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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. 

How to Solve 2 of the Biggest Problems in Multicultural Media Distribution


How to Solve 2 of the Biggest Problems in Multicultural Media Distribution

Artel Great

What if there was a customized cinema and media platform that could connect multicultural communities with the diverse content they crave?  A forum that offered a wide variety of media content that reflects a broader spectrum of our humanity and the true spirit and diversity present in America today?  Sound like utopia?  Well, it’s not.  It’s well within reach.

Today the two biggest issues facing indie film and new media artists who are creating for communities outside of the Hollywood mainstream are:

1) How do we raise our visibility? 

2) How can we increase the distribution of our content to the people who care the most about it?

I began examining these issues on the second leg of the national tour I conducted to launch the Project Catalyst App, which landed me in Chicago, Illinois.



My goal was to introduce the creative and artistic class present in the culturally rich Midwestern city to the Project Catalysttechnology in order to serve as a lightning rod for positive momentum.  I organized a team of local event coordinators and we personally invited local filmmakers, producers, scholars, artists, musicians, and philanthropists together for a night of food and entertainment to introduce them to the insightful array of film and music programming available on the Project Catalyst multicultural entertainment App.





The Project Catalyst Chicago App Launch was held at the Black Cinema House at Kimbark Studios on the Southside of the city.  The newly opened space designed by noted visual artist Theaster Gates is part art gallery, studio, film theater, library, archive, and outdoor patio space.  The library consists of thousands of books donated as a part of the estate of the founder of