Impact

Impact

JENNIFER EKSTRUM

The Impact Producer for a film plays a role not unlike that of an orchestra’s conductor. Instead of sheet music that the conductor must creatively arrange, we develop a strategy for maximizing the impact a film can have, and we’re expected to translate that strategy to a reasonable and more importantly, doable tactical plan. Having made an independent documentary, and earlier in my career managed communications for cause-focused non-profits, I’ve come to understand that you need to know first what specifically you want to change with your film, and then you need to be both realistic and strategic about moving forward with activities and partnerships that galvanize and activate new viewers.

As the Impact Producer for Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives, I’m working with an information and activities-based plan that will remind audiences of the environmental impacts of war, that will empower them to think more critically about elected officials they vote for, and articulate the positive impacts awareness can produce. While our film is over eight years old, we have five next-gen “shorts” produced from unseen footage and still photography that are the centerpiece for re-energizing awareness of war and its impacts. The vision we have is one of multiple constituencies, including students, teachers, veterans and even voters that can see a new ethic around war is possible, that we can do things differently.

Longer term, we all realize that ultimately our vision is a paradigm shift that could take years, but for the present, we’re asking ourselves what can be done realistically and tangibly with both the original documentary and now the new shorts to create conversations about alternatives. In the Sixties, students protested across the nation’s campuses. Families had a stake in the war; many lost sons and daughters and friends. By contrast, today, the disasters as well as the learnings of war are really in the background of our daily lives.

In sum, our goal is bring the reality of war out in the open once more, and to produce new understandings that will lead to a more Sustainable Tomorrow. If we can do that, we will have succeeded in making an impact…and bringing the vision of Alice and Lincoln Day forward to this decade.

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