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DECISIONS ON DEADLINE – Alpha Launch

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For the past several years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make journalism education a bit more fun.  One of the classes I loved in J-school was ‘Law and Ethics’ but I was in the minority. The reason for that is not that the material is not interesting, but rather that the presentation of the material is often reduced to reviewing and discussing case studies.

I wanted to come up with a more fun and interactive way to teach journalism ethics, so along with my co-creator Brittney Shepherd, I developed DECISIONS ON DEADLINE – the new fun and fast-paced browser and tablet based game that teaches journalism ethics for the digital age.

DoD_WF_2_progression_screenI came up with this idea during my 2011 BAVC Mediamaker Fellowship, and continued to develop it long afterwards, and I’m thrilled to say that we got funding for the project from ITVS as part of their P360 Enhanced Initiative.

Since that time we’ve hired the Canadian gaming company Frima Studios to help us bring our vision to life, and things are going well! Currently, we hope to launch the game alongside the National PBS Broadcast of A FRAGILE TRUST on May 5th.

DECISIONS ON DEADLINE will be playable on your browser or as a downloadable app for tablets in the iTunes store.  More soon!!

Critical Praise for A FRAGILE TRUST

JBStaring3After 7 years in the making, A FRAGILE TRUST is finally playing to audiences around the country.  Here’s what people are saying:

“One of the Gray Lady’s most embarrassing moments comes to complex life in this tough-minded analysis that explores issues of race, affirmative action and institutional inertia.” - Time Out New York

“[Blair] is most helpful when describing how his first, minor lies opened a floodgate…suggesting that most of us often resist temptation because we believe we’ll get caught.” - Hollywood Reporter

“Provocative!” - Steven Gaydos of -Variety

“Grant paints a fascinating portrait of a talented but disturbed, insecure (and possibly sociopathic) young man who spun a web of lies so thick his falsehoods soon became indistinguishable from his reality.” - IndieWire

“At a time when newspapers are struggling and resources are stretched, A Fragile Trust is a compelling reminder of the importance of paying attention to the details, no matter how small or trivial. “ Miami Herald

“First-Rate… a thorough and balanced examination.” - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Great journalism and superb documentary film making.” -BlogCritics

“An excellent field guide for dissecting the moment when telling a mistruth seemed like a better idea than being honest.” -Slash Films

A FRAGILE TRUST tours festival circuit

Smoking_animation We’ve been having a great time bringing A FRAGILE TRUST to audiences around the world while touring the film festival circuit.  We’ve been honored to be nominated for the Special Jury Prize at The Sheffield Doc/Fest, the Best Documentary Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival, and the Metropolis Award at DOC NYC.  In addition to these fests, as of December, 2013, AFT is an official selection at the following fests: Hamptons International Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Hollywood Film Festival, Denver Starz Film Festival, East Lansing Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, and the Hot Docs Doc Soup Screening Series.

Stay tuned as we continue to tour the festival circuit until our national PBS broadcast on Independent Lens – May 5th, 2014!

Sheffield Doc Fest World Premiere!

Sheffield Doc Fest After 7 long years in the making A FRAGILE TRUST:  Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at the New York Times will be having its World Premiere at one of the top international documentary film festivals in the world – SHEFFIELD DOC FEST.

We are thrilled that A FRAGILE TRUST was chosen from the over 2000 films that were submitted and cannot wait to share all our hard work with the world.  We even got a great mention in The Guardian UK’s coverage of the upcoming festival.

In other news, we have a new website for A FRAGILE TRUST in the works, and lots more surprises coming soon.

Paraguay Part 3: GIRLS IN THE FOREST

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Happy to report that I am back in Paraguay for the third time in as many years, working on GIRLS IN THE FOREST, the independent feature documentary that I’m shooting and producing with Carl Byker.  This time, we are here to capture the graduation of the class of girls we’ve been following since they first left their homes to come to Centro Educativo de Mbaracayu.  Housed in the last old-growth forest in Paraguay (and an UNESCO World Heritage Site) CEM is a marvel.  A truly revolutionary high school, it offers a new way of life for girls in this part of the world.  Moving, inspiring, and beautiful stories – so much has happened in the past 3 years!

“PLAY – DIY survival in the Music Industry”

Screen shot 2012-03-14 at 4.38.03 PMBlast from the past.  Just recently came across this link from director Joelle Jaffe to her excellent short film PLAY - “a documentary film that follows the work of independent musicians — at various points in their careers and various levels of fame — trying to navigate the waters of a changing music industry.” I am proud to have served as the Director of Photography on this film, which features musicians Vienna Teng, John Vanderslice, and The Cassettes.  WATCH THE WHOLE FILM HERE.

THE GIRLS IN THE FOREST – second Paraguay shoot

Just got back from an amazing shoot in Paraguay where I was working as the DP and Producer for the upcoming feature documentary The Girls in the Forest. We were there to document the very first graduating class as they received their diplomas and began their post-school journeys. Shot some beautiful moments with the group of girls we’ve been following since they first arrived at Mbaracayu nearly 2 years ago, and witnessed some striking character transformations as they discover how powerful they really are. Amazing, inspiring, and beautiful.

You can see an extended trailer for the film here:  http://vimeo.com/31811954

A FRAGILE TRUST going to IFP Independent Film Week!!

Picture 1Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is an amazing organization that supports indie filmmakers and our films on the journey to completion.  One of the wonderful things that IFP does each year is host a fantastic Independent Film Week in New York City where they bring together the best new films with the best in the industry – hoping to generate partnerships, funding opportunities etc.   Although we are lucky enough to already have our funding and domestic TV distribution in place (PBS), we are still seeking international, home video, digital, and educational distribution, as well as funds for a theatrical version of the film, and our companion transmedia project.  In addition, we are eager to meet lots of festival programmers so we can get on their radar early.

We are thrilled to have been selected to be included in this years “Spotlight on Documentaries” which highlights the best new docs currently in development.

Read more here

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