2012 Producers Institute for New Media Technologies

Published On: November 4, 2015 |

Six social issue documentary teams were selected to develop interactive web, mobile, multimedia, and game projects at BAVC Media’s 2012 Producers Institute for New Media Technologies from from October 12 – 19, 2012 in San Francisco. Projects included stories from local, national, and international producers on a wide range of social justice topics including homelessness, immigration, economic justice, educational opportunity, democracy and human rights.

Producers Institute 2012 was presented in partnership with ITVS and Mozilla. Additional support wass generously provided by the Adobe Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Fledgling Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The Wyncote Foundation. Venue sponsors included SPUR, Dolby Laboratories, and Transbay Fest. In-kind support was provided by Bi-Rite Markets, Cafe Taboo, El Porteno Empenadas, Goat Hill Pizza, House of Bagels, La Boulange Bakery, Mollie Stone’s Market, Trader Joe’s, and Real Food Co.

2012 Producers Institute Projects

Wonder City

Team: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, Vaquera Productions, Naomi Clark, Dead Pixel Co

Nonprofit Partner(s): Games for Change

Documentary Film: Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation. The film seeks to inspire women and girls to study the example set by heroic women and to recognize, develop, identify and harness their own innate strengths and powers.

Transmedia Project: Wonder City is a game designed to appeal to a broad audience, and will be suitable for tweens, teens and adults. Although the main character whose choices you guide will always be a superheroine, producers anticipate that male players will find it just as engaging.

America Revisited

Team: Loira Limbal and Stanley Nelson of Firelight Media; Katie Marsh, Kounterattack Design

Nonprofit Partner: Youth Speaks; Campus Progress / Center for American Progress – The Black Youth Project

Documentary Film: Black Panthers: Seize the Time, part of America Revisited, a PBS trilogy on the African-American experience

Transmedia Project: America Revisited, The Black Panthers transmedia project, will create an opportunity for the public to contribute personal archival material and home videos related to the African-American experience to this unprecedented public media project. The project will leverage a centralized media uploader to enable maximum flexibility for uploading various forms of content. Users will upload video, audio, images, and documents to the website, or share content to their social networks, enabling word-of-mouth marketing that will help populate the transmedia platform with creative content and become a repository of archival material from viewer’s personal collections that can be incorporated into the production of the feature documentary film.

Land of Opportunity

Team: Luisa Dantas, Doug Miller

Nonprofit Partner(s): Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, National Housing Institute/Shelterforce

Documentary Film: Land of Opportunity, a feature length documentary, tracks the reconstruction of New Orleans post-Katrina and a diverse set of people: “What do we want our cities to look like, and what can we do to make that vision a reality?”

Transmedia Project: The Land of Opportunity Interactive Video Experience will use content from the Land of Opportunity documentary as a prototype for using interactive video to engage a variety of constituencies: urban equity advocates, educators, and community groups. The tool will integrate video with related multimedia content curated by strategic partners, that users can navigate, contribute, share and tailor in myriad ways.


Team: Danny Alpert, Kindling Group; Heidi Boivert, FuturePerfect Lab; Michael Hoffman, See3Communications

Nonprofit Partner: 100,000 Homes

Documentary Film: @home is a journey into “new” American homelessness through the eyes of Mark Horvath. Once a homeless addict, and now devoted crusader for this cause, Mark uses raw interviews with the homeless and social media to raise awareness and smash stereotypes on invisiblepeople.tv. Mark also struggles to keep himself from sinking back into homelessness as he battles to pull America back from the cataclysmic spread of homelessness on our horizon. By giving voice to the “invisible people,” Mark has touched millions and by exposing what the failure of our common safety net means for us all he dares us to care.

Transmedia Project: C.I.V.I.T.A.S. is a social media and community engagement initiative exploring home through the collecting and sharing of digital content, developing large-scale mixed reality scavenger hunt game.

The Responsive Government Project

Team: Jason Cohn and Camille Servan-Schreiber, Bread and Butter Films

Nonprofit Partner: Roosevelt Institute

Documentary Film: Mad!: Howard Jarvis and the Birth of the Tax Revolt

Jason Cohn is the Peabody-Award-winning director and producer of Eames: The Architect and the Painter. He follows up with a California-based story about bottom up government. The documentary unfolds as a tightly-drawn campaign narrative featuring a small cast of colorful characters, including the profane septuagenarian, Jarvis, and the young bachelor governor, Jerry Brown, who faced off in the most significant issue campaign in American direct democracy.

Transmedia Project: The Responsive Government Project (working title) is a platform that combines social media, gaming and behavioral economics to allow people to connect over problems they want government to help solve. It also facilitates a virtual market where citizen inputs determine acceptable “ tax price tags” for specific services.

Immigrant Nation

Team: Theo Rigby, Kate McLean

Nonprofit Partner(s): National Domestic Workers Alliance

Documentary Film: At the heart of Immigrant Nation is a simple premise: nearly every person in the U.S. has an immigration journey, be it their own or the voyage of a relative in the past. As the hot-button topic of immigration divides communities across the country, our shared history has the potential to create commonality between recent immigrants and those whose families have lived in the U.S. for generations.

Transmedia Project: Immigrant Nation uses personal narratives to humanize divisive immigration issues in the U.S.  On Immigrant Nation’s interactive online platform, users can watch powerful short documentaries and then create their own immigration story. They can add their story to a data rich timeline of immigration arrivals to the U.S., tag their family members in their stories, find friends and relatives, and share the Immigrant Nation experience in their social networks.