Our mission at Enlightened Media Productions is to inspire actions that bring justice to our
Through movement-based storytelling and documentary filmmaking, we use truth-telling to open
up channels of community healing and structural change in Athens, Georgia and beyond.
Our success depends on how courageously we commit ourselves to the work of justice, and we
will measure our success based on the degree of material change in the systems we live in.
Many of us are fighting for a more just Athens. We’re fighting for an Athens where wealth, land, and
resources are distributed so that every resident can enjoy the freedom of economic stability.
We’re fighting for an Athens where we share power equitably so communities that are impacted
the most by white supremacy are empowered to reshape our political policy and social
structures. We’re fighting for an Athens where every resident is guaranteed stable and healthy
housing, where every child receives an education that enables their freedom, and where public
safety becomes a force for health and restoration rather than violence and punishment.
Athens needs a platform that amplifies these movements, a platform that informs and inspires
people to act, and a platform that imagines and builds a just Athens.
That’s what we’re about here at Enlightened Media Productions.
We are creating the world we dream of within the process of creating the world we dream of. For
our production company, we will only be sustainable in inspiring movements for justice and
redistribution if our production process itself is just and redistributive.
Our process is summarized below in three recurring actions: Listen, Co-Create, and Engage.
This process is aspirational as we learn, grow, and evolve as a production company.
The act of listening is the backbone and the heart of our productions. We aspire to maintain an
intimate awareness of the needs of Athens’ most impacted communities,
Deepening our relationship with MICs is a necessary prerequisite to connect with what stories we pursue.
Seeking out conversation in shared community spaces with MICs is most important for us,
alongside town halls, education, research, and maintaining open conversation on social justice
practices. Through listening in these spaces, we determine where there is potential interest and
involvement in telling a story.
We choose to engage in patterns of listening that perceive beyond the surface and connect with
the deeper meanings and conflicts that move and govern us. This requires that we continuously
diagnose the issues we face, learn about possible solutions, and engage in discussions with
MICs. In keeping with our mission, this leads us to identify a MIC and a story where a production
has a significant chance to inspire systemic change with material results.
This is where our stories translate to collective action. Alongside the MIC, we execute a
distribution plan that gives the MIC the best opportunity to inspire the desired systemic material
change. This should be done in a way that engages a larger portion of the MIC and transfers
power and voice to them. Through screenings and discussions of the content, we open up
community spaces to heal, inspire discourse, and organize action.
From here, the MIC can leverage the inspired attention into action that applies pressure to local
officials and pushes the desired systemic material change.
Video production and documentary filmmaking have a history of tokenizing, othering, and
festishizing Black communities, indigenous communities, and communities of color, often with most of the social and
financial capital gained from the film going to white filmmakers and executives. With this in
mind, at EMP we strongly believe in redistributive co-creation.
We strive to produce content with the MIC, not for the MIC. This means that members of the
community that are most impacted by the issue are the ones producing the story about the issue.
For longer, in-depth productions, we won’t produce it unless representatives from the MIC are
actively involved and paid as Production Partners, from conceptualization to production to
Redistributive co-creation also means that we take our production budgets very seriously. In
short, we seek funding from well-meaning, more-wealthy communities in order to pay less-wealthy
communities to produce stories that inspire acts of justice for those less wealthy communities.