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Actuality Media

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Actuality Media

Actuality Media takes students and young filmmakers to developing communities around the globe to create positive media - short documentaries that tell the story of changemakers doing good work to solve social or environmental problems in innovative, replicable ways.

Actuality Media Programs

Multiple Countries

Documentary Outreach - Production Crew Member

Use your talent as a filmmaker to research, write, shoot and edit a short documentary video about a changemaker whose work is worthy of worldwide attention. Your compelling...

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Actuality Media Reviews

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A life-changing experience

I had a life-changing experience on Actuality Media's Documentary Outreach in Istanbul in 2013. I was producer for a documentary on the International Blue Crescent's psychosocial efforts with Syrian refugee children, and it was the most challenging, exciting and inspiring month of my life. Not only did I walk away with a short documentary to add to my portfolio, but the newsgathering and networking I did had me publish two feature articles for major international news media and has provided me with career opportunities that I still enjoy to this day. And that's not even taking into account the incredible cultural immersion, wild adventures and the amazing friends and local connections you make! I can't recommend these outreaches to any aspiring filmmaker, storyteller and adventurer enough!

*I should note that I now work as a part time employee of the company and location coordinator. My work with Actuality Media has not influenced this review (I work with them because of how much I loved my experience!).

Program: Documentary Outreach - Production Crew Member

Overall Rating

8 / 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    8

Morocco 2017 review

Overall, the program was a valuable learning and life experience. Concerningly, however, Actuality Media did not arrange for Moroccan filming permits, resulting in the police shutting down our shoot and our changemaker having to pay a bribe.

Program: Documentary Outreach - Production Crew Member

  • Actuality Media responded to this review November 27, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    Hello Fern,

    We're sorry that we weren't successful at explaining in Morocco that there are no specific permits for the kind of filming we were doing, and that in many developing countries the police routinely extort money from foreigners by telling them they must pay a bribe or get into trouble. In almost every case this is despite there being no laws or rules being broken. In the case of your crew - the Cafe and the neighbors turned out to have a running dispute we were unaware of in advance, and this is why the police came - the neighbors called to try to get the cafe in trouble. In the end, the Cafe owners did go to the police station but they paid no bribe as they were told at the station that nothing illegal had occurred.

    We're glad to have you in the Actuality Media Collective. Good fortune to you on your future adventures!

Overall Rating

7 / 10

  • Academics

    2

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

Nicaragua Doc Outreach

It's impossible not to learn a ton from the process of making a documentary start to finish in a few weeks in a foreign country. You learn a lot about the storytelling process, you learn a lot about the organization that you're working with, you learn about the culture, and you learn about your place as a foreigner and filmmaker. The program was mostly hands-off, basically you partnering with other students and going at the filmmaking process on your own. It was challenging in so many ways but really rewarding and a lot of fun.

As far as criticism goes, perhaps you would get higher quality instruction or a more motivated peers in a more academic program. Only do this program if you are looking for a mix of fun, touristy experiences, and film experiences. As far as balancing those two things, this program is pretty good. You will have fun, hang out, and make a film at the same time.

Program: Documentary Outreach - Production Crew Member

  • Actuality Media responded to this review November 27, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    We're glad that you had such a good time and learned so much with us in Nicaragua.

    It's absolutely true that our approach on Documentary Outreaches is to guide crews to be able to research, plan, shoot and edit their own film without our leading every step of the way. Our goal is to give the crew the most in-the-field experience rather than a classroom experience, and this may be why it didn't seem as academic as you expected.

    We do our best to balance work with time to explore in-country as well, and we're glad you think we got that right.

    We're glad to have you in the Actuality Media Collective. Good fortune to you on your future endeavors!

Overall Rating

9 / 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Incredible program for all aspiring filmmakers

This program provides an incredible opportunity to go abroad, learn a lot about documentary filmmaking, and meet incredible people. You get to be a part of a film crew and create a film about a non profit organization. From research to planning to shooting to editing, the amount of experience I gained will be crucial to my future.

Program: Documentary Outreach - Production Crew Member

  • Actuality Media responded to this review November 27, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    We're so happy that you had such a good experience with us on the Documentary Outreach to Peru. It's great to have you in the Actuality Media Collective.
    Good fortune to you on your future endeavors and keep us updated on your adventures!

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Documentary outreach to Nicaragua

I loved my experience with Actuality Media on the documentary outreach to Nicaragua. I learned a lot and had a fun time, not just with the students in my program and the supervisors, but the local we met as well.

Program: Documentary Outreach - Production Crew Member

  • Actuality Media responded to this review November 27, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    The films from Nicaragua are great and we're very happy you had such a good time on our Documentary Outreach in EstelĂ­.
    It's great to have you in our Actuality Media Collective - we'll keep you up to date on opportunities, and please update us on your adventures.
    Good fortune to you on your future endeavors!

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