Why Media Matters

Date:  Sunday, April 11, 2010
Speaker:  Geralyn Dreyfous

Geralyn Dreyfous has a wide background in the cultural sector, long experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector and is active on many boards and initiatives. She founded the Philanthropic Initiative in Boston, which guides families of wealth in strategic giving. In the film arena, Geralyn taught Documentary and Narrative Writing with Dr. Robert Coles at Harvard University and was a founder of the DoubleTake Community Service Corporation, which publishes DoubleTake Magazine. She also founded the DoubleTake Summer Institute that brought educators, activists and emerging storytellers together to explore the connections between service, moral inquiry and storytelling.

In her role as filmmaker, Geralyn recently produced PROJECT KASHMIR, WAITING FOR HOCKNEY, IN A DREAM, KICK LIKE A GIRL and THE DAY MY GOD DIED, a documentary on the global trafficking of children for sex and 2004 Academy Award winning documentary, BORN INTO BROTHELS about the children of Calcutta prostitutes that spawned the Kids With Cameras Foundation to sell the children’s photography, allowing them to attend school and leave the brothel. In 2007, she and Dan Cogan started IMPACT PARTNERS, a donor advisory service for high net worth individuals who are interested in growing the social impact media landscape. IMPACT has financed 25 films, three of which were at the Sundance Twenty Ten Film Festival.

Geralyn is a co-founder of the SLC Film Center and the mission statement is as follows: The SLC Film Center brings the world of film to local audiences through free community screenings and discussions, outreach programs, and visiting artists and professionals. Emphasizing social content and artistic excellence, we present the best documentary, independent and dramatic cinema year-round. We collaborate with various educational and community organizations to promote a diversity of ideas, to provide forums for underrepresented groups, and to develop new audiences for film.

Geralyn Dreyfous is the co-founder and Director-at-Large of Impact Partners. Their mission statement is as follow: IMPACT Partners is committed to financing independent cinema that addresses pressing social issues. We bring together financiers and filmmakers so that, together, they can create great films that entertain audiences, enrich lives, and ignite social change.

“Films that engage pressing social issues have never reached larger audiences or had greater social impact than they do today. From AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH to THE COVE, these films command an enormous cultural presence and influence. The goal of Impact Partners is to bring together the two groups that make these films possible: filmmakers and film investors /philanthropists.

For investors, our goal is to provide the opportunity to participate in financing great documentaries and independent films, and the structure to do so in a fiscally responsible and profitable way.

For filmmakers, our goal is to provide both financing and guidance. We provide the resources to get films made, the mentorship to make films the best they can be, and the strategic support to achieve the widest possible audience for each film. We are currently involved in the development, production, sales, distribution, and exhibition of over 20 films. Our investors have been involved in financing a wide range of award-winning films, including the Academy Award-winners BORN INTO BROTHELS and FREEHELD, the Academy Award-nominated THE GARDEN, and the Emmy Award-winning THE GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB.

We are currently working with internationally-acclaimed directors, Eugene Jarecki (WHY WE FIGHT), Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern (THE TRIALS OF DARYL HUNT), José Padilha (BUS 174, ELITE SQUAD), and Jennifer Fox, in addition to up-and-coming and first-time filmmakers.”

 Recommended Reading and Resources: