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The NYU Cinema Research Institute brings together innovators in film and media finance, production, marketing, and distribution to imagine and realize a new future for artist-entrepreneurs. 


On the Good Foot: the Project Catalyst NYC App Launch Review

Artel Great

It has been said “if you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere.”  After spending a year designing and building the Project Catalyst App, the time had come to unleash it on the world.  What better place to do so than New York City.  As you know, my research agenda centers on uncovering new solutions to expand media diversity and multicultural film distribution.  My goal is to use digital technology to bring progressive entertainment to underserved multicultural communities. 

Contemporaneously, the Project Catalyst App is designed to offer filmmakers from diverse backgrounds a signature destination that would showcase their incredible movies and music videos to people around the world.  This is a long overdue solution to expanding humanistic and diverse media content.

The Project Catalyst New York City App Launch was held at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in the heart of Fort Greene Brooklyn

The event took place in a large art gallery featuring the work of an amazing visual artist, and was designed to be part industry mixer, part presentation.  I did no public marketing for this event.  My team and I sent personal invitations to guests we believed would share our values and desires.  Our guests were treated to delectable hor devours and beverages and soulful tunes from DJ Jahmedicine.  Attendees included: actors, filmmakers, producers, scholars, writers, and musicians, and television personalities.  People from diverse backgrounds who really desire to see a positive shift in the representational politics of film and media distribution. 

My presentation informed guests why the time was ripe for change to occur and why the Project Catalyst App was the perfect solution for the new social savvy multicultural media creator and consumer.  After all, people of color make up nearly 60 percent of the movie-going audience, shouldn’t they be better represented on the screens they watch? 

The most exciting aspect of the event was revealing the app to the audience on a large projector.  I was able to showcase a brief overview of the apps functionality and content.  We watched snippets from the Project Catalyst App, which features three distinct content channels: Reflections (i.e. short narrative) Vibes (i.e. music videos), and Truth (i.e. documentaries).  Guests were excited to see the app's beautiful design and how seamless it operated.  After all, giving a live presentation from my smartphone, could have gone two ways--- very good, or very bad.  Thankfully, the presentation at MoCADA went very well. 

The creative and artistic class in New York City straightaway embraced the new Project Catalyst platform, which was not an easy task to achieve.  Truly, a feat in and of itself.  In fact, our potential for expansion and partnerships was enhanced from this event.  Geoffrey Guerrero of the Katra Film Series (a Latino film series), Kay Shaw of the National Black Programming Consortium, and other organizations in attendance reached out to express their desire to develop collaborative partnerships and showcase their content on the Project Catalyst App. I guess you could say we got started off “on the good foot.” 

My goal is to begin to aggregate content and communities to enhance the platform, reach wider audiences, and create greater value through collective actions and engagement. 

One highlight of the event was the enthrallment of noted image activist and CNN contributor, Michaela Angela Davis, who after witnessing the demonstration of the Project Catalyst App immediately became an advocate for the transmedia platform and strategy.  In fact, Davis tweeted about the app touting its uniqueness as the "Netflix culturally curated around people of color."--- I could not have said it better myself!

I firmly believe that great ideas can change the world, but it requires great people to make it happen.  That’s why I need your help to download the app and share it with as many people as possible--- For easy access, you can find the Project Catalyst app here to download for free & watch.

See more about Project Catalyst initiatives at

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