, among others.

In addition to Lin’s piece, two other Media That Matters festival winners will be screening as well. The films are highlighted in red below; click to watch online and find ways to take action about their respective issues.

Line up of filmmakers and films:
- Kai Ling Xue, A Girl Named Kai (8 minutes, 2005)
- Karen Lum, Slip of the Tongue (4 minutes, 2005)
- Nguyen Hoang, Cover Girl: A Gift From God (18 minutes, 2000)
- Larilyn Sanchez and Riza Manalo, Homebound (Balikbayan),
(5 minutes, 2003)
- Erica Cho, Are You Me? (3:30 minutes minutes, 2008)
- Erica Cho, Mechanical Gadgets, music video for Addicted2Fiction
(3 minutes, 2006)
- Marie Gaerlan, First Impressions, (with Janet Pants, 3:30 minutes 2008)
- Kathy Huang, Night Visions (7 minutes, 2006)
- Karen Lin, By-Standing: The Beginning Of An American Lifetime
(5 minutes, 2006)

A question-and-answer session follows the screening.

Screening is free with general museum admission.
(You need not line up for the Murakami ticketing;  just proceed directly to General Admission - pay-what-you-wish.)

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238
View directions

Posted by Felix Endara and Austra Zubkovs

Published on May 10, 2008

May 4 - 5: Seven Free Screenings of Seventh Annual Festival; Nashville, Indiana!

The Lotus Petal Cinema, located in Nashville, Indiana, will be screening the seventh annual Media That Matters Film Festival.

Sun May 4 at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Mon May 5 at 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.

This is a FREE EVENT, limited seating on first come basis.

Click here for directions.
Email admin@lotuspetalcinema.com with any questions.

Posted by Austra Zubkovs

Published on May 5, 2008

May 2 - 4: The Paley Center for Media Hosts Special 10-Year Collection of Documentary Films from Art

In celebration of our ten year anniversary, we’ve teamed up with the Paley Center for Media to present a weekend of Arts Engine’s feature length documentaries and select Media That Matters shorts from May 2 - 4.  Find out more about our ten year anniversary and a time line of our history here!

From the Emmy Award-nominated film Deadline, a gripping look at capital punishment in the United States, to Outside Looking In, which explores the impact of trans-racial adoption, the retrospective will showcase eight award-winning documentaries created by Arts Engine’s production arm, Big Mouth Films.

Preceding each Big Mouth film, we will be screening select Media That Matters films, including Luckiest Nut in the World, Recycle, Asparagus! (A Stalk-umentary), A Girl Like Me, Battleground Minnesota, and Garbage Dreams.

The Paley Center, previously the Museum of Television & Radio, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. Through the global programs of its Media Council and International Council, the Paley Center also serves as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape.

The program for the weekend is as follows:

Friday, May 2, 2008, 2:00 p.m.
Journey to the West: Chinese Medicine Today
(2001, 58 min., dir. Katy Chevigny)
Featured Media That Matters films: Asparagus! (A Stalk-umentary) and POPaganda

Saturday, May 3, 2008, 12:00 p.m.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
(1999, 67 min., dir. Kirsten Johnson)
Featured Media That Matters films: Vision Test and A Girl Like Me

Saturday, May 3, 2008, 2:00 p.m.
Nuyorican Dream
(2000, 82 min., dir. Laurie Collyer)
Featured Media That Matters films: I Promise Africa and Slip of the Tongue

Saturday, May 3, 2008, 4:00 p.m.
Election Day
(2007, 84 min., dir. Katy Chevigny)
Featured Media That Matters film: Battleground Minnesota

Sunday, May 4, 2008, 12:00 p.m.
Outside Looking In: Transracial Adoption in America
(2001, 56 min., dir. Phil Bertelsen)
Featured Media That Matters films: A Girl Named Kai and Something Other Than Other

Sunday, May 4, 2008, 2:00 p.m.
Arctic Son
(2006, 75 min., dir. Andrew Walton)
Featured Media That Matters films: Garbage Dreams

Sunday, May 4, 2008, 4:00 p.m.
(2004, 90 min., directors Katy Chevigny and Kirsten Johnson)
Featured Media That Matters film: Pizza Surveillance Feature

More about the feature length films can be found at Big Mouth Films and you can click the above links for each Media That Matters short to watch it online, join in our discussions, and find ways to take action.

Regular admission will be $10, with a special third-day-free offer for those who attend all three days. Reduced fare for students is $8 and children under 14 are $5. To make reservations, e-mail eduny@paleycenter.org or call 212.621.6664. The event takes place at 25 West 52 Street, New York, NY and is listed on the Paley Center events page.

by Austra Zubkovs

Published on May 4, 2008



Join Reel Live’s Fundraising Campaign and help us get the Media That Matters™ collection into schools and community centers, both in the U.S. and around the world!