EngageMedia Blog

Moviemento DVDs available now!

by yerry October 14, 2013

We are delighted to announce that the Moviemento DVD package which features short videos on corruption made by Indonesian youth is now available for distribution.

Several months ago in Balikpapan, Indonesia, we conducted a series of video workshops with the aim to train youth communities who were already campaigning on issues such as gender, the environment, social development, and culture, to produce their own videos that have anti-corruption messages with youth perspectives.

The workshops lasted several weeks, where young activists and students were trained in the skills needed to produce videos about their communities, social circles, and problems in their society.

Some came up videos on an anti-mall development campaign, an effort to protect the city's last forest, an interview with local elders and dancers and many other topics.

You can request copies of the DVD for distribution and screening, or watch them on our website here.

Announcement: Plumi 4.5.1

by Seelan Palay October 08, 2013
We are proud to announce the new release of the Plumi video sharing platform!

Plumi logoThe release Plumi 4.5.1 came after a mini sprint between Unweb and Engagemedia. This release includes updates to the Plone content management system, upon which Plumi is based, bringing in a number of speed and stability enhancements. It also updates the full suite of core back-end software that Plumi relies upon.

We also updated the user interface, making many minor fixes and enhancements, including improvements to social media integration with the video player, the front page and user options.

Trading Dolls with Cameras - Video Workshop with Circa

by Enrico Aditjondro August 12, 2013
"There's always a first time," said the Circa HandMade gang. "When sewing machines are being replaced with video cameras, we get the opportunity to look and appreciate the details of our work."

benangOn June 15-16, EngageMedia teamed up with a group of educators from the Jakarta State University to have a working holiday in Bandung. The cool and fresh air was the holiday, while the working part was doing a video training with a group called Circa HandMade in the village of Cihanjuang, Bandung (West Java).

bonekaCirca was founded by long time creative campaigner named Ukke Kosasih. Several years ago, Ukke, a former staff at The Body Shop, came up with an idea to empower marginalised women by offering them sewing machines.

So, after crossing the Jakarta traffic and into the Bandung traffic, the team of trainers arrived in Cihanjuang on Friday, June 14 evening. A nice cool sleep before the two full training days.

The next morning, we were awoken by a loud blast of dangdut music from a nearby mosque. They were having an event. First challenge of the day - how to record scenes without too much of those dancing noises!

participantsThe workshop students arrived around 8am. There were 10 of them. All women but one guy (well, two guys including myself). The students were all doll makers. The oldest student was Teh Ita, the older sister of Mbak Ukke, and also the co-founder of Circa. The youngest was Iim, 15 years old. The only guy in the team, Aep, was Circa's doll clothes designer.

needleFor the next two days, the workshop went on to share stories, practice operating cameras, write scripts and eat a lot of Sundanese food. In the end, the workshop finished with six videos with stories around the students' work in Circa. I offered to call the video series 'If the Dolls Could Talk', but they thought it was too scary (read: Chucky in Child's Play) and came out with 'Cerita Di Balik Boneka Circa' (Stories Behind the Circa Dolls).

dolls trainersBefore we went home, each trainer was given a doll. I was also given a boy doll. I forgot its name but I called him 'Poa' now. Poa now guards my books.

A day after we left Bandung, all the workshop students shared their experience with other workers who were not able to participate since they had to take care of their children (and husbands, apparently) over the weekend. They said they want to make more and better videos.

Win tickets to the screening of Free Angela and All Political Prisoners

by Indu August 01, 2013
Playing at Melbourne International Film Festival

For Melbourne-based EngageMedia fans,

EngageMedia, in collaboration with Melbourne International Film Festival, is giving away two double passes to the screening on Free Angela and All Political Prisoners on 9PM Monday, 5 August 2013 at Greater Union Cinemas, 131 Russell Street Melbourne.

To enter email contact@engagemedia.org telling us why you deserve those tickets. The deadline to write to us is Sunday, 4 August.

About Free Angela and All Political Prisoners

This gripping feature documentary chronicles how Angela Davis, a young UCLA philosophy lecturer, became one of the world's legendary black radical activists. Pivoting around Davis' involvement in an infamous courthouse hostage case, director Shola Lynch combines extensive archival footage, period recreation and rare present-day access to Davis herself to produce a gripping and epic telling of the story.

Part crime thriller, part courtroom drama, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners captures the revolutionary spirit of the times, aided by a funky 70s soundtrack.

For more info visit Melbourne International Film Festival website.

Crossroads: The Journey So Far

by Seelan Palay April 10, 2014
Crossroads is an EngageMedia-first initiative in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Through a series of workshops, we are working with migrant workers, refugees and stateless people (MRS) from Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar to produce short advocacy videos of their respective situations in Malaysia.

