How I Spent My Summer Part 4 (Adele Schmidt)


The next installment of our guest blog series in which we ask Docs In Progress staff and alumni to reflect on how they spent their summers in documentary land.  Now we hear from staff about what we've been up to both in and outside of Docs In Progress.  First up, Adele Schmidt, our Director of Programs and Services.



Our first summer at the Doc House 



by Adele Schmidt

During the summer we made some important steps in the development of a new partnership with the Gandhi Brigade, a Silver Spring-based Youth Media Group. For three days we hosted at the documentary house a group of six Gandhi Brigade students and their adult mentors in preparation for an exchange trip they did in August to El Salvador. The goal was to produce with their peers in El Salvador short video clips which touch on topics young adults are interested in like immigration, violence and living in different cultures. In addition to providing them a retreat space to plan their productions, we also offered the participants two sessions related to cross-cultural communication and working on film in Latin America based on our own experiences in these areas.  Just a few weeks ago, we were able to see the results of the exchange -- three short documentaries produced and edited by the American and Salvadoran youth.  I was pleasantly surprised about the high production values and the approach of young people to tell deep stories about difficult topics of our times. 

On a more personal front, this summer I was also very busy filming my new documentary Romantic Warriors, a film on progressive music.  Although the music is rarely played on radio, a new generation of young musicians are exploring this music in every genre and are doing it with all passion and dedication of their predecessors -- finding new ways to reach their audiences in spite of the fact that the music industry is ignoring them. 

In June, I also got notice that I was won my third Telly Award, this time for a training program I produced with my company Zeitgeist Media LLC for Oratorio Media and Presentation Training. This interactive online HD-training program took a year to be completed.  Now it€™s up on the web.

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