From Media to Movement
This chapter provides some specific examples of traditional and alternative distribution practices, targeted audience outreach efforts, and successful engagement strategies whereby practitioners make a documentary project an integral component of a larger social campaign or movement. The vibrant example of Trembling Before G-d's release underscores how questions of documentary access certainly involve distribution but also necessitate outreach. A recurring concept across all the case studies in the chapter discusses audience, access, and action is the notion of community. The success of independent documentary hinges on accessing communities as collaborators and audiences and mobilizing communities to engage with projects and their central issues in generative ways. The Internet has opened up possibilities for very real but virtual communities to form across barriers, such as geographic distance, via documentary media production, distribution, and engagement. Media democracy is not based in technology alone; it is predicated upon lifting one self out of complacency and using the technologies of their time in innovative ways.