With the emergence of digital media and the transition from print to online journalism, the short non-fiction film has proved capable of exploring current topics and questions on a public scale that local newspapers and media outlets can no longer afford.
StoryLens produces short independent documentary films about pressing social issues in order to promote education, encourage public dialogue, and facilitate change.
StoryLens also seeks to provide professional development opportunities for Oberlin College alumni who are pursuing careers as filmmakers by hiring new StoryLens Fellows each year.
To date, StoryLens, with the support of the Nord Family Foundation, has created seven original short documentaries. The films bring focus to specific non-profit organizations in Northeast Ohio, exploring issues such as prison recidivism, opiate addiction, child homelessness, gun violence, food access, and the foreclosure crisis.
StoryLens donates its program content to the organizations whose work the films highlight in order to help them tell their stories to clients and to provide material for their fundraising and outreach efforts.
StoryLens seeks to present its films at community gatherings, in festivals, on public television, and on digital journalistic platforms in order to bring the subjects’ perspectives and experiences to a wide audience.
By telling the stories of individuals and groups whose activities make a difference in their own neighborhoods, StoryLens hopes not only to foster awareness and understanding within local communities but also to give those communities a voice in the national conversation.