Collectively at the Mead

A rich trove of storytelling lies beyond mainstream film markets across dynamic collectives that have emerged internationally since 1986. Collectively illuminates how media empowers communities whose voices were previously underrepresented. The three collectives showcased this year represent a diverse group of visual storytellers—East African filmmakers, Indigenous voices of the Brazilian Amazon, and Cambodia’s multimedia memory-makers. Each collective provides training and access to filmmaking equipment as well as mentorship. The resulting stories offer unique and vital cultural perspectives celebrated by the Margaret Mead Film Festival.

Vídeo nas Aldeias | Video in the Villages
Brazil

Saturday, October 20 | 9 pm | Program F36
Since its founding by award-winning documentary filmmaker and activist Vincent CarelliVídeo nas Aldeias has supported 40 Amazonian groups in 14 Brazilian states that now use media to shape the portrayal of Amazonian communities in mainstream society, change public policy, and communicate with each another. 

Maisha Film Lab
Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda

Saturday, October 20 | 2 pm | Program F35
Oscar-nominated director Mira Nair founded Maisha, which means ‘life’ in Kiswahili, with the motto, “If we don’t tell our own stories, no one else will.” Since 2004, the collective has funded more than 700 participants from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda producing more than 75 short films.

Bophana Center
Cambodia

Sunday, October 21 | 2 pm | Program F34
Founded by acclaimed filmmaker Rithy Panh, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide, the Bophana Center is dedicated to restoring and protecting Cambodian audiovisual heritage and to training a new generation of storytellers.

Co-presented by Asia Society

Collectively in Conversation

Sunday, October 21 | 4:30 pm | Program F41
Collectively highlights groundbreaking community-based media collectives. Using audio and visual media from the Bophana Center in Cambodia, Maisha Film Lab in East Africa and Vídeo nas Aldeias | Video in the Villages in the Brazilian Amazon, participants will discuss their work and its circulation. Joining us are acclaimed directors Rithy Panh, founder of Bophana Center, Vídeo Nas Aldeias’ founder Vincent Carelli, and Mira Nair, who started Maisha with the motto “If we don’t tell our own stories, no one else will.” 

Co-presented by the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History, Department of Anthropology