Filmbuilding Malden: Our City in Motion

MATV/UMA, in collaboration with the City of Malden and several interested local partners will apply for the National Endowment for the Arts –  Our Town Grant August 18, 2020.

The program we are proposing is a city-wide series of discovery-based film building workshops that would take place over a period of several months to a year. Community members of all ages in Malden will engage in the creation of a series of group-based short film projects along a theme that relates to Malden and its identity and vision. Once completed, the films will be publicly exhibited and screened in creatively appropriated sites (both outdoors and indoors) and screened along with various arts and culture-related events that further celebrate Malden’s rich diversity. 

Grant/Project Timeline

  • August 12, 2020 – Partner statements of support and information forms due
  • August 18, 2020 – Grant Due
  • April 1, 2021 – Notice of award
  • July 1, 2021 – Project start
  • November 2022 – Project end

Project Objectives

  • Reimagine and explore what home or place can mean (beyond the physical spaces we inhabit) in the COVID-19 aftermath. 
  • Increase capacity for empathy and understanding across differences of race, culture, age, gender, background, education, experience etc. 
  • Strengthen and increase partnerships across diverse sectors, individuals, and groups 

We seek Partners

We are seeking collaborative support from community partners that can help this project be inclusive and reflective of the community we represent. Those that join us will be able to have some input into the program details, outreach, and screening events. 

Partner Role Types

Partners provide resources to support the project. Such resources can include help with: translation, outreach, program consulting, group facilitation, event planning, ancillary arts programming, venue/space for screening, music recordings, food…etc

Partner requirements

  1. If you are interested, we ask you to first complete a form that describes who you are/what you do and how you can help. Due date for these forms is August 12, 2020.
  2. In some cases, we may ask you for a statement of support. This is also due August 12, 2020.
  3. In April 2021, after we hear of the grant results, we will convene a planning meeting for all partners to discuss the milestones, planning, and aspects of the programming and project milestones and your involvement specifically. At that time, we will provide more detailed direction and information about timing and requirements.

Confirmed Partners

  • Malden Arts
  • American Association for Arab Women (AAAW)
  • Immigrant Learning Center
  • Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF)
  • Malden Chamber of Commerce
  • Namaste Malden

Project Details

The exact details of this project in terms of programming, outreach plans, schedule of events, etc will be provided in the grant as of August 18. (forthcoming). Once awarded the grant (hoping), modifications may be made in compliance with grant parameters, with input from partners.

Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. Creative placemaking, defined by Ann Markusen is when “partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.” 

Mural telling the story of area immigrants by Augustina Droze.
Click for sample Our Town projects

The NEA offers this grant to support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Successful Our Town projects ultimately lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into local strategies for strengthening communities.

Information about FilmBuilding

Tom Flint, workshop instructor and creator of the discovery-based filmbuilding process and founder of Zoom in Zoom Out, provides clues to the philosophy and approach for this filmbuilding workshop. Fundamentally, the workshop uses the power of discover-based filmbuilding, project-based learning, and intercultural exchange as pillars of the process.

As intercultural encounters continue to be a big part of our  daily lives, the need for understanding one another is essential. Yet, we still remain divided on many fronts, unable to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow from an exposure to each other’s ideas and ways of viewing the world….In times of uncertainty, how can we use the creative and collaborative affordances of the moving image in order to make meaningful connections that can contribute to the development of the societies we are a part of ?

Tom Flint
For an article and more details about this process and examples.

Project Participants

Special thanks to City of Malden for its #UniteMalden inspiration and support of this project.