Community Supported Film (CSF)


Social Documentary Director Michael Sheridan’s Community Supported Film (CSF) initiates cinematic campaign by training local filmmakers, and video-journalists, especially from the underdeveloped and developing countries, in the art of storytelling. They have a three-fold goal which begins with the training of local people so that they can showcase the geo-political problems of their locale, in the context of its history, economy and sociology. In the second step, the specific problems would be traced out and films would be made. As the third step, CSF would engage the international, as well as local, viewership to the awareness and activism related to those problems, through the films.

This initiative was officially credited in 2009, when Sheridan won the Gold Telly Award, for his film Community, produced by CSF. So far, they have trained local teams in Afghanistan, leading to the production of the documentary Fruits of Labour, and teams in Haiti, leading to ten high-quality short films.

CSF is ready to train and produce films that amplify local voices. There are uncountable numbers of stories coming out from the belly of the exploitation-stricken societies in the Indian subcontinent. Any developmental issue can be the focus, from the income and production distribution disparity, to moral policing by the State’s stooges. Community Supported Film may be an aid to such aspirations.

Everyone has stories to tell the world. The world can be moved; things can be achieved. But, everyone does not have the know-how for visual storytelling, or the equipment. That is not a difficult training to undergo. But, someone has to impart that technical knowledge to the potential filmmakers. CSF does that in a customized way suitable to the local tradition and problems.


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Anirban Lahiri is a film critic and cinematographer teacher. He is the executive editor of Film Perspectives. And taught cinematography, for several years, at the Digital Film Academy.

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