Esra’a is a recipient of the Berkman Award from Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society for “outstanding contributions to the internet and its impact on society.” She is currently a Senior TED Fellow (despite being all of 24 years old) and an Echoing Green Fellow. Recently, one of her projects, CrowdVoice.org, a global aggregator of content on protests, was called out by Inc. Magazine as “One of the 5 Start-Ups Bubbling Up at TED”. Esra’a has also been recently featured in Time Magazine, CNN, the New York Times, the Guardian and is one of Fast Company’s nominees for this year’s Google journalism prize.
Some of her most recent projects include an interactive platform for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender community in the Middle East. Additionally, she recently created Mideast Tunes, dedicated to providing a platform for emerging musicians in the Middle East and March 18 Movement in order to honor Omid Reza Mirsayafi, who on that date became the first blogger to die in prison. The March 18 Movement won a Think Social Award for serving as a “powerful mode for how social media can be used to address global problems.”
On October 12th, criminal justice professionals in New York City gathered for a screening and special focus group of The Farm: 10 Down. The event was co-hosted by John Jay College Center on Media, Crime and Justice. Featured guests included: Stephen Handelman, Director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College, Jonathan Stack, director of The Farm: 10 Down and Mara-Michelle Batlin, co-founder and producer at HCD Media Group. The focus group was led by Amy Lerman, PhD, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Princeton University and Chris Weiss, PhD, Director, Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences Program, Columbia University.
HCD Media Group will be heading to Utah for the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab on August 20-22. The Summit is a three-day invitation-only gathering that connects 40 independent filmmakers with 20 top film industry professionals, producers, distributors and directors. This year, Netflix Founder and CEO Reed Hastings will give the keynote address. Other panelists include: Michael Barker (Sony Pictures Classics), Arianna Bocco (IFC), Meredith Blake (Cause & Affect), Peter Broderick (Paradigm Consulting), Craig Emanuel (Loeb & Loeb LLP), Marian Koltai-Levine (PMK/BNC), Charlotte Mickie (E1 Entertainment), Ted Mundorff (Landmark Theaters), Josh Radnor (on behalf of SAGindie), filmmakers Jennifer Arnold and Heather Rae, John Sloss (Cinetic Media), and Graham Taylor (William Morris Endeavor).
The Creative Labs initiative was designed to help emerging independent filmmakers navigate the newest trends in the business of creating and distributing independent film as well as develop a producer’s creative instincts in all stages of film production and evolve his/her communication and problem-solving skills. Click here to read the entire press release.
We are so proud of the documentary that gives a voice to the Angola population, but more importantly showcases the powerful turn-around of the prison spearheaded by Warden Burl Cain,” said Mara-Michelle Batlin, one of the producers of the documentary. “The work he has accomplished at Angola proves that prison reform is a real possibility in Texas.”
The evening began with a reception where guests met the documentary producers, followed by the documentary screening. Guests experienced a range of emotions as they followed the triumphs and struggles of three Angola inmates. After the screening, Warden Burl Cain of Angola was on hand to answer questions about the complete turn-around of what was once notorious as one of the most dangerous prisons in America. When asked about the turn-around, he attributes it, in part, to the inmates attendance at the Bible College on the prison grounds. “I believe the life principles they learn in the Bible College has transformed their lives,” said Warden Cain. “Because of the internal changes in these men, we experience peace and mutual respect at Angola.”
After the Dallas Screening, Brandi Richard from The Young Professionals Advocate, interviewed Warden Cain. Click on the link to see part 1, 2 & 3 of the interview.
The Ford Foundation has given Highest Common Denominator Fund a grant to show the film nation-wide in order to inspire discussion of critical issues in our judicial system. For more information about screening the film in your community, email us at email@example.com.
To read more about The Fledgling Fund, please visit www.thefledglingfund.org.
When “The Farm” was released in 1998 it garnered many of cinema’s top awards, including the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, the LA Film Critic’s Award, the New York Film Critics Award, an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary, 2 Emmys and 4 Emmy nominations. The fully re-mastered film is now available for the first time on DVD in a special 10th Anniversary Edition.
“The Farm: 10 Down had its broadcast debut on the National Geographic Channel in June, 2009 under the title “A Decade Behind Bars: Return to The Farm.” HCD has also released the feature length theatrical version of The Farm: 10 Down.” Both DVD’s are available for purchase at the HCD Store.
Additionally, THE FARM: 10 DOWN will have its European premiere at the 2009 IDFA as part of the festival’s Reflecting Images: Masters program.
IDFA was founded in 1988 in order to stimulate the national and international documentary culture; since it’s foundation IDFA has developed into the largest documentary film festival in the world.
Click on the link to watch the interview. PLUMTV
Click to watch the Connected Trailer!