Professor Emeritus Liane Brandon, Founder of New Day Films, will be one of four founders featured in a virtual event from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, November 12, to celebrate 50 years of distributing award-winning documentaries.
Brandon, who was on the faculty of the College of Education for 30 years, helped found New Day in 1971 as a means of distributing films that feminist filmmakers were making about the women’s movement. She says New Day was the only way for filmmakers to distribute independent films about feminism and the women’s movement in the early 1970s.
“At the time, cable, videotapes, YouTube, social media, email and cellphones did not exist and TV channels did not broadcast independent films on social issues,” said Brandon. “We felt that reaching our audience was a political act. . . as much as the act of making films. And we believed in the idea that filmmakers control their work in collective decision-making, share our knowledge, and use cinema for social change.
Democratically run by more than 150 member filmmakers, New Day brings hundreds of award-winning documentaries to community groups, government agencies, public libraries, businesses and educators, including UMass.
Joining Brandon in the virtual event will be Jim Klein, Amalie R. Rothschild and Julia Reichert, who won an Academy Award in 2020 for co-directing “American Factory,” a documentary on the challenges facing American workers employed in a factory in Ohio bought by a Chinese company. The film is currently available on Netflix. The four founding members will be joined by more recent member-owners Brenda Avila-Hanna, Rodney Evans and current New Day president Suzan Beraza.
The public is invited to join the filmmakers for this free virtual event celebrating 50 years of groundbreaking documentaries. To confirm your attendance at the event, visit tinyurl.com/NewDay50. ASL and CART live captioning will be provided.