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 to new audiences or bringing real stories to the often-dry and abstract facts and figures?

As well as answering that question, Andrea explains how HRW selects the documentaries it screens and how film makers can pitch their finished stories.

The no-edit interview was shot using a Samsung Galaxy SII smartphone with an audio splitter and a basic microphone following visionOntv’s mobile reporting template. The reason I like the approach so much, and recommend it in the conclusions of my book Fraudcast News as a basic tool for citizen journalists, is because it cuts out so many of the hurdles to getting video news out there quickly.