US-Russia Cinema Effort Announced

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Thu, 08/28/2014 - 11:28 -- Nick Dager

Downtown Community Television Center's program Media Enabled Musketeers will partner, this fall, with Moscow's Journalism Advancement and Support Center to connect disabled citizens with American and Russian local media organizations. One of the films showcased is From Jonathan Novick's Don’t Look Down on Me., which took the Internet by storm, going live on Youtube August 7th.  

Project partners will conduct community training seminars on disability sensitivity as well as workshops on documentary storytelling for citizens with disabilities, journalists, and journalism students.  Journalists will pair up with disabled citizens to produce short films about issues that affect their community. 

Participants from Russia and the U.S. will travel to each other's countries to work together to make collaborative short films about disability issues.  In September, Media Enabled Musketeers will hold a mini festival of completed films, which will be hosted by the Moscow Documentary Film Center.  Come October, DCTV will host a similar event in New York City, completing the exchange.

Don’t Look Down on Me is a short documentary chronicles a day in the life of Jonathan Novick, living in New York City, who was born with Achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism. He uses footage from a hidden camera disguised as a button on his shirt to show what he has to deal with: mistaken identity, harassment, condescension, and bigotry.  The film has already garnered over two million views, with coverage on Inside Edition, BBC Trending, Yahoo, Huffington Post, The Gloss, Laughing Squid and many others.  

"This is why we picked up cameras 40 years ago. To help give a voice to the voiceless. We are inspired by the films this talented group has made.  And excited at the reception from the public. In America and Russia,” said DCTV's co-founder and 16 time National Emmy winner, Jon Alpert.

DCTV is a media arts center that fosters diverse viewpoints by providing professional training, state-of-the-industry resources, and by creating outstanding documentary productions, with the belief that diversity of expression strengthens our democracy and enhances civil society.

Founded by Alpert and Keiko Tsuno, DCTV has fostered a diverse and inclusive media arts community for 40 productive years. DCTV pursues its educational mission by introducing members of the community to the basics of electronic media through hundreds of free or low-cost production courses and access to broadcast-quality production equipment. 

Media Enabled Musketeers is funded by the Eurasia Foundation and its SEE (US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange) Program and the U.S. State Department with additional support from Slava Fetisov (the famous hockey player), Sony, Edna Eidelberg and Curt Rosloff, Bank of America Matching Gift Program, Time Warner Cares, The Center for New Media and Society, TV Radoneje (Sergiev Posad), and TVK (Krasnoyarsk).