Read the Winter 2017 newsletter from Meridian Hill Pictures, including updates on THE MESSY TRUTH, CITY OF TREES encore broadcast on PBS/WORLD Channel's America ReFramed, and our new Community Screening Kit + Discussion Guide.
This Fall, the production and release of THE MESSY TRUTH with VAN JONES was one of the most intense — and impactful — experiences we’ve ever embarked upon as documentary filmmakers. During an incredibly divisive moment in our national political discourse, the stories we told through the series were seen by millions of people, helping to infuse more empathy and understanding into a divisive moment for our country. This week, we are honored to continue sharing our work on the airwaves.
TONIGHT, CITY OF TREES has its encore broadcast on PBS/WORLD Channel's America ReFramed, just one day after MLK Day and days before the Inauguration. Following more than 20 festivals + 30 community screenings last year, CITY OF TREES plays tonight as part of a month-long lineup of films focused on the fights for income equality and racial justice (check your local listings). If you miss the broadcast, don't worry: CITY OF TREES will be available to stream for free for one week (Jan. 18-24) on the WORLD Channel website and PBS app.
After watching the film, help us spread the word to universities, nonprofits, public agencies and communities. We are looking for organizations interested in purchasing the CITY OF TREES screening kit and hosting a screening using our new discussion guide.
In an era of fake news, big divides and oversimplification of complex issues, we’re committed to authenticity, truth and nuanced storytelling that helps people understand the complicated world we live in and brings people together in productive dialogue. We could not do this work without you, and we are grateful for all of your continued support.
— Lance, Brandon, and the MHP team
Messy Truth has 4 million views + rebroadcast on CNN.com
On November 3, Meridian Hill Pictures and Magic Labs Media launched a new Facebook-exclusive digital mini-series: THE MESSY TRUTH with Van Jones. Since launching the series, the episodes have had more than 4 million combined views on Facebook page and received national media attention on CNN.com, The New York Times, Sojourners, and The Huffington Post. The initial three episodes helped create momentum leading to two THE MESSY TRUTH one-hour specials Van hosted on CNN. The next 1-hour special airs Jan. 25.
New Community Screening Kit w/ Discussion Guide!
Tonight's encore broadcast coincides with the launch of the CITY OF TREES discussion guide. Almost a year in the making, the guide is an in-depth resource designed to help facilitators hold conversations that dive deeply into the film’s central themes. The guide is included in our new CITY OF TREES Community Screening Kit now available for purchase. Learn more.
This Fall MHP produced a series of short docs with The Washington Ballet to mark their 40th anniversary and celebrate new artistic director Julie Kent. The videos premiered at a major performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and are currently being released on social media. Watch and share!
Staff + Intern News:
Kenya Raymond, CECAP trainee. Kenya Raymond joins MHP as a trainee in the new Creative Economy Career Access Program sponsored by the DC Office of Cable Television Film Music and Entertainment. Kenya is placed with Meridian Hill Pictures for a year to learn on-the-job training, experience and job placement support to establish a sustainable career in the creative economy. Find Kenya on Linked-in.
Lisa Fierstein, outgoing fall production intern. Lisa is a multimedia producer from Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from Skidmore College in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and a double minor in Media & Film and Arts Administration. Before MHP, Lisa interned at the Kennedy Center and at NPR member stations in her hometown and Michigan as a music programmer and arts and culture reporter. Recently, her first short film screened at the Legacy Film Festival in San Francisco. Find Lisa on Linked-in.
Aisha Jama, outgoing fall outreach intern. Aisha Jama hails from Ann Arbor, MI, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she majored in International Studies and Arabic. Before MHP, Aisha interned with Frontline and completed the news assistant program with the PBS NewsHour. Find Aisha on Linked-in.
Upcoming Festivals + Screenings:
Seattle Web Fest. March 11th, Seattle, WA.
RVA Environmental Film Festival. Feb. 6th, 6:30-9:30pm. Richmond, VA.
The Corps Network 2017 National Conference. Feb. 11th, 5pm. Washington, DC.
Colorado Environmental Film Festival. Feb 23rd-25th. Golden, CO.
- Boston University’s Cinemathèque. March 17th. Boston, MA.
New York City Urban Field Station Screening at Pace University. March 30th. NYC.
Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum. April 21st. Washington, DC
“CITY OF TREES, and especially the hour-long discussion that followed, made people think about the economic disparities and lack of opportunities for minorities. Given the current racial tensions in the US, the film brought individual's life challenges, social, racial, class, and economic disparities to the forefront. I'd like to think that we opened some eyes and minds by screening and dialoguing about the film.”
—Pamela Thompson, Manager of Adult Education, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University - Boston, MA
“CITY OF TREES opened up a discussion about the relationship between urban residents and their parks. Can planting trees improve community engagement and participation in their own neighborhoods? The film and discussion got [the college graduates] very interested and invested in the link between social justice and environmental sustainability in a way that a lecture or book could not.”
—Jeanne Haffner, Dumbarton Oaks, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies - Washington, DC
“CITY OF TREES was a real depiction of the difficulties nonprofits face when trying to make a difference. The audience was able to relate to the lives of the main characters and see themselves in the struggles and successes of each person.”
—Glenn Wilson, President and Co-founder, Communities First, Inc. - Flint, MI
THE MESSY TRUTH
Reporters have to get better at listening. This new docuseries shows how. Q&A with Brandon and Lance in Sojourners, November 16, 2016.
The messy truth about the gulf between Trump and Clinton voters. CNN, December 6, 2016.
CITY OF TREES
Director Brandon Kramer discusses City of Trees ahead of Chicago premiere at KTQ Fall Festival, Kartemquin Blog, October 24, 2016.
City of Trees tells the story of greening efforts in DC. Open Tree Map blog, January 9, 2017.
Navigating the River: The Hidden Colonialism of Documentary. IDA Documentary Magazine, Summer 2016 issue.