Fitting a multifaceted issue into 90 minutes is not easy, but this is where a documentary series is most effective. Creating a number of films on the same topic but with different viewpoints is challenging but also rewarding.
This approach has been adopted by STEPS and has provided remarkable results. Creating projects on our most pressing social issues (HIV/Aids, Democracy, Environmental Change and Poverty) has given a fresh insight into important topics. The films are from all over the world and while they show how diverse we are, they also show how we all face the same challenges.
These four series have used the Internet in an intelligent and informative manner, spreading their message to a global audience.
1. Urban Survivors
Urban Survivors is a multimedia project by Doctors Without Borders/ Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF) in collaboration with the Noor photo agency and Darjeeling Productions, highlighting the critical humanitarian and medical needs that exist in slums the world over
2. Women, War and Peace documentary shorts
The series reveals how the post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualties. Yet they are simultaneously emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. Featuring narrators Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, Geena Davis and Alfre Woodard,Women, War & Peace is the most comprehensive global media initiative ever mounted on the roles of women in war and peace.
3. New York Close Up
New York Close Up is Art21’s documentary film series devoted to artists in the first decade of their professional career, living and working in New York City. This innovative project provides an intimate look at the next wave of artists—artists close up. Structured as an open-ended cinematic collaboration, Art21 (a nonprofit based in New York) is partnering with local artists to imagine new ways of telling stories about their creative process, political and aesthetic philosophies, personal backgrounds, and community perspectives.
4. Why Poverty?
Lastly, Steps International’s Why Poverty? is building on the unprecedented success of Why Democracy?
Why Poverty? creates an international partnership with broadcasters, NGOs, institutions and concerned citizens around the world. Broadcasting in late 2012, it is designed to reach the largest possible global audience – using every available platform and a massive outreach campaign.
Image from the Why Poverrty? Storytent Initiative