Lights. Camera. Reaction. was a groundbreaking UCLA summit that brought together the legal, human rights, and filmmaking communities for a landmark discussion about human rights and entertainment. A collaboration between the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law, the Skoll Center and Creative Armenia, the day-long event illuminated issues of legality and ethics, creative integrity, production, distribution, and publicity as they relate to the mission of bringing vital human rights stories to the big screen. Three panel discussions lead into an evening presentation of the inaugural Promise Institute Award for Contribution to Human Rights Through the Arts.
The program for this event included:
Picking the Battle: The Law & Ethics of Human Rights Entertainment
Through film, there is a tremendous opportunity to educate and spread the word about human rights concerns, but there are significant challenges to doing so in a legal and ethical way. This panel explored some of those challenges, from the ethics of choosing what stories to tell and how to tell them, to measuring and insuring the objectivity of those stories, to assessing the advocacy outcome of social impact films.
Panelists: Daniel M. Mayeda, Kelli Sager, Amy Ziering, Ed Zwick
The Business of Impact: Producing Human Rights Entertainment
This conversation focused on the creation and production of human rights storytelling. Producers of human rights films will lead a discussion of the business case of impact while sharing their insights on how to achieve desired outcomes through their work. Panelists discussed how to create entertainment based on human rights issues and how to successfully distribute and monetize it.
Panelists: Eric Esrailian, Bonnie Abaunza, Gabriel Brakin, Catherine Hardwicke
Art and War: Creating Human Rights Films
This panel dealt directly with the creative process, showcasing leading feature and documentary filmmakers. Conversation surrounded the key creative and ethical decisions that are made on set, on the page, and in the cutting room in pursuit of realizing human rights stories for the big (and small) screen.
Panelists: Evgeny Afineevsky, Terry George, Reginald Hudlin, Angela Sarafyan
Promise Institute Award for Contribution to Human Rights through the Arts presented to Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino