We are pleased to announce the release of the final stable version Plumi 4.0 based on the latest Plone 4.0. Plumi is a package of Plone products and customisations that enables you to create your own video-sharing community, out of the box. Plumi is an open-source free software project maintained by EngageMedia since 2005, and used to run the EngageMedia.org website.
Moving to Plone 4 is a major step forward for the Plumi project, which includes all the improvements available inside Plone 4. Plone 4 is faster and easier to use than ever, you can read all about it here:
This new final version of Plumi 4.0 includes bug fixes and improvements to ensure a stable release primarily focused on rebasing Plumi on Plone 4. Other improvements include updating the caching system to create a faster site, clean-up of installation and architecture to ensure forwards-compatibility, updating of third-party software modules, and inclusion of codecs required by the transcoding framework to make installation easier. Developers now also have the option to install a lighter development site for testing purposes, or a fully-featured production website.
Good news folks, the film we endorsed, Charlie Hill-Smith's Strange Birds in Paradise made it to the semi-final stage of the Festival's jury process. Another film, The Burning Season, also made the list which include films from Sierra Leone, the Middle East, Turkey, Bali, Japan, Korea, Australia, the UK, and New Orleans. You can watch The Burning Season's trailer on EngageMedia here.
The other semi-finalists are:
“Beating the Bomb” (England)
“Carbon Nation” (US)
“Ciclovida” (South America)
“City of Borders” (Jerusalem)
“Climate Refugees” (Multiple)
“Colour Change” (PNG)
“Deep Down” (Kentucky)
“Dog Sweat” (Mideast)
“Fambul Tok” (Sierra Leone)
“Guerilla Midwife” (Bali)
“In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee” (US/Korea)
“Megamall” (Upstate NY)
“9000 Needles” (US/China)
“Nothing Rhymes with Ngaparjti” (Australia)
“There Once Was an Island” (Pacific Island)
“Race to Nowhere” (California)
“The Last Survivor” (Multiple)
“A Village Called Versailles” (New Orleans)
“Voices Unveiled” (Turkey)
“Women Behind the Camera” (Multiple)
Read more about the announcement and links of the semi-finalists:
We recently upgraded EngageMedia.org to the new Plumi 4.0. This upgrade provides a number of improvements to the site such as faster page loading, an improved text editor and an easier way to publish content to spaces such as twitter and facebook.
We're currently finalising the upgrade so you may still find the occasional issue with the site. Please let us know if you do. We'll provide a full update on all the changes when the release is fully complete.
In Yogyakarta, on the rainy morning of December 11, I joined a group from Komunitas Dukementer—the main organizers of FFD/Jogjakarta Documentary Festival—and decided to begin EngageMedia screenings. When we started, there were only a handful of people scattered around the room, which was a shame considering that the schedule for the screening had been circulated for months.
Before the screening began, I gave an introduction to EngageMedia.org, our mission, and our recent activities. The screening itself took about two hours, from 11a.m. until 1p.m. After that, I joined a panel discussion about social media and online video distribution, alongside two representatives from other organizations: Mira Febri Mellya from Akumassa; and Harwan Aconk Panuju from E-code films/Toni Blank Show. We discussed the enormous impact social media has had on online video distribution. By the time the panel started, many more people had arrived at the venue, and we enjoyed the active participation of more than fifty people, who joined in with questions and opinions.
At the end of the discussion, we again faced the feelings raised by the film Social Media—social media is an ongoing process, and the video community has an important role in its development.
FFD facebook fan page
EngageMedia took part in an exhibition at the Indonesian National Galery (Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur No. 14, Jakarta Pusat) organized to celebrate Ruang Rupa’s 10th anniversary. The them of the event was Expanding the Space & Public, and it featured an exhibition, a seminar, and films screenings,
EngageMedia contributed promotional materials to the exhibition, including free stickers and postcards, and screened the climate film compilation Time for Real Action (T4RA).
Ferdi, from Kunci, and I, from EngageMedia, started working together on Videochronic. Ferdi had done so much research for that book (if you haven't seen it download it for free here or order a hard copy), but because it was a book (yes the kind with a beginning and an end) and because we had a deadline, much of that fabulous research got left out of the final edit. We kept talking about it though, we were not satisfied with all the loose ends…
We met again at Camp Sambel in June, and one of the hot topics of discussion was licensing of activist video. We decided we need to get some of the dilemmas down in writing. What is unique about the Indonesia situation? Why is Creative Commons not used to its full potential? How can it be localised? What kind of colonial roots are there in the current licensing solutions?
So we submitted an idea for a journal article to Platform… and got it accepted. Oh, dear, now we had to really write, not just ramble. We met to do some outlining in Yogya, sitting up the back of a conference like naughty kids, and then had some nasi pecel to assign tasks, and from there, we worked remotely. Ferdi I and I usually nongkrong on Skype as he is in Jateng and I am in NSW.
