Greenwald Provides Students Insight into Documentary Filmmaking

Director and producer Robert Greenwald, founder of Brave New Films

In the Ferguson Theater at Columbia College Chicago on May 6th, documentary filmmaker and founder of Brave New Films, Robert Greenwald, participated in a live streaming discussion following a screening of “Rethink Afghanistan.”

Greenwald explained why the concept of Brave New Theaters was developed and talked about how it had revolutionized how filmmakers distribute their films. He cautioned that while this does help filmmakers set up screenings and make people aware of their film it does not guarantee an automatic audience.

Greenwald talked about “Rethink Afghanistan” and his other films may have catalyzed audiences to take action.

When asked where the story of the U.S. conflict in Afghanistan was at right now, he provided into the situation by saying that you do not truly grasp that this is the third poorest country in the world until you get off the plane and walk around with the people.

Greenwald shared a story about how Flip cameras are being given to Afghanis so that they can document their story. He mentioned that doing this is very cost-efficient for an organization that may be strapped for cash.

And, that's why the media isn't covering the war in Afghanistan as much as it should be. The story is not in the news regularly because news have cut back on the use of foreign correspondents or investigative reporters.

Greenwald got into this and opened up on why students might not be organizing against the war as they did during the Vietnam War (“The draft”). He also said in terms of pushing the political elites to tune into the subject and rethink the war emphasizing that the war does not make America or Afghanistan safer.

The security argument, according to Greenwald, was one that needs to be consistently made because a country might spend any amount of money on a conflict if it is perceived that the war is keeping the country safe, but if it can be proven that it is not, then you create an opening for ending the conflict.

While the film was released in 2009, the work that is being done with this film continues. Outreach and engagement is why this film continues to pick up fans.

Here's a video that Greenwald put together for Mother's Day.

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Article by Kevin Gosztola

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