Film & Culture

Christie Marchese Helps Filmmakers Drive Social Change

Christie Marchese, CEO of Picture Motion and 2018 WORLDZ Master, has a passion for storytelling, and she’s using that fervor to shine a light on filmmakers driving social change. Marchese launched Picture Motion (and was later joined by Wendy Cohen, formerly of Participant Media) in 2012 with a desire to help documentary and feature filmmakers connect with audiences and amass the widest impact possible for their content.

Over the past six years, Marchese has focused on creating intimate partnerships and generating grassroots support campaigns designed to maximize audience engagement and raise mass awareness about the issues portrayed on screen. Marchese and her team have partnered closely with the creatives behind films such as Where to Invade Next, Fruitvale Station, Focus Feature’s The Zookeepers, America Inside Out with Katie Couric and Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary, Before the Flood. Focusing primarily on uplifting stories we need to give us hope and levity to the ones we need to survive and heal, Marchese wants to make sure all social changes have a voice.

Christie Marchese; Photo courtesy of Shadi Garman for Forbes.

The power of stories to change lives, shape world events and broker historical changes cannot be underestimated. That’s why Marchese has poured her passion for storytelling into amplifying the work of filmmakers driving social change. Marchese believes documentarians are some of the most important journalists in the world and have the ability to investigate power structures while holding government and corporations accountable for their actions.

Like a true WORLDZ Master, Marchese understands the importance of collaboration–in everything. She values every person’s unique perspective and doesn’t assume she always knows what’s best. Marchese’s learned that the best collaborations require clear goals, structure, and innovation. She’s found that no matter what you do, independently or in a collaboration (but most importantly in the latter), you have to ask and answer “why?” Why did you make this particular film? Why do you want this specific audience to see it? Why is this the best call to action to reach our goal? Why do you think “x-number” of screenings equals success and not more or less? She believes that when we all understand “the why” we can individually innovate within our roles to meet those objectives. And if we can’t comfortably challenge ourselves and our teammates, we are limiting our success.

Some of Marchese’s upcoming projects via Picture Motion include Operation Finale (in theaters 8/29) where they’ll be collaborating with leading organizations and experts to increase awareness, education, and advocacy around the Holocaust. Picture Motion is also working with grassroots organizations to organize impactful screenings for Crime & Punishment (in theaters and on Hulu now) a documentary chronicling the struggles of a group of African American and Latino whistleblower cops and the young minorities they are pressured to arrest in New York City.

To learn more from 350+ Masters like Christie, join her at WORLDZ, this October 17th + 18th in Los Angeles.