About Nomi

Website: http://www.naomikothbauer.com
Nomi has written 6 articles so far, you can find them below.

Documentary Faculty & Alumni Inspire Social Change

Documentaries are primarily made to educate and entertain.  But in some special cases, the impact of their content goes much further.  As faculty member Jeff Spitz would say, “The outreach and impacts from a documentary film can ripple across a decade or more, inspire congress and move mountains.”

After the earthquake in Japan, Navajo protesters remind Americans that nuclear poisoning is happening in their own backyard.

Jeff's feature documentary “Return of the Navajo Boy” has been out for a few years now.  It was featured at Sundance in 2000.  But even with the actual film complete, Jeff and his staff at Educational Films (including Viva Doc alumns Arlen and Mitch) continued documenting the challenges in Navajo country (mainly, the pollution and sickness caused by local uranium mining).  They spread the word through screening the film at community centers and periodically uploading new video content to the website and Facebook page to keep audiences engaged.

Finally, just over 10 years after the film was initially released, the EPA has announced that they are going to clean up Monument Valley (where the film primarily takes place) and compensate the featured Cly family for the costs incurred because of the pollution.  An article from Navajo Times with more information can be found here.

Certainly the story of the film and the events inspired by it are remarkable.  They remind us that when an issue, and the story around that issue, are strong enough, it is our duty as documentarians to continue harnessing our filmmaking powers to promote social change.  It takes a lot of work and a lot of time, but the results are priceless.

Jeff Spitz currently teaches two documentary classes at Columbia: Documentary Research & Writing, and a documentary topics class called Chicago: My Kind of Town.  For more information on how to enroll in Jeff's classes, or get involved in Groundswell projects, email him at jspitz@colum.edu.

You can watch the trailer for his film here:

Tip o’ the Month – Marketing and Social Media Tools

Steph Bleyer, founder of Six Foot Chipmunk, talks about her favorite tech tools that help clients reach and activate new audiences. Here’s a peek inside her toolbox:

Call2Action – Customizable, sharable widget. It’s like a mini-website. Trumps YouTube for embedding films trailers on Facebook (and every other platform). It’s a must-have for every film engagement campaign. Five stars.

Vokle – Want to do your next post-screening Q & A from your living room?  I’ve produced many panels using this call-in/text-in/tweet-in video platform, which works particularly awesome if you have multiple panelists in disparate locations. You can embed the video player on your site and your partners’ sites and folks can call in like they’re on a video-radio-web show.  Big love.

Mailchimp – To keep in touch with our audiences, I ditched lame Constant Contact years ago for Mailchimp. The e-newsletter templates are tighter and less non-profity looking, it’s easy to administer and there’s a cartoon monkey that will crack you up.

Textmarks – I’ve searched high and low for the best texting tool. I haven’t found it yet. If you want to text your audience an occasional call to action, Textmarks will do the trick (for free, w/ ads). We all want to collect email addresses at every screening without using a clipboard, right? Well the only service I can find that will let you do this with mobile requires that you have a minimum operating budget of $500k.

Eventbrite – When organizing a one-off national community screening event, I recommend centralizing RSVP’s using Eventbrite. This will guarantee that you will collect the e-mail addresses from most screening attendees without having to hassle your screening organizers to send you their lists (which they rarely do).

Ushahidi – Free, open-sourced crowd-mapping that will show people where your screenings are taking place around the world. Yes, Google Maps can do this but Ushahidi can do it better because your screening organizers/audience members do the work. They can text, email and tweet in screening info. BAVC created this sample.

Salsa – Their tagline “ingredients for organizing” is spot on. I used Salsa to register and collect info about people participating in a week-long film engagement project that The Huffington Post co-hosted. Salsa is one-stop shopping (from donation collection to Click2Call) but I can’t vouch for all of the features, just the easy peasy registration function.

Just Give – I’ve used this multiple times to collect on-line donations for film campaigns. They skim off 3%. You have to be a 501c3 or have fiscal sponsorship. Can’t remember why I got hooked on them, maybe they’re just cheap and easy.

Change.org – I’m no fan of petitions. In fact I hate them. They’re the least creative approach to engagement.  Don’t get me started.  If you really need one, I recommend using Change.org’s free petition tool.

