Media That Matters and Reel Lives

“We no longer have to rely on major corporations for things to be seen—we have Media that Matters to distribute new material and new voices and new points of view.”
                              -Tim Robbins, Actor

Media That Matters is the premiere showcase for short films on the most important topics of the day. Local and global, online and in communities around the world, Media That Matters engages diverse audiences and inspires them to take action. From gay rights to global warming, the jury-selected collection represents the work of a diverse group of independent filmmakers, many of whom are under 21. The films are equally diverse in style and content, with documentaries, music videos, animations, experimental work and everything else in between. What all the films have in common is that they spark debate and action in 12 minutes or less.

The annual collection, currently in its 12th year, launches in New York, marking the beginning of a jam-packed year of Media That Matters. The films stream online, broadcast nationally and are distributed on a DVD along with accompanying curriculum to educators and activists. Media That Matters reaches thousands through community screenings around the world. From classrooms to boardrooms, movie theatres to home theatres, hundreds of events take place throughout the year. Previous presenters include Tim Robbins, Al Franken, David Cross, Woody Harrelson, Barbara Kopple and Peter Yarrow.

We provide everything you need to host your own event, and we invite you to contact us for support in bringing Media That Matters to your neck of the woods.

An image captures a feeling,
A story shares a message,
A movie becomes a movement.

Media That Matters FOCUS

Media That Matters FOCUS is a series of curated collections that center on particular issues. Our first FOCUS release (October 2006) is Media That Matters: Good Food, a collection of shorts on food and sustainability. Following the model of our annual festival, the films stream online, screen around the country and are distributed on DVD.

Reel Lives

Reel Lives is a 501(c)3 using media to support education, empowerment and social change. Our approach consists of an integrated set of programming that achieves both depth and breadth of service via our Core, Graduate and International Programs, Media That Matters Collection and Curricula Development. Learn more at www.reel-lives.org.



Join Reel Live’s Fundraising Campaign and help us get the Media That Matters™ collection into schools and community centers, both in the U.S. and around the world!


“Media That Matters matters to me.”
— Chuck D