What’s the point of documentary film festivals?

I’ve spent some of the past few days working with Glenn McMahon on covering the  Human Rights Watch Festival 2012 in London for visionOntv. We ended our interview series by asking HRW’s Andrea Holley on her organisation’s thinking about the hows and whys of these video fests. Are they preaching to the choir, reaching out […]

Industrial agriculture meets peasant farmers – who wins?

I’m due to interview Bettina Borgfeld for visionOntv later today to talk about Raising Resistance, a film she co-directed with David Bernet about the fight of the small farmers of South America against industrial agriculture. The subject is one close to my heart, I covered a version of it over many years while working for Reuters […]

Indy media legacy documents Genoa G8 police violence

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNMAhN6PwAE&w=560&h=315]   Carlo Augusto Bachschmidt, director of the documentary Black Block, explains how work by independent media helped piece together the story of unprovoked Italian police violence at the G8 2001 summit meeting in Genoa. (Italian with English interpretation). His film features powerful testimonies by some of the dozens of activists who were savagely […]

Advice for independent journalists covering violent demos

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq95DvG8ZWE] Journalist Mark Covell was beaten unconscious by Italian police during the 2001 Genoa G8 summit. He speaks here about the power of independent media and how independent journalists should buddy up, train and prepare to cover potentially violent demos so as to keep safe. He was speaking before a screening of Black Block, […]

Mimi Chakarova talks about making “The Price of Sex”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q7w4v1rheA&w=560&h=315] Documentary film-maker and photojournalist Mimi Chakarova talks about her film, the Price of Sex, which screened in London this week as part of the Human Rights Watch Festival 2012. Chakarova describes how it took her four years to persuade some of the East European women who’d been sold into sex slavery to tell […]

The Price of Sex

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZGPEclrEEM&w=560&h=315] I’m set to interview Mimi Chakarova today, the maker of this film about the sex trafficking of East European women. It’s a tough tale about how poverty makes young women in former Soviet bloc countries vulnerable to the promises of well-paid work as waitresses abroad, only for them to be trapped into prostitution. […]

Gonzo journalism? Sounds more like the brighter future to me

I enjoyed this recent video interview by Tanya O’Carroll, a fellow volunteer at visionOntv, with mobile media maker and professional blogger Christian Payne. The man  talks great sense – I agree completely with his thinking about a future for journalism that includes the many citizen journalists in addition to the full-timers. Just the sort of […]

The bloody realities of self publishing

Self-publishing is a grind. Don’t kid yourself that you can just kiss off that bestseller, throw it up on line as an eBook or paperback then lay back and count the royalty cheques as they roll in, particularly if you forgot to put in the teen vampires chapter. Here in the grunt room at Fraudcast News, […]

Uploading smartphone videos to multiple sites

I have been volunteering with visionOntv for the last few weeks, helping out with their project to encourage the widest possible distribution of video for social change. That has involved me doing and learning ultra-light video shooting and publishing techniques that I hope to be able to share with other citizen journalists working to transform […]