Call for Contributions: Film Platform

FILM PLATFORM is a joint effort by some of the world’s leading filmmakers and sales agents to bring their finest documentary films to an academic audience. It is an innovative online hub and educational resource, created to provide educators with the best in documentary filmmaking. We believe that documentaries are a germane and stimulating means of learning. Our international selection of films, covering many diverse genres and subjects, can be used to introduce new concepts, expose students to fresh perspectives and ideas, and enhance classroom discussions. Through these films people and ideas from even the most far-flung corners of the world can be brought straight into the classroom to challenge and engage students.

Our carefully curated catalogue combines in-depth stories with out-of-the-box storytelling on a broad range of topics, including the environment, racism, poverty, the effects of globalization, and gender issues. FILM PLATFORM aims to provide such works — at times controversial in form or content, at other times exploring complex and painful histories and memories — with additional context, and to represent the larger discussions to which they respond. Films in our catalogue will be accompanied by carefully selected articles, study guides and interviews with filmmakers.

FILM PLATFORM is designed as an interactive and dynamic sphere of encounter. One of its main objectives is to make filmmakers and even film subjects present in the classroom and part of the discussion. Using our website, filmmakers can engage with viewers through Skype Q&As or live chats. FILM PLATFORM also posts short videos of filmmakers’ commentaries, and initiates conversations between filmmakers and scholars working on related fields. Lastly, aiming to open up a space for dialogue, we encourage all of our users to bring their discussions to the web, where everyone can benefit from their suggestions and insights.

FILM PLATFORM is proud to work with an advisory board, consisting of leading scholars in their fields. Among our board members are: Richard Pena, Michael Renov, Faye Ginsburg, Brian Winston, Chris Berry and Noemi Schory. In addition, FILM PLATFORM collaborates with leading film institutions, film festivals and film professionals around the world such as Sheffield Film Festival, True or False, and with organizations whose causes it wishes to support, such as the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, and more.

FILM PLATFORM invites scholars to publish their work on our website and to contribute to one of the following categories:

Curated Collections:
Curated collections are used to build a multi-layered and multi-perspective discussion around a specific theme. Curators need to select up to 5-6 films related to their field of expertise.
Each curated section must include:

1.  An introduction of up to 1500 words that highlights the main issues, provides some background to the specific context, reviews recent debates or trends, and lastly, introduces some guiding questions that the collection is going to explore.
2.  A short description and some reflection on each of the selected films that highlight the contribution this film has to the general inquiry (around 500 words per film).
3.  A list of references or suggested readings.

Short Essays and Articles:
A short article or an essay (around 2000-3000 words) that addresses one of the films in our catalogue.
Essays and articles are meant to position the film in a larger historical, social, cultural or aesthetic context. They can for example, provide some more background on the social reality that the film aims to document, or review a wider phenomenon, trend or movement to which the film belong, or rather reflect on the film’s aesthetic choices and creative treatment.
The article/essay’s format and style are not fixed. It can be in the range between an elongated blog post and an academic article. It needs to be well informed and research based, and yet comprehensible to various audiences, including academics and students outside of film studies. We will give preference for short, clear-written essays that tackle specific issues or questions that the film brings out.
Articles or essays may include a list of references or bibliographical sources.

Conversation with Filmmakers:
Additional format published by FILM PLATFORM are transcribed conversations between academics and filmmakers on their shared object of research. At this point this applies only to filmmakers whose films are distributed by FILM PLATFORM.
Conversations should reflect on the complexities of the society/reality/culture in which both filmmaker and scholar are active and on the set of decisions taken or strategies chosen by both filmmaker and scholar. In the given situation what is shared by the two methods of research? How do they differ? What kind of critique do they have to offer? What course of action do they pursue? What is their effect?
Transcribed conversations should be up to 3000 words. We accept either pre-constituted conversations or offers for a potential conversation. In these cases the applying party must send a short abstract and five questions or observations around which the conversation can evolve. If accepted, FILM PLATFORM will reach out to the filmmaker and ask their permission.

Contributions in any of the formats described above can be sent, together with a short bio, to: Laliv@filmplatform.net.

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