Update – June 23: Training, Afghans, Haitians, Jeanne Steig

June 19, 2023

Online Documentary Training Developments

At Community Supported Film, we are hard at work on a comprehensive online documentary filmmaking training. Get a sneak peek of the not-yet-public website we are developing for the training program. It will be filled with graphics, images and easy to follow language that will cover everything from story development, camera and sound work, to editing.

We need to raise $50,000 over the next three months to make this huge project a reality. It will involve filming 50+ training videos and preparation of dozens of guides, handouts, and exercises. The CSFilm team is working on scripting all the training sessions before production. We want to make sure that the flow and content are rock solid before filming any of it. Your support will allow us to continue the creation of this free resource which will be available to individuals, organizations, and communities worldwide.

The training will be promoted to community media and social issue organizations globally through professional associations, the open source and free education movement, and other development and media networks. While the training materials will be free, we will be encouraging the use of paid mentoring through community projects and individual initiatives.

This asynchronous online documentary filmmaking training will make implementation of Community Supported Film’s mission much more accessible and flexible and will be a comprehensive presentation of our teaching and filmmaking model.

Thank you for your encouragement and generous support. Work of this magnitude is not possible without your help.

Keynote address highlights importance of local voices

Michael Sheridan, director of Community Supported Film was invited to give the keynote address at the 30th anniversary celebration of FCTV (Falmouth Community Media). His address highlighted the core values and intentions of Community Supported Film – to amplify local voices by providing media training, facilitating the production of films, and the use of those films for community engagement. Michael gave examples of how issues are covered differently by local versus foreign reporters. He encouraged attendees to think critically about who decides on and creates the news and information they consume. Here are a few of his recommended sources for local reporting on issues of international concern:

Haiti Crisis

Haiti continues its long, painful descent into a lawless humanitarian crisis. Governance and security have collapsed under pressure from rival gangs that control large sections of the capital city and some provinces. Community Supported Film remains in touch with some of our trainees and collaborators in Haiti. A few of the journalists we worked with are seeking asylum in the US and we are supporting their cases with sponsorship and documentation.

Afghan Update – 
Support and Advocacy

The situation for Afghans continues to be deeply troubling. The world has turned its back on a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis. Hunger, drought, repression, and war crimes sweep the country without effective attention or response.

Community Supported Film continues to provide legal, logistical, and very limited financial support to Afghans who worked for and supported the organization. The remaining 17 families and 93 individuals are in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, France, Italy, and Germany.

None of the Priority 2 referrals that we submitted for these families through the US State Department have been processed. One Humanitarian Parole case has been denied and two have received requests for further evidence. This is despite assurances that the process is working. After nearly two years, the process continues to be opaque and inefficient.

Community Supported Film continues to be active in coalitions of organizations and individuals working to assist and promote Afghans. This week CSFilm is participating in an advocacy effort to get the Afghan Adjustment Act and the Afghan Allies Protection Act passed by congress. This legislation addresses the failings of the process so far to resettle Afghans who have been left behind or without paths forward – whether in Afghanistan, third countries or the United States. Michael Sheridan is meeting with the offices of his Senators, Markey and Warren, to encourage action and an improved process for Afghans needing protection. You can help by asking your representative to support the AAA and AAPA.


Jeanne Steig, 1931-2023

Jeanne Steig, my “ol’ pal,” as we called each other, died last July still young in spirit at the grand age of 92. My wife and I looked forward to our “Frolicking Friday” night dinners with Jeanne throughout the pandemic. We relished our joyous and rambunctious friendship of 30 plus years – supported by demanding appetites!

Jeanne was an exceptionally talented humorist, writer, and visual artist. Our house is blessed with many of her works and we regularly pass on to our friends her wisdom through books like Consider the Lemming, The Old Testament Made Easy, Alpha Beta Chowder, A Handful of Beans, and A Gift from Zeus. You can watch (and listen to!) a goofy video she, her family and I made together using her sculptural figures.

Jeanne was also a great support to me and my work with her ideas and investment. She has been one of the most generous donors to Community Supported Film since its founding in 2010. I was gobsmacked (a word Jeanne would love) to learn that she left $20,000 to our ongoing work in her will.

Jeanne did her part to support social justice causes all throughout her life and beyond. She’d have been thrilled to use her support to encourage others. Her gift gets us $20,000 toward our $50,000 goal. Help us honor Jeanne’s memory by contributing what you can to get us to $50,000 in the next three months. No donation is too small or too large!


Your support is crucial to the continuation of our work to strengthen local voices and call attention to the importance of locally informed news and information. Your assistance is needed to:

  • Produce a comprehensive online, asynchronous, training program in documentary filmmaking
  • Continue supporting the legal, logistical and advocacy needs of Afghans and Haitians
  • Amplify local voices through the distribution of our film and public engagement projects
  • Research and develop new documentary training, production, and public engagement projects.


Community Supported Film (CSFilm) trains women and men in under- and mis-represented communities to effectively communicate their pressing issues through documentary filmmaking. Their films are used in local and international Screen&Discuss campaigns to inform public opinion and policy from town halls to the halls of congress.

We focus on people, places, and situations – be they in Afghanistan, Haiti, or the US – that the public hears a lot about in the news but seldom understands from the local perspective.

Related Posts:

Keynote address at FCTV 30th Anniversary

Keynote address at FCTV 30th Anniversary

Michael called on FCTV to join him in working to educate the public about the importance of who selects and reports our news. Once the public starts hearing from more local voices we will begin to understand what the issues are that need to be addressed. We haven’t yet begun a dialogue based on good information.

ON AFGHANITAN |ON MIGRATION – Afghans who fled to the US hope that Congress will fix their status – The World 

ON AFGHANITAN |ON MIGRATION – Afghans who fled to the US hope that Congress will fix their status – The World 

After Afghanistan fell to the Taliban tens of thousands of Afghans made their way to the United States. They were allowed to stay under a program called “humanitarian parole.” But that status expires in a couple of months, and although they can renew one time, many are calling for Congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would allow them to seek more permanent status.


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