StoryShift Series Breaks Down the Art of Accountable Storytelling

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Sep 06, 2019

Storytelling is an important tool in the struggle to shift the narrative around who deserves justice. But it only works if it’s authentic and rooted in accountability. That’s the grounding idea for StoryShift, an interview series from documentary-focused nonprofit Working Films that launched Friday (September 6) at the Southern Documentary Fund Artists’ Convening (SDFAC). The three-part series is “committed to shifting the process of filmmaking to better respect the power, agency and direction of people most affected by the issues raised,” per an emailed statement.

“Questions of representation when you’re a filmmaker making a film in a community that is not your own, are really important questions I ask myself, regularly,” Jacqueline Olive, director of “Always in Season,” says in one of the videos. “Not just about how I approach people, but am I accurately telling the story that reflects what’s going on in the community and their experiences? Once your intentions are clear, that drives the storytelling.” 

Michelle Lanier, executive producer of “Mossville: When Great Trees Fall,” echoed Olive. “We’re constantly looking for ways to grow equity and inclusion and dismantle misogyny, dismantle White supremacy and dismantle socioeconomic privilege, as it shows up in our creative relationships,” Lanier said.

In addition to Lanier and Olive, the series also features directors Gretchen Hildebran and Vivian Vásquez Irizarry (“Decade of Fire”), director Alexander Glustrom (“Mossville”) and activist Claudia Lacy (“Always in Season”).

Watch the trailer below, then visit StoryShift to see the entire series.