Actuality Media is really different from other companies out there because it's not just a study abroad program. It's not just a film program. It's not just cultural immersion, nor is it only volunteer service. It's a new concept that encompasses media, international development, and innovative ideas.
In each country where we have a documentary outreach, we partner with local change makers who are working to solve societal problems in their own communities. We tell their stories using documentary film as the platform. The work that they're doing matters. I think the whole concept is unique and a refreshingly positive use of media in this day and age.
At the end of each month-long documentary film outreach, we have a film premiere screening in the community where we worked. It is really fun, a celebration with the change makers we've worked with, and a chance for dialogue among interested community members. Some of the students from the Malaysia trip last summer told me that at the premiere, apparently all of the change makers were inspired by each other and ended up connecting and supporting each other in different ways.
For example: one change maker had a bunch of extra bicycles he was going to donate to a change maker that worked with youth in a residential, educational center. That center wanted to partner with a third change maker organization and film a dance together with one of the boys from their youth drop-in center. The youth drop-in center was going to have bike trips around Kuala Lumpur with the first change maker.
It was fantastic to see great change makers learn about each other and pool resources and talents together. That's what we're all about.