Key Elements of Advocacy Filmmaking

advocacy filmmaking

Some of our work at Big Voice Pictures has been focused on producing films that motivate dialog about challenging social issues, and organizing outreach efforts to create change in communities for the well-being of children, families and communities.  To meet these ends, our productions incorporate a special style of filmmaking — what I call advocacy storytelling.  These are some of the key elements needed for advocacy filmmaking:

*In advocacy storytelling goals are designed to initiate change and raise awareness
than just telling a story.

*Advocacy storytelling effectively communicates ‘truths that need to be told’.

*Yet, the message also includes hope, pointing toward sustainable change.

*The story includes a call-to-action, inspiring and encouraging the viewer to act.

*A good advocacy film includes a strategic outreach and audience engagement plan that encourages
audiences to create solutions for the need(s) the film addresses.

*Advocacy filmmakers create a meaningful partnerships with like-minded communities,
creating a village of leaders working together for change.

*This includes engaging communities in creating specific action steps to create sustainable change.

*Outreach strategies also include empowering those whose lives have been impacted by the film’s message to become part of the film’s outreach. In this way, they pass on the baton to others..and the ripple effects of social and individual transformation continue.

I’ve seen so many great documentaries and programs on broadcast television that offer valuable social issue messages. However, it’s a shame many of them are ‘shelved’, never seen again. With the cost of production, the time involved in producing programs, and the value in the program’s messages, advocacy and outreach needs to be key components for any media project that unveils crucial social issues and injustices.

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