Storyhunter NYC Meetup

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New York Storyhunters,

Our Storyhunter NYC meetup is set for Monday, Aug 27 from 7-9pm at ReRun movie theater/bar/lounge in Dumbo, Brooklyn. It should be a great time, with screenings, drinks, networking, and we'll even be commissioning a video at the event. Sign up to the meetup group here.

The venue (147 Front Street behind ReBar on Front St.) is awesome with more than 60-person seating on bench seats of old minivans and a speakeasy-type bar inside the theater. We'll screen some amazing short docs from around the world, as well as some from around the way. And if you have a short doc or production you'd like to screen, let us know!

At the end of the meetup, we'll open the floor to story ideas, everyone will vote on the best one, and the winner will be automatically commissioned by Storyhunter. So if you know a fascinating character in your neighborhood, or just have an idea that would make for a great video story, do some research and pitch it at the event.

If you know potential Storyhunters in NYC, spread the word! You can also invite people through this FB invite. #letstellstories

So glad this is finally happening! Hope you can make it!

Pussy Riot Interview

Written by Jaron Gilinsky On the 0 Comments

Three female members of Pussy Riot, a Russian punk band, face seven years in prison if they are convicted on hooliganism charges.  Back in February, they sang a song in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and were subsequently arrested, imprisoned, and refused bail.  We've been following their "trial" this week.  Here's an article by the Guardian on the subject.

Check out this video interview made by Carole Cadwalladr and Khristina Narizhnaya.  They interview 3 members of Pussy Riot who are not in jail:


Here's what Cadwalladr wrote in the Guradian about the video:

"They're not the three young women in jail: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29 – or Nadia, Masha and Katya, as they're known. Nobody has been allowed to see them. Not their husbands, families or friends. But Pussy Riot is not just three women. It's a collective of "more than 10" women, including two others who performed in the cathedral and are still at large. And all of them have vanished since the arrests. They've all gone to ground. This isn't surprising given the danger they're in. They've spent five months in hiding, waiting to see if they'll be arrested too. And this is their first interview for western media.

Although they're not the imprisoned women, they don't have to be. That's the intention of the balaclavas – they're meant to be anonymous, indivisible, representative. It doesn't matter which of them got arrested. That's the point – that they're not individuals, they're an idea. And that's the thing that has gripped Russia and caught the attention of the rest of the world, too: that the Russian government has gone and arrested an idea and is prosecuting through the courts with a vindictiveness the Russian people haven't before seen. An idea perpetrated by three young, educated, middle-class women, or devushki (girls), as the Russians call them."

The Cyborg Era?

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Think cyborgs are mere science fiction? Think again.  They're real and could be experimenting on themselves in a city near you.  Watch journalist Ben Popper electrocute his own brain as he hangs out with people who call themselves biohackers.  In case you're wondering, biohacking is really just a euphemism for voluntarily turning yourself into a cyborg.  You don't want to miss this one.


Baseball in the Time of Cholera

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Don't let the 28-minute run time fool you, this short documentary does a lot in less than half an hour.

"Baseball in the Time of Cholera" shifts effortlessly between 3 distinct storylines. The result is a unified, yet multi-layered narrative which manages to portray the reality of the cholera epidemic in Haiti.

The film is anchored by the personal story of Joseph, a poor Haitian kid with a passion for baseball who is living in the midst of the outbreak. Then there's the investigative aspect: the filmmakers try to get to the source of the cholera (which is not endemic in Haiti).  Finally, there are the interviews with the lawyer bringing a case against the UN on behalf of the cholera victims. 

Rather than competing, these distinct perspectives on the crisis harmonize with great effect.

"Baseball in the TIme of Cholera" isn't hard journalism.  But just as the introduction to the doc points out, there are sometimes better ways to tell statistics and explain controversy, to make them real.  That's why we love to get behind the news to meet the people in its shadow -- which is exactly what "Baseball" does so well.

Inspired? Know a young person like Joseph? Become a Storyhunter and submit your pitch now!

Storyhunter of the Month July 2012 - Alex Moreno

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Congratulations to Alex Moreno for being chosen as the Storyhunter of the Month (SOM) for July 2012! Alex brought us behind the news of the #YoSoy132 movement in Mexico and uncovered the stories of its student leaders in his “The Voices Behind the #YoSoy132 Movement in Mexico” video report. He followed the young activists into the thick of protests and deftly captured the charisma and passion of his main subject Antonio Atollini.

Jaron Gilinsky interviewed our new Storyhunter of the Month over Skype. Check out their conversation below.


Mosaic man brings art to NYC, one street corner at a time

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There are some who walk down the street and never notice the people, the shops, the light shifting on the pavement or the history around them. Jim Power is not such a man, he saw the lampposts as an empty canvas for relfecting on the communities of New York Cities Lower East Side.

For the past 30 years the Vietnam vet has crafted a name for himself with his public lampost mosaics, present in the neighborhood since the 80s.  

PBS posts about our video from Syria

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PBS MediaShift decided to crosspost our recent video about a Syrian citizen journalist and we're thrilled for the support. Thanks guys!

Storyhunter is all about telling the overlooked stories and going deeper than the nightly news and cable outlets. We're always looking for pitches and paying for good stories. If you have an idea, sign up and let us know!

People jump over lots of $#!t at the 2011 parkour summit

Written by Shaminder Dulai On the 0 Comments

Ah, the power of video. There are just some things you can't write about or photograph to get the full impact. No, you have to see it.

There isn't much to this video, but it's Friday and who says you can't take a break from saving the world to be a little light-hearted from time to time.

So sit back and enjoy watching some of the world's best free runners tackle the 2011 National Parkour Summit in Seattle, Washington. This is some impressive stuff here.

And for our Storyhunters, if you feel inspired to pitch your own sports related story, log in (above right) and head on over to the "Assignments" tab to get in touch.

Happy hunting!

Running and Gunning, a Syrian Citizen Journalist's journey to truth

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Hussein worked for his family's real estate company showing apartments around the city of Quasir before the Syrian uprising became increasingly violent eight months ago. That all ended when frequent bombings and gunfire between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and Syrian rebels turned the country into one of the most dangerous place in the world. Most jobs in Syria, including Hussein's, disappeared.

Blockades and attacks on foreign journalists in Syria has made real-time information about the conflict more and more scarce. Hussein, a pro-revolution activist who asked not to use his last name for fear of retribution, began taking pictures and videos of the violence and sending them to TV stations, free of charge, filling the void for media footage of the conflict and effects on daily life in Syria. 

Broadcasters are increasingly relying on untrained citizen journalists like Hussein for insight into what's going on inside countries where goverments restrict access. In this eye-opening short documentry video, Storyhunter Ricardo Garcia Vilanova treks along with Hussein to see what life is like for the former salesman turned journalist.