Aspiring Filmmakers: Change the World With Your Movies!

Aspiring filmmakers are attracted to writing screenplays and making the movies that inspire deep emotions, but the power of their creations can actually change the world for the better! In the video above, burgeoning actors, directors and writers can watch a discussion from the UN Week Digital Media Lounge about the transformative effect filmmaking has on the entire world – most especially in the developing nations around the globe. Through filmmaking, creatives of all stripes have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable and struggling by exposing their plight to the wider world. Through this type of heroic filmmaking, aid has been rallied to assist in hardships such as the Kosovo war, the Darfur refugee crisis and many others.

film-aid-225This particular talk hosted by Caroline Baron, a film producer and founder of the non-profit group FilmAid, and Lisa Russell, a filmmaker, director and c0-founder of In their talk, both women explore the effects film has in shaping an audiences perception of the world. In the case of Baron, FilmAid tours developing nations in order to screen films from the Western world andhelp isolated people expand their worldview and sense of what is possible for the development of their communities. One tour took her to a remote village in Afghanistan for a screening of the American classic film The Wizard of Oz. It was the first time the children there had seen a motion picture or had even heard music.

Russell’s goal with differs as it uses the power of social media networks to harness the creativity of filmmakers to affect global change. The site focuses on raising awareness for maternal and child health issues by allowing interested filmmakers to “remix” clips of film, music and images to create their own online video! An artist can then share the creation on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter to promote the cause of maternal health.

The discussion was a part of the Social Good Summit presented in partnership by the social networking news site Mashable and New York’s 92Y. The summit brings attention to the many ways technology and media can help find solutions to a host of world challenges. This gathering revolves around the partnership set out by the United Nations Foundation to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, using the extraordinary creativity and talent of filmmakers and new media pioneers to change the world.

For all the aspiring filmmakers and movie fans – like all the folks on the Tom Cruise Twitter list @aspiring2actwritedirect – there’s no greater goal than that!

Anyone excited to pick up a camera can start on the path to changing the world right now. For fans looking to direct, you may want to check out our filmmakers guide. For all the screenwriters looking to pen the next groundbreaking screenplay or teleplay would need the screenwriting or television writing guides. And for our fans with a dramatic flair, the acting guide can help put you on the path.

Are you interested in the changing the world through the power of film? Which global challenge would you look to take on through the lens of your cameras? Let us know in the comments section below!

And as always, we look forward to hearing from you around the clock on our official Facebook and Twitter channels. The team at is excited to hear what you have to say. :)

  • patirck ford


  • http://n/a Tim Roberts

    Some of the global challenges we face:

    World Hunger!
    Wildlife Conservation
    Climate Change
    Sustainable industry
    Renewable energies
    Recycling and Green Technologies
    Educating for a better world
    World Health
    Giving a voice to all minorities and groups forced into silence
    ..The FUTURE..

  • Nami Akhavi

    Yes! Cinema, especially American Cinema is not only the best in any field of the art, but amazes me how it brings forward, exposes, tells and teaches history, the dark and light corners of humanity, makes one think, showcases politics, corruption, among so many other absolutely mind boggling things. And yes, there are those who lie, disturb, degrade, brain wash, and so many other malicious things. I wish I was in this field of art, which sometimes takes the form of documentary in a fashionable and entertaining form. Since i am a designer, the admiration is several folds to me. But I am getting older and the chance is lost. At the same time I do have pitches and stories, and am writing too, but I don’t think, with all the positive and wonderful approach that Tom Cruises group has done, the politics would allow me to bring to life what I have experienced first hand. /thank you, Tom, and his group, to create such hope, even for a fifty seven year old Iranian living in America, and hurting for the two countries that I love. Bless you all.

  • Nami Akhavi

    Is it really possible for a 57 year old Iranian/American to participate in the most amazing form of art? Cinema of America is a unique form of art. No country can come even close in reflecting humanity, his history, sorrows and jubilation, corruption and well being, love and hate, fake and natural, history and propaganda, spirituality and materialism, entertainment and nonsense, and a whole lot more, to the American cinema. Since I am a designer and painter, this remains just a wish, to actually change the world through this amazing medium. But is it really possible, with all the politics opposing the good heartedness of your group?