By Nazreen Nizam and Seelan Palay

Alongside the communities, we also have advocacy workers and a group of citizen journalists from Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY) who work in teams.

Our first session was on storytelling. The objective of this session was for the participants to get to know each other, share their stories and experiences and build up strong and significant storylines. The second session was on video advocacy. In this session, participants were introduced on how to develop plans for their videos to be better used for advocacy purposes.

After the initial sessions, we continued with the storyboarding session – in which the participants learned about visual framing and script development. The teams discussed on how to refine their story ideas and came up with their respective storyboards. They then presented their storyboards and finalized their storyboards based on feedback from the trainer and other participants.

The next session was
on pre-filming, camera handling and an introduction to the shooting of footages. This was a more practical session as the participants were exposed to the basics of camera handling and the six basic types of shots. Following that, we had a video security and shooting session. In this session, we covered video security skills, advanced camera handling/care and the participants then produced their own short video clips with cut-aways.

The next two sessions were focused on video editing. In these sessions, the participants learnt about various editing techniques, transitions, and other audio, video and frame adjustments.

EngageMedia CrossroadsThe last group session of the Crossroads project in Klang Valley was on video compression and distribution. Here, we covered video distribution techniques and introduced the theory, concepts and terms surrounding video compression. We also had a review of the first drafts of the videos produced by the teams.

We plan to have the final drafts of videos from Klang Valley ready by the third week of August. We are also now preparing to start a series of workshops for the project in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Moviemento: Balikpapan Follow-Up Workshop

by yerry May 31, 2013

Hello EM lovers,

We just got back from 3 full days of workshops with a dozen young people in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Over several hours each day, we were conducting follow-up training sessions for about 10 to 13 participants. Using many fun methods, we plan to develop five interesting stories which would strongly relate with youth issues and young people in Balikpapan.

For this particular workshop, we also brought over a mentor, Zulhiczar from Jogjakarta, who'll stay there till early June to help our young participants to develop their stories and produce videos to ensure that they become storytellers within their own communities.

We were also collaborating with the participants to develop strategies for realistic outreach and video distribution. So stay tuned and look out for more updates from this interesting project!


Introducing Plumi 4.5

by Anna Helme May 19, 2013

Plumi is a free and open source software package you can use to create your own video sharing site, based on Plone and produced by EngageMedia in collaboration with Unweb.me. It is a powerful video-sharing web application, with a full set of sophisticated online video community features, out of the box. We use a slightly customised version of Plumi to run EngageMedia.org, so you can check it out in action here, or on the Plumi demo site.

Plumi 4.5 was soft-launched at the beginning of the year. Now that it’s been running smoothly for a while, we’d love to introduce you to all the new features and improvements.

New User Interface


The first thing you’ll notice about Plumi 4.5 is the beautiful new skin. Right out of the box you will be pleased to see a shiny new visual theme, with a grid-layout and contemporary styling, just right for a video sharing site.

On the front page of the new Plumi skin you can view all the latest videos that have been uploaded, plus feature a video in the slot on top, ready to play back using mediaelement.js player – an HTML5 player that will work in any modern browser.


You can also customise Plumi’s visual theme for your own needs, and in Plumi 4.5 it is easier using a new implementation of the Diazo theming engine and plone.app theming. Diazo allows you to apply a theme contained in a static HTML web page to a dynamic website created using any server-side technology. With Diazo, you can take an HTML wireframe created by a web designer and turn it into a theme for Plumi.

Mobile Friendly Adaptive Layout

The site is designed to adapt to different screen sizes, and videos will play back on both Android and iOS devices.

New Video Publishing Form

publishA new video publishing form makes it even easier for users to upload video to a Plumi site. Just drag’n'drop or click browse to select a video file, and watch it upload in the new progress indicator, while you add metadata to your video.

You can click over to another dynamically loaded page as you upload, where you can categorise the film and add a Creative Commons license.

Subtitling Using Amara

We have integrated Amara (formerly Universal Subtitles) which allows users of your Plumi site to easily add or view subtitles for each video, created or attached to the video using the Amara system. Watch the video above to learn more about how easy it is to use Amara, which is a powerful addition to Plumi in terms of accessibility, and use in multi-lingual websites.

Other Improvements

Other fixes and improvements since our last stable release (Plumi 4.4) include replacing making upload of large files more stable, fixing some errors with fullscreen video playback and updating our HTML5 video player.