By: Molly Murphy – http://workingfilms.org/blog/?p=1812

Crew Needed for Skate Park Doc

My name is Paulina Jimenez and I'm the Chair of the Villa Park Skatepark Committee (VPSC).

The Villa Park Skatepark Committee (VPSC) includes kids that are BMX bikers, skateboarders and rollerbladers, interested parents, school board members and several business people. Formed over three years ago, I decided to help the BMX bikers/skaters get organized after realizing the youth lacked political experience. Our current goal is to build a state of the art skate park in Villa Park, IL, but we constantly run into roadblocks with the Village.

I thought that it would be interesting to do a documentary of the making of the skate park, more like what goes behind the scenes…to show the things that people don't realize that are happening and what we are trying to do.

If you go to our website www.vpskate.com<http://www.vpskate.com/> you can read more information about out history and our plan.

Please feel free to contact me at anytime at my cell 630-461-0084

Thank you,
Paulina Jimenez

Kartemquin Films Offers Insight Into Critique Process

Kartemquin Films, one of the most reputable documentary production companies in the will be coming to the Doc Center this week to demonstrate the art of the peer review.  Known for their usually merciless stance on their review subjects, they can also be highly instrumental in making a film the best it can possibly be.

As a film is critically shaped in its final stages through reviews and critiques such as this, students from all majors and levels of experience are suggested to come to this event and learn how a proper critique is accomplished.  Students are also welcome to bring their work to be screened and critiqued, though there is no guarantee it will be shown (it's on a first-come, first-serve basis).

The Logistics:
When: Tuesday, November 16th @ 5pm
Where: the Doc Center (4th Floor of 1104 S. Wabash)

Kartemquin Films has producing quality social issue-driven documentaries for over 40 years.  This event will be a great opportunity to not only understand a crucial process in a film's life, but it will be a wonderful networking opportunity.  REMEMBER – Internship applications for Kartemquin are due December 1st!

See you on Tuesday,

Naomi Kothbauer – Viva Doc President

Fall 2010 to be full of screenings, networking events

Nobody is quite sure how old Viva Doc actually is.  The Michael Rabiger Center for Documentary has been in existence for over 20 years, so it's usually presumed Viva Doc, a student org for doc lovers, has been in existence, off and on, for at least 10 years.

…Whatever the exact number, Viva Doc has an impressive track record of events, collaborations, and networking opportunities.  Whether it be hosting Academy Award nominated filmmakers to discuss their film 'Trouble the Water,' producing an independent film about organic farming, or simply having a networking party, Viva Doc has been around to serve the documentarian community.

This year the expectations are even higher.  Viva Doc is reaching outside of the film building, outside of Columbia College, and even outside of the country.  Students from all majors are invited to attend meetings and plan events (more than just film majors love documentaries!).  Viva Doc will be hosting Doxita, a traveling film festival, as well as their own 'Viva Doc International,' an International Student Documentary Competition.  In between these exciting opportunities are, of course, the traditional bake sales and networking nights.

Viva Doc's first official event will be a networking party on Thursday, September 30th.  So, whether you haven't been on a documentary set before but are looking to gain experience, or you have a thoroughly developed project that you need an editor for, etc., you are welcome!  It will be from 5:30-7:30 in the Doc Center (the 4th floor of 1104 S. Wabash).

See you there!

-Naomi Kothbauer, Viva Doc President

Viva Doc Gears Up For Convocation

Every year, Columbia College Chicago hosts Convocation, a welcoming event for new students.  At Convocation students have the opportunity to learn more about various student organizations and academic departments, while enjoying free food and live entertainment.  Viva Doc will be present at Convocation, and looks forward to recruiting new students from various majors, concentrations, and levels of experience.  So, stop by the Viva Doc table to sign up, and get some free candy and Viva Doc swag!

Students looking to learn more about Viva Doc can obviously keep perusing this website, and they can also follow on Twitter (@vivadoc) and Facebook (as 'Viva Documentary').  The group will meet on Tuesdays at 5:30pm during the fall semester in the doc center in 1104 S. Wabash.

Questions/comments/ideas can be sent to: vivadocumentary@gmail.com.

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