Sunday, October 7, 2012

MOVE: Invisible Children's new film from the creators of KONY 2012

MOVE is a behind-the-scenes look at the viral video KONY 2012, the organization behind it, and the movement that made Joseph Kony famous. You can lead or you can follow, but eventually everyone will have to MOVE.

MOVE: what we aim to achieve

KONY 2012 showed the world that Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) must be stopped to set a new precedent for international justice and help people in central Africa find peace. In response, world leaders from U.S. President Barack Obama to UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon made promises to help make it happen.
But Joseph Kony continues to roam free.

What’s Happening

Recent reports from leaders in central Africa and escaped LRA abductees [1] indicate that Kony is roaming freely in an area controlled by Sudan near the border of Central African Republic. Meanwhile, his top commanders are perpetrating attacks hundreds of miles away. So far in 2012, the LRA has carried out 233 attacks on communities in CAR and neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), abducting at least 402 innocent civilians [2]. Approximately 470,000 [3] people are currently displaced by these attacks, out of fear of the LRA.

What We’re Doing

Invisible Children works with regional partners and civil society leaders in the LRA affected regions to bring a responsible and permanent end to this conflict by prioritizing civilian protection, defection of LRA members, and the rehabilitation of affected communities through our Protection and Recovery Programs [4] in central and East Africa. Our programs address these critical concerns in the following ways:
Civilian Protection – The Early Warning Radio Network protects civilians by giving remote communities the communication infrastructure to report LRA attacks and receive warning when LRA groups are active nearby.

Online premiere of MOVE

Our newest film, MOVE, is premiering at on Sunday, October 7 at 7:00PM PDT.
The film is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the most viral video ever, Invisible Children itself, and the mechanics of a movement to stop one of the world’s worst war criminals. Directed by our chief storyteller Jason Russell, this film challenges a generation to take a stand for international justice. Either you lead or you follow, but everyone will eventually have to MOVE.
Prior to the film’s online release, Jason Russell will appear on Oprah’s Next Chapter in his first on-air interview since March. The interview will air at 9/8c on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
I know, we’re excited too.
P.S. Sharing is caring. #MOVE

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Behind the scenes with the Uganda film team

Christened ‘Dream Factory 2’, the Uganda film team office may resemble a cool, dark cave with its blacked-out windows for easier editing and the AC always on to keep the computers from overheating. But the dream team behind the videos is anything but cold and lifeless.
Jay Salbert of Fairfax, Virginia and Tony Bazilo of Atiak, Uganda, the current film team, are pretty much the coolest guys in town. Jay worked as a film editor with Invisible Children for about a year in the San Diego office before flying off to Uganda. There he joined Tony, a student in the Legacy Scholarship Program and the first film intern in the Gulu office. They spend their days out in the field filming and photographing Invisible Children Uganda (ICU) programs, or in the office logging photos, organizing assets, editing photos and uploading the finished products.
Jay has adjusted quickly to working in a new environment.
“It’s just really cool to see the impact of our programs so that we can communicate that through images.”
While Jay trains Tony on how to use the cameras and lights, Tony brings his own expertise to the team.
“It’s always difficult working in a place that isn’t home,” Jay says. “When you go out to the villages people speak a different language, so it’s great to have Tony around so he can translate.”
So Tony, what’s it like working with Jay?
“We’re always cracking jokes around here and we can laugh,” Tony says. “He’s been like a role model to me.”
And the mutual admiration doesn’t end there.
“Tony has such a good attitude all the time, even if we’re super stressed he’s always got a smile on,” Jay gushes. “Tony’s the best at that.”
Jay and Tony set up lights for the interviews in the new IC film
One of Tony’s favorite skills learned so far is lighting
Tony gets experience in the field, filming interviews to be aired on Ugandan television for International Peace Day
Jay gets out in the field, filming everything from Village Savings and Loan group leaders, to cute puppies
A typical morning for the film team will start with checking e-mails and taking tea with mandazi – kind of like a donut. Work continues up until 1pm, when the team heads to lunch. Usually to the pork joint, but sometimes to an Ethiopian or local restaurant.
If the paparazzi want to know where to catch this duo, they need look no further than some of the most popular cafes in town. Tony hangs out at Coffee Hut, for the wireless internet, while Jay can be found at Sankofa on the weekends, enjoying a French press and cinnamon bun. In fact, he’s such a regular the Sankofa staff call him when cinnamon buns are ready.
Jay at his favorite weekend hangout – Sankofa
Look out for the next project these two are tackling: staff photos for the website.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

KONY 2012 at Mountainfilm

Every memorial day weekend, the tiny mountain town of Telluride, Colorado hosts a film festival called Mountainfilm. If I remember correctly, it was birthed from a pre-X-games love of action sports films, the kind that are a continuous slow motion montage of snow boarding flips, gnarly surf shredding, mountain biking down an erupting volcano, etc etc. But over the last twenty years, the festival has evolved into something more. The love of action sports necessitated beautiful scenery, and that accented and enflamed within the athletes and filmmakers a love of nature. That love of nature infected the film festival with an activist’s heart, and the films expanded beyond sports and stunts to environmental conservation and human rights. Now, the festival is a majestic collective of creative filmmakers aiming to raise awareness about the most important issues facing our planet. It is my favorite weekend of the year.

$10M authorized by U.S. Congress

Sometimes – when you ask nicely – U.S. Congress makes $10 million available for protecting families at risk of LRA attacks. That’s good money. Thanks to everyone out there who called, tweeted, or met with their Members of Congress. Nice work.
Check out Resolve’s blog post about it. Resolve is our partner in KONY 2012 and they know what’s what in DC.
From Resolve:
This week, we received some big news as the committees in Congress that set America’s foreign aid budget released their proposals for 2013. Thanks to the committed activism of young people across the U.S. and support from a few key champions in Congress, we’re now very close to securing $10 million for life-saving programs in communities targeted by LRA violence.