Upcoming Events


Essay Contest – Writers’ Room of Boston Immigrant Voices

Have you immigrated recently to Boston from another country?

If so, we want to hear your story!
Enter The Writers’ Room of Boston Immigrant Voices Essay Contest
Theme: “A Boston Journey– The Immigrant Experience in This Historical Moment.”
All immigrants and refugees are invited to submit a 500-word essay about their experiences since arriving in greater Boston. Share your challenges, successes and hopes for the future.
We understand that some members of the immigrant community may feel uncomfortable identifying themselves and for this reason, essays may be submitted under a pseudonym.
All contact information (email addresses, addresses and phone numbers) will remain private for every submission.
First Prize: a new laptop computer
Second Prize: a $100 gift certificate to Porter Square Books
(located in Cambridge near the Porter Square T stop on the Red Line)
Send your essay in the body of an email to: info@writersroomofboston.org



ON THE MEDIA: Truth, Fact, and the Future of Journalism (Co-hosted w/Citizen Futures) – StoryCode Boston (Boston, MA) | Meetup

Truth, Fact, and the Future of Journalism (Co-hosted w/Citizen Futures)

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017, 6:00 PM

Workbar Cambridge
45 Prospect Street Cambridge, MA

9 StoryCodas Attending

On Wednesday, January 25th, StoryCode Boston and Citizen Futures will present a discussion on the future of journalismThe Big Idea: What “truth” do we want from journalism? How will we define media and journalism going forward? Is the business model broken? Will journalism still have a voice?Overview // Follow the money: The media landscape is p…

Check out this Meetup →


We Need Your Support to Continue to Empower Local Perspectives

Network News

Network news studio: centralized and isolated

In these post-election days of angst, confusion and uncertainty, I’m clear about one issue. Our news networks do not report from the local perspective, they are centralized and disconnected. That there is so much news and so little understanding of the concerns and state-of-mind of at least half of US citizens is very telling. Without good information we cannot develop informed and compassionate opinions or support equitable policies.

This experience has reaffirmed my commitment to strengthening our understanding of social and economic concerns – whether at home or abroad – from the local, grassroots perspective.

Filming The Road Above

Filming The Road Above, Aqeela Rezai, Afghanistan

Community Supported Film’s trainings and films demonstrate the power of local storytelling. Many people have told me at screenings across the country that it is the first time they are hearing from and seeing how Afghans or Haitians are dealing with their own issues.

Film Still

Film Still: Owned and Occupied by Bichara Villarson, Haiti

Most of the news looks at rather than from within the subject! We are made to experience ‘the other’ through the eyes and actions of outsiders, rather than connecting with our common humanity when we hear their voices directly.

Film Still

Film Still: Water Ways, Majeed Zarand, Afghanistan

Improving local capacity in documentary filmmaking and sharing their films empowers the maker and the audience. This is why CSFilm works so hard to demonstrate the power of local perspective storytelling.  It is why we tour the country sharing our view that “the messenger is the message.” In essence we want to help to take the foreign out of foreign correspondence.

To continue this work CSFilm needs your help! Your support has and will continue to educate the public about the importance of local perspectives, mentor local storytellers in the production of non-fiction films and share their important stories.

Please donate as generously as you can.

Thanks and very best wishes for the holidays,

Michael Signature


Organize a Screening or Presentation

Congressional Briefing

CSFilm’s US Congressional Briefing with live link to Kabul and participation by American Friends Service Committee and 3P Human Security

Follow these easy steps to host a screening of any of CSFilm’s locally made films or a presentation about the work of CSFilm and the value of locally produced stories.

Topics and Films available for Screenings and Presentations:

We’ve heard back from audiences that film screenings have more meaning and impact when a CSFilm staff person is present to provide context and interesting details about the issues, countries, training, filmmakers and filmmaking process.

Available Topics and Films:

A. Afghan Perspectives in Film:  A selection of films from the collection The Fruit of Our Labor, with background on the war, Afghan social and economic issues, the training and insights into the way that Afghanistan is understood when presented by Afghans versus foreign correspondents.

B. Haitian Perspectives in Film: A selection of films from the collection Owning Our Future presented within the context of Haiti’s geo-political history, man-made and natural disasters, and what outsiders generally do not hear and see about Haitian economic and social development issues and outcomes.

TEDs talk

Michael Sheridan, CSFilm Director, Tedx presentation “The Messenger is the Message-Transforming News and Views through Local Perspectives”

C. The Messenger is the Message-Transforming News and Views through Local Perspectives: A selection of films from the Afghan and Haitian-made collections in comparison to reports on similar topics by foreign media. A detailed analysis of how information about the other is still predominantly produced by a top down, externally directed, self-interested, colonial news system.

Community Supported Film’s mission is to promote a paradigm shift in our news and information by strengthening local reporting capacity and sharing the results. CSFilm believes that social stability and economic development depend on a well-informed citizenry. Global citizens can not make responsible decisions about political and developmental interventions around the world if they only understanding the situations from the outsider’s perspective.

Asia Society, NYC, screening and discussion with CSFilm director Michael Sheridan and Rina Amiry, Afghanistan Office of the Special Representative

Next Steps:

1. Purchase a DVD(s)* and review the films and issues as they relate to your audience;

2. Invite CSFilm.  If feasible we would love to attend your screening, give a presentation and lead a discussion about the filmmaking process and the issues.  (In cases where CSFilm’s attendance is requested, we ask that the venue try to cover travel expenses.)*

3. Invite: Neighbors, friends, organizations – to maximize your attendance and publicity;

4. Send: Invitations and announcements to your network and the local media;

5. Download helpful resourcesIncluding introductions to CSFilms work and specific materials to print and handout at screenings and discussions.  

6. Consider using your event as a fundraiser for Community Supported Film to enable the continued training of filmmakers in post-crisis countries to raise awareness about their perspectives on pressing social and economic development issues. We can provide you written materials and donation cards and envelopes to facilitate your fundraiser.

7. Link to our work on your website, Facebook page, blog, and email.

8, Sign up for CSFilm updates

9. Contact CSFilm via our contact page or at 617-834-7206 to discuss your questions and needs.

* Regarding cost: CSfilm’s primary mission is to get these films seen and discussed as widely as possible. We appreciate your understanding, however, that CSFilm’s work is underfunded. When collaborating with organizations or educational institutions that have a budget for film screenings and presentations, we ask for $250 for the DVDs.  If a presenter is requested (which we highly recommend!), we ask for a $300 – $500 stipend plus travel expenses.  In all cases, however, it is up to the venue to determine what they can afford.  One way to raise some or all of these costs is to ask your library to purchase the DVD for $250.  If money is an issue, please be in touch with us. We do not want the cost to be an impediment to these films being seen and discussed.


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