Academic publishing takes a long time, so it feels as though things have already changed since we wrote this piece, but we are happy that our thoughts finally got 'out there'. We really think it contributes to an important discussion. let us know what you think. …research is nothing if it is not interactive.
Oh and of course, the writing is licensed with CC.
Global Social Change Film Festival, Bali, Indonesia
Agriculture and Cinema?
What do agricultural economics and cinema have in common?
And five more... the Global Social Change Film Festival (GSCFF) slated to unspool in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia April 13-17, 2011.
For Cynthia Phillips, the founding director of this new festival, the challenges of food security, world hunger, poverty, and sustainable futures lead directly and logically to film and media for social change.
A New Film Festival in Indonesia
The Global Social Change Film Festival and Institute focuses not on film markets, deals, auteurs, landing big movie stars, discoveries of the next breakthrough genius, or launching the next new wave.
“We’re about creating spaces for dialogue around these films,” explains Phillips. “We want to connect filmmakers and activists for community building.”
To this end, the festival plans to convene filmmakers, activists, and audiences for meaningful discussion in Bali, an island renowned for its embrace of the arts, slower pace, and open culture. With only 8 feature films screened in open air venues over 4 days, the festival is making a strong statement that extended dialogue matters.
Phillips hopes that filmmakers will explore how to build audiences beyond festivals by linking with activist groups. And she hopes that activists will learn more about the possibilities of a range of media.
In an international media landscape crammed with film festivals in nearly every city on almost every theme imaginable, the GSCFF possesses an impressive clarity of vision by answering real needs. According to Phillips, the festival focuses on “ addressing the needs of filmmakers to become more effective at outreach, and addressing how activists can become better storytellers.”
It’s a large mandate—but scalable. For Phillips, one word keeps everything in focus: outreach.
From Economics to Outreach
Phillips sports an unusual background for a film festival director.
After getting her PhD in agricultural economics from Michigan State University, she pulled together a team to record a convening by the USAID on hunger and poverty in Africa. That lead to a stint in Singapore working in international marketing for American Express. And, now, she’s a high profile, high energy strategic planning consultant for a range of high end clients like One Degree Media, 2020 Fund, and others via her C. A. Phillips Company.
Along the way, she did some programming for the Sedona International Film Festival in Arizona around sustainability issues and locally sourced food.
That experience ignited her interest in solving a key unresolved problem lurking underneath the utopian, user-generated, all-tools-are-accessible-everyone-can-do everything, Web 2.0 media ecosystem: how do we build audiences for beautiful, well-produced social change films?
Staying on Point
The Global Social Change Film Festival seems to be unpacking that gnarly audience and outreach question in innovative ways. It’s honoring the nongovernmental social media group EngageMedia in Jakarta, Indonesia with a special innovator award. It’s giving a special activist award to the Women and Children Crisis Center of Tonga. And it is honoring Indonesian filmmaker and social activist Nia Dinata.
During the day, the Institute part of the festival will offer a range of pointed workshops on pressing, unresolved, but necessary topics like Commercially Viable Social Change Filmmaking and Distribution, Hybrid Models of Distribution, and Film, Audience Building and Social Action and Environmental Film.
Challenges and Dialogues
However, challenges lurk despite this clarity of vision, marketing savvy, and ability to pull in partners like the Global Fund for Women, Global Girl Media,and First People’s Worldwide. All films need to pass through the government review board for approval, a time consuming process but one that GSCFF respects as part of the media regulatory environment in Indonesia. It’s also hard to pull together resources in a tough economy for a first-time film festival.
Drilling down into details like how to get different activists from around the Southeast Asian region to Ubud for workshops, the endlessly optimistic and undaunted Phillips observes “People are always asking me why start a film festival festival in this tough economy? “
Her answer is simple: “I tell them we need to creative a space for dialogue about social change media and activism and outreach.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) thinks so too.
In a recent newsletter (EFFector Vol. 24, No. 1 January 3, 2011), the EFF wrote about Traitorware. This is “technology that acts behind your back to betray your privacy...” Apple are big on Traitorware and it’s wanting to patent their flavour of spyware. Sony have been the invisible monkey on our backs since 2005.
EFF describes that “digital cameras are embedding metadata into photos, printers are incorporating a secret code into every page they print, and Apple's creepy patent could be used to record your voice, take a picture of your location, or even record your heart beat.”
Private use aside, if you working on any social change issue and you’re not acting to protect your data you leave yourself, your sources and your cause vulnerable. If governments can influence private enterprise (Amazon, PayPal, Bank of America to name a few) to shut down services to Wikileaks imagine what they can do to you.
What can I do?
You can start by learning how our personal and professional data can be used. Find out more on Dont Track Us and why using Google search may not be such a cool thing. Scroll to the bottom of that page for a list of essential tools you can use.
The most important thing we can do is to be informed and not be slack. Don’t get paranoid, get smart.