  • Christina Kihlberg

    Thank you for posting this. Very inspiring.

  • Alexandra

    I think that we lost the possibility to love. And it is the most important problem in the world. We lost the patriotic filling to our countries and the honour of it. I think that the aim of film-makers is to make our soul more clean. Therefore we need more films like Taps or Top Gun or Born of four of July. We can not communicate with each other and we need the films like “In Her Shoes” to study it.
    Your films made a grate influence on me. The best progresses in my own life are the results of your films. Thank you very much!

  • James P. Kelly

    Thank you for encouraging content creators to wield their art to better the world. I believe those who buy non-fiction or view documentaries do so to further entrench their bias. Entertainment, therefore, may offer the last path into the soul of our species. This may be especially true in light of how adept politicians and special interests have become in managing public opinion to stymie change. Global Warming offers a blatant example although it’s likewise true concerning the fates of millions who depend on how others see the world…on whether content creators craft their projects to open minds while sparking emotions.

    With so much confronting mankind in the next forty years—catastrophic climatic changes, mankind’s growth by fifty percent, resources running out, the loss of millions of miles of coastal lands, the spread of tropical diseases, the continued devastation of our rainforests—never before has our species and planet needed its artists to reach Man’s heart. [Note: I came to hold the above viewpoints after five years of biotech activism at the national level and twice serving as a surrogate White House spokesperson on stem cells.]

  • Baurushan Jeyaseelan

    I really liked to be a film maker since when I was a kid. Any help you can give me for that “sir” ?

  • Michael Gonzalez

    I think I’m already starting to do that. Check out my latest trailer with amazing music produced by a great Independent artist. Spread this to help change the world!

  • Deanwelsh78

    its a good bit of info but how could you realy help me ? by reaching my dream ..?ncan you

  • James Kelly

    Like the United Nation’s Creative Community Outreach Initiative, I strongly believe full length commercial fiction offers Man’s best hope for inspiring the eco-awareness needed to avert the worst case potentials of climatic change. After spending years as a paralyzed ‘pro-cures’ activist (who struggled in vain to promote practical paths to cures) my concern is even sharper: In my opinion, the potential films offer for inducing audiences to ‘suspend disbelief’ may render high concept entertainment our planet’s only hope for sparking the widespread support needed to derail the runaway coal train of carbon-producing special interests.

    Please consider comments by Hollywood insiders at a recent U.N. function in L.A. (to court the film and TV industry re high concept projects aimed at raising eco-awareness with regards to climate change):

    “Most people on Friday night are not going out to see something that tastes like medicine. They want entertainment.” actor Don Cheadle

    “How do you make it marketable, palatable and engaging without preaching?” Dan Hassid, a Walt Disney Studios vice president.

    “You don’t want to offend your sponsors.” Director David Carson who noted oil and auto companies, major emitters of planet-heating carbon dioxide, advertise on television series.

    “Unfortunately, the best messaging on climate change by far is by the deniers. Chevron has a brilliant TV campaign that would lead you to believe climate change is being solved by the oil business.” Marshall Herskovitz, a veteran producer and director.

    Clearly the odds appear to be stacked against screenwriters who hope to spark pro-green attitudes and actions through high-concept entertainment…but that’s why they call it “creativity.” Speaking for myself, I wrote a high concept novel I believe strikes at the heart of climatic change without pontificating, involving an environmental disaster, or pointing the finger of blame at moviegoers. The idea is to use underlying premise to plant subtle, but compelling seeds of eco-awareness while keeping viewers riveted by action, colorful characters, and a plot that won’t let go. If I can do it (and I’ve already started three scripts using this format), so can you (speaking to my fellow writers)!

    Thank you,, for supporting social change through film and TV.

  • Rudi Rose

    Thank You for the incredible work and continued inspiration. Looking for feedback on my first short, as producer/writer/director/actor: