In October 2012, UMMA sent out a call for participation to filmmakers, artists, writers, photographers, storytellers, and arts enthusiasts interested in making a movie with the Museum. UMMA invited individuals to create 2-3 minute videos in response to works of art in our collection that would then be made available to the public in our galleries in April 2013 and on the Dialog Table, UMMA's award-winning interactive storytelling and social learning tool.
Together with independent filmmakers Donald Harrison and Sharad Patel, who led the filmmaking workshop, UMMA staff project leaders Lisa Borgsdorf and Ruth Slavin selected thirteen participants through a competitive application process. Those selected range in age from fourteen to fifty-nine and include high school and undergraduate UM students, recent UM graduates, musicians, teachers, and community leaders. Some came to the workshops with no filmmaking or artistic background, others came with quite a bit, and the majority of participants fell somewhere in the middle. To effectively support such a spectrum of experience, Harrison and Patel employed a mentored learning model that balanced group workshop time with individual one-on-one coaching. To do this, they recruited two more experienced artists and filmmakers to serve as mentors, Emilia Javanica and Martin Thoburn. All four created their own movies as well.