Plumi Roadmap

We are looking forward to a 4.5.1 release that may include some more work on the user interface, followed by 4.6 in which we plan to integrate videos that are hosted on other sites, and new features designed to enhance the ability to use Plumi for social change impact.

You can read all about Plumi over on the new Plumi blog.

You can read the full list of Plumi video-sharing and other features here.

EngageMedia at the 3rd Mekong ICT Camp

by Seelan Palay May 16, 2013

Mekong ICT Camp 2013In early May, we facilitated and participated in the 3rd Mekong ICT Camp, held in Cha-Am, Thailand. Over the course of the five-day event, we held presentations on video advocacy, video distribution, and online subtitling.

The camp is a biannual training workshop on information, communication, and technologies for citizen media, community health, and civil society development in the Mekong sub-region (specifically Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam). The group of over 60 participants included developers, journalists, and social workers.

Mekong ICT Camp 2013Our sessions were the only ones focusing on the use of video for campaign purposes, which attendees felt would be very useful in the development of their work.

We also took part in the other series' of sessions such as 'Open Street Maps'. The various examples of open mapping tools being used for social change in the Mekong region would have a lot of value if they were shared among other networks in Southeast Asia.

The experience of learning and sharing at the camp, and the networking opportunities that it provided, was timely and essential, as we look into visiting Burma in the near future.

What is Video for Change -- and Its Forms?

by cheekay cinco May 16, 2013

[Cross-posted on the MIT Center for Civic Media blog]

Over at the v4c.org blog, the video4change Impact Research team have begun blogging about some of the issues, questions and lessons from the preliminary literature review. In a series of three blog entries, they have explored the definition of using video to impact and influence social change, and how organisations, individuals and social movements have done it.

In the first entry, Video for Change: What is It and Who Does It? the researchers have come up with the broadest possible definition:

“any initiative that emphasises the use of video for creating change, whether that change is at a personal or individual level, is focused on a group or a specific issue or is at a broader social level.”

They also walked the readers through the process of coming up with this definition through the scanning through a range of resources for the literature review. At the end of this entry, they asked the readers to define how they would define 'video for change'. Cicilia Maharani from Kampung Halaman (an organisation based in Indonesia) had an interesting response that talked about how video can affect change at the community level, based on Kampung Halaman's experience. Succinctly, she says: "We don't work with video, we work with peolpe. Video helps us to facilitate the issues and further spread the message to other communities."

Seelan Palay from EngageMedia posted video examples that define 'video for change'. He says that the videos gave an overview of what is happening in Southeast Asia.

The next two posts, Video for Change Approaches (Part 1 and 2), define how video for change has been done over the years. From Guerilla Video in the 1960's to modern Citizen Journalism, the entries go through other social and technological developments that have impacted on how we use video for social change. activism and advocacy. At the end of the second entry, the researchers question the current 'taxonomy' of video for change approaches and how the research that defines what video for change is can be useful to a broader audience.

"What we have learnt by thinking about the values and foci of these different approaches is that there are many different ways to support change efforts through the use of video; any attempt to develop a framework for measuring impact will need to understand this, if it is to be widely adopted."

Over the next few weeks, we will be blogging more about the video4change Impact Research, posting case studies from interviews of organisations that use video as a tool for change and the donors that support them.

If you want to be part of the discussion, go to v4c.org.

Video for Change: What is It and Who does It?

by cheekay cinco May 06, 2013

By Tanya Notley and Julie Fischer

[cross-posted from v4c.org]

A few months ago we started our research for the video4change network. The aim of this research is to learn from the different ways that individuals, groups or organisations are measuring the impact of video for change projects.  To get to this we felt we had to start by asking: what is ‘video for change’?

We knew that the video4change network had already defined it like this:

“the use of video to support social movements, document human rights violations, raise awareness on social issues, and influence social change.”[1]

But as we started to do some research using the term ‘video for change’ we could see that very few organisations and practitioners who use video as a tool or approach for creating change actually use this term. This introduced a problem: how could we learn from a diverse range of practices and experiences if we don’t know how to find them and if we don’t know what might be included? We decided to start with the broadest possible definition possible for video for change:

“any initiative that emphasises the use of video for creating change, whether that change is at a personal or individual level, is focused on a group or a specific issue or is at a broader social level.”

From here we have been able to extend our keyword search while we also draw from the knowledge of experts in the field, both from within and outside of the Video4Change network. In the next post we will provide a brief overview of these approaches. So far it includes guerrilla video, participatory and community video and advocacy video. As we carry on with this research we wanted to ask video for change practitioners:

How do you define video for change? Does it resonate with you or your organisation as an umbrella term? What approaches should the term include?


[1] https://www.v4c.org/content/about-video4change