• Cinema of ChangeFilmmakersFilmmakersMedia ImpactNextGenPerspectives in Cinema

    Cinema of Change vs Propaganda

    It's a Wonderful Life
    What differentiates a good message movie from a movie that’s too preachy? How does a movie effectively present a point of view without insulting the intelligence of its audience? As a Cinema of Change filmmaker, these are questions I am asking myself more and more. This year is the 70th Anniversary of Frank Capra’s beloved classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. I confess that even though I consider Capra to be one of the best filmmakers of our time, he often treads a fine line between earnestness and hitting his...
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    Joshua Oppenheimer: Why Filmmakers Shouldn’t Chase Impact

    Subscribe to Podcast Welcome to the Cinema of Change podcast with Robert Rippberger and Tobias Deml. Joshua Lincoln Oppenheimer was born in 1974 in Austin, Texas. He is a two-time Oscar-nominated American film director based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Oppenheimer has a Bachelor of Arts-degree summa cum laude in filmmaking from Harvard University and a PhD from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts in London. Oppenheimer spent 12 years in Indonesia and returned with two internationally praised documentaries, The Act of Killing (2012) &...
  • Cinema of Change

    Our Obsession with Story – A Survival Drive

    'Spannende Geschichte' artwork on a female storyteller from the 19th century
    We as filmmakers pursue a career in storytelling. That seems trivial – of course, that is what filmmaking is about: storytelling. But if you just withdraw yourself for a moment and think from much further away, as an imaginary alien species that doesn’t tell stories, you realize that what we’re doing here on Earth seems absolutely bizarre:   The Strange Obsession With Story There are people who imagine stories, write them down, and then there are actors playing out these stories, and finally there’s a crowd of people who...
  • Cinema of ChangeFilmmakersMedia Impact

    The Makings of the Mega-Blockbuster: Big Money and Impact

    Films that entertain and films that drive positive change in the world are often thought to be mutually exclusive. That’s the way it’s always been, and for years, people have felt foolish for expecting anything more. Now, halfway through the second decade of the twenty-first century, that paradigm is changing faster than ever. Let’s wind the clock back six years. The decade just turned a fresh page, and 2009 is only just behind us. The top grossing film of that year, and soon of all time, is James Cameron’s...
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    “Under the Gun” – Nonviolent Weapon at Sundance ’16

    Going to Sundance ’16, I didn’t actually plan on seeing any movies. There were too many exciting events, too many great panels, and a plethora of VR experiences. On an early Tuesday morning, I happen to miss a screening together with a fellow Berkeley journalist, and so we decide to watch some other movie rather than returning to our desks. The movie that we choose coincidentally: “Under the Gun“. When you go to Press & Industry (P&I) screenings, there’s some empty seats and you’re surrounded by journalists hastily typing on laptops, accessing wordpress layouts...
  • Cinema of ChangeFilmmakersMedia ImpactNextGenPerspectives in Cinema

    ‘7 Days in Syria’: An Essential Portrait

    About two-thirds of the way through Robert Rippberger and Scott Rosenfelt’s harrowing new documentary 7 Days In Syria, we are led into an unnamed city center by a member of the Free Syrian Army. The man arrives at a lonely street corner, and the camera rests on what we’re told is the Syrian equivalent of Time Square. In broad daylight, the city is dead. There isn’t a single sign of life to be seen. The only sound ruining the quiet is the muted rattle of distant gunfire, and even...