By Mandy Hubbard of Reel Grrls / November 16, 2011
Comcast Hosts Generation of Consolidation On Demand
SEATTLE, WA – Reel Grrls, a nonprofit organization that teaches filmmaking and media literacy to young women ages 9-21, announces the release of a DVD compilation of youth-made media justice videos entitled “Generation of Consolidation.” The videos are a direct response to the organization’s clash with media giant Comcast, who pulled funding from the Reel Grrls summer program following a tweet about Comcast’s hire of then-FCC Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker on the heels of the company’s merger with NBC-Universal.
After Reel Grrls took the story to the press in May, Comcast contacted Reel Grrls and offered to reinstate funding. Founder and Executive Director Malory Graham turned down the offer, suggesting that Comcast show their support for free speech by agreeing to screen the students’ work on their network. Comcast and Reel Grrls signed an agreement on October 27th and the content of the DVD is now available to cable subscribers On Demand in Seattle and Spokane.
Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata wrote in a recent letter to Reel Grrls, "I'm very proud of the way in which your organization stood up to corporate pressure from Comcast this year and emphasized the importance of free speech to our future female leaders."
After Comcast defunded Reel Grrls’ signature summer program, organizational allies Free Press and the Media Action Grassroots Network launched a campaign to replace Comcast’s funds. Donations came in from across the country, allowing Reel Grrls to offer the program to over a dozen students this summer. In recognition of the community support that made it possible, this year’s program was re-imagined to focus on creating videos about current media justice and reform issues.
"I never could have foreseen the impact that my initial tweet would have," Lila Kitaeff, Reel Grrls technical director said. "Because of this experience, Reel Grrls and our participants are motivated to be more actively involved in the media issues that affect us as consumers and as filmmakers."
“Generation of Consolidation” features the films created in the summer program about Media Justice, Net Neutrality, Internet Freedom, Mobile Justice and Low Power FM Radio. The advocacy videos will appeal to students, young people and anyone concerned about the ways in which media affects our lives. The DVD also includes a short film about the Comcast/Reel Grrls story, and an award-winning media consolidation documentary produced by Reel Grrls participants in 2008. An insert provides information on how these critical media issues directly affect the lives of all Americans who surf the web, watch television or listen to the radio– and the resources that are available to get involved in the Media Justice movement.
Reel Grrls hopes that “Generation of Consolidation” will be made available in schools and libraries across the country so that youth are able to see the films made by their peers and understand the connection between media reform and social justice in our country.
• To request a press review copy or for more information, contact Mandy Hubbard
• The DVD is available now on the Reel Grrls website
• Read more about the Reel Grrls/Comcast story here.