Filmmaker's Guide to Capitol Hill Politics
Many filmmakers are driven by a desire to tell compelling stories in ways that impact public policies and laws. This often brings them to the doors of Congress, where major policies are created and changed. Policymakers and filmmakers both want to make a difference but usually operate in such separate realities that creative possibilities can be missed. Join a bipartisan panel of high-powered Congressional staffers on a behind-the-scenes look at how laws and policies are made in Washington, how to connect with the right people, and how to position your film for maximum political impact. Questions Answered:
1. How can films influence policies in Washington?
2. How does Congress really work?
3. Who are the people in politics that filmmakers should engage?
4. How can filmmakers secure good interviews with politicians?
5. How can filmmakers screen their films in Washington so policymakers see them?
Jody Arlington is a veteran of the political and entertainment arenas. She is co-founder of the Impact Arts + Film Fund which produces the Impact Film Festival at the national political conventions and conducts DC festivals and year-round screenings, book events and theater events connecting entertainment and policy. She is the PR Director for the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival where she also sits on the programming committee. She also Directs PR for the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Will Jenkins has directed communications strategy and policy initiatives on political campaigns and in the U.S. House and Senate. He earlier managed communications and program portfolios for international nonprofit organizations engaged in conflict resolution and leadership development in the U.S., Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. With a background in TV production, he is interested in bringing together media and political innovators to inspire social change.
Sonny Sinha is Principal of Sinha Associates LLC, a public affairs strategy and management-consulting firm with a wide range of clients who hail from the online and media worlds and other innovative industries.
With a decade of experience on Capitol Hill, Sonny was most recently professional staff with the House Rules Committee, which is responsible for working with House leadership and committees to advance some of the most nationally pressing issues. During that time Sonny was selected to receive a Bryce Harlow fellowship, which promotes the highest standards in advocacy and public affairs.
Paul Stekler’s documentariesabout American politics, including Sundance Special Award winner George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire, Vote for Me: Politics in America, Last Man Standing: Politics Texas Style, and two of the Eyes on the Prize II films, have won multiple Emmys, Peabodys and du-Pont-Columbia Journalism awards. He is the Chair of UT’s RTF film program and finishing an ITVS funded film on New Orleans after Katrina, Getting Back to Abnormal.