Research as Activism: Studying the Documentary Ecosystem

IDA, Just Films (Ford Foundation), CMCI

The past year has exposed long-standing fissures in the documentary ecosystem. Although the phrase “Golden Age of Documentary” gets bandied about, the narrative and economic wealth of this industry is inequitably divided. The challenges of the pandemic, the uprising for racial justice, and an economic recession have made inequities more clear and the status quo is not sustainable. And yet, we face tremendous opportunities for documentary in the streaming media age. If we are to build documentary structures for the future, we must understand more about challenges and opportunities. Where is the abundance and where is the scarcity?

This panel will discuss research as a tool for reparative action in our documentary field. From the Center for Social Media’s State of the Field 2020 study and the Ford Foundation’s Beyond Inclusion to more informal membership scans, we will hear about a spectrum of field-led research efforts and the activism it inspires. Researchers and activists will discuss how to conduct the research and what to do with the results when we get them.

Moderated by Chi-Hui Yang of Ford Foundation’s Just Films, with researchers Caty Borum Chattoo and Sahar Driver, and activists to be announced.

This event is supported by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.


Mon, April 26, 2021

9:00 PM – 10:30 PM (GMT+04)

In order to  register for this online event and learn more about the speakers, please follow the link