Took some time, and a breath, the past few months to recharge and take stock of the enormity of the impact work we have engaged on these past years (btw, I highly recommend a trip to Costa Rica to unplug, per the photo above!). It was a terrific opportunity to assess For Impact Productions’ focus on narrative and social change, the evolution of the impact producing field, and to consider where our own art fits in the mix.
Coming off this exercise one thing remained clear, there are many, many worthy and important stories that not only beg to be artistically expressed but also most importantly need to be fostered and cared for within broader contexts of the world. Given our society’s heightened struggle with disruption of the status quo, expressing diverse stories and raising voices is a must in this environment.
So, here we are at a fevered pitch to help broaden minds and hearts towards a more evolved humanity and a healthier and more sustainable planet. I am more energized as ever to push the boundaries of how visual storytelling and art can open up a wider dialogue and understanding of challenging social issues and how it can get us to see beyond ourselves and that which has defined our own lived experiences.
Research from ‘the mind sciences’ neuroscience and cognitive psychology reveal that stories are easier for our brains to understand … turns out narrative requires less semantic processing than data. Storytelling is also acknowledged as a key component in building empathy, critical thinking skills and in understanding the world in more nuanced ways. To top it off, emotions are central to how people interpret messages …and, story characters evoke physiological responses! With all this knowledge coming out of the 1990’s ‘decade of the brain’, the power of narrative and visual storytelling when combined with social impact is even more apparent. With the emotional language and sensory experience one can glean from film, the more audiences and communities will have an opportunity to think deeply about the experiences of characters and the issues they face. Giving us ‘positive-change-minded-filmmakers’ an extraordinary opportunity to use our art form to help reframe detrimental attitudes, perceptions, and actions that too often lack appreciation for “the other.” Simply put, we cannot advance any topics from gender discrimination to climate restoration, to racial justice, or the interests of marginalized groups, without weaving in a narrative approach to the solutions.
With ‘the power of narrative inextricably linked to advancing change’ as our north star, For Impact Productions’ expertise and services over the next decade will be framed around:
- Expanding and developing our collaborations with diverse artistic voices and stories that infuse positive change in our culture
- Going deeper with our client services by using a contextual, story-based approach towards raising awareness and fundamentally rewiring dominant belief structures that underpin many societal challenges
- Evolving content, packaging, and positioning that takes what we’ve learned of the mind and the new realities of the digital age fight for airtime and audience attention to build stronger relationships between audiences, brands, ideas, and causes
- Creating cadres of multi-disciplinary support and ecosystems that have a shared understanding of client projects and see the potential of film/content to open dialogue, raise awareness and instill positive action to advance meaningful, lasting change on a variety of issues. We will remain dedicated to thematic works of art that deal with social issue topics such as gender, abuse, disability, healthcare, with expansion into diversity and race, conservation, and climate change
- Managing the waves and forces that will undoubtedly impact our client’s projects with deeper, contextualized thinking, out of the box approaches to financing, and strategic partnerships for policy and social progress.
We are full speed ahead! This year we have a slate of fiction features and documentaries in development that are unearthing truths and opening our eyes. From CLARA, an animated adventure about an 18thcentury real-life rhino who will help build global awareness of the current extinction crisis hitting the rhinocerous species to THE BALLAD OF ANNIE MAE AQUASH, the documentary uncovering the unsolved mystery of Annie Mae Aquash’s murder aimed at raising the alarm bells of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to (untitled) “Princess” a television series of the extraordinary story of the Princess of Wales to (untitled) “Women and Wall Street,” a sweeping investigation of the history and state of women, money and power in finance.
Our ethos remains — part production company, part strategic partner, part architect for a better world.