The recent breakthroughs in Hollywood made possible by the movements that overturned the repulsive culture that has long hindered equal opportunity, diversity, and authenticity has birthed a new era of storytelling. What used to be a mere form of entertainment has evolved into an instrument of social change and development, especially at a time when the world needs it the most.
Utilizing the Power of Storytelling
Social Impact Entertainment (SIE) has lately been the talk of the town in the industry. Sharing the same passion and purpose, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television dean, Teri Schwartz, alongside Participant Media’s visionary philanthropist and entrepreneur, Jeffrey Skoll, built the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment to further progress the “power of entertainment and performing arts to inspire social change” (UCLA TFT, 2019). It aims to provide structure and research-based resources that unveil the various methods as to how leaders, educators, performers, artists, and society as a whole could use the power of film, television, animation, digital media, and theater to shed light on pressing social issues in hopes of breaking down the stigma, encouraging positivity, and transforming lives of the afflicted.
…Participant Media has proven that it is possible to create and elevate storytelling that is altogether entertaining, empowering, informative, and could ultimately change the world for the better.
With all the chaos and challenges that our world is facing, the need to foster and incorporate messages of hope, goodness, enlightenment, and encouragement through the art that we create is critical. Fortunately, more and more innovators, revolutionists, and creatives appreciate the importance of SIE, especially now that we have been given the platform and opportunity to give a voice to those who have long been silenced. The unjust, despicable, and oppressive culture not just in the entertainment industry but across all disciplines is finally becoming a thing of the past. SIE is responsible for the remarkable scope of films that dominate the Academy Awards year after year that strive to continue the conversation about racism, social classes, gender discrimination, identities, mental health, and the environment.
Companies like Participant Media has proven that it is possible to create and elevate storytelling that is altogether entertaining, empowering, informative, and could ultimately change the world for the better. It has received 73 Academy Award nominations and 18 wins, particularly Best Picture for Green Book (2018) and Spotlight (2015), as well as Best Foreign Language Film for Roma (2018) and A Fantastic Woman (2017). They aspire to convert audiences from being an observer to a participant by helping them gain a clear understanding as to how they could be part of the change we have been desperately seeking through the characters and overall narrative.
Award-winning titles such as Moonlight (2016), The Wife (2017), Call Me By Your Name (2017), Get Out (2017), If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), BlacKkKlansman (2018), and more, are living proof that studios and production companies have followed their footsteps and have realized the opportunity to do good and give back to the community.
Nowhere to Go but Up
It is extremely astounding how the entertainment industry has quickly evolved right after the outset of the #MeToo movement; it has completely altered the power dynamics, paving the way for people from all walks of life to have a seat at the table and speak their truth. While it has only been recently coined, SIE has always been embedded within us. Game changers such as Jeffrey Skoll and Teri Schwartz have provided an avenue for people to contribute to the welfare of society while doing what they love. The success of these Oscar-nominated and award-winning films shows that we are heading towards a more progressive future. SIE will only continue to grow, and if we collectively find ways to utilize our talents and skills, we will definitely make a huge difference in the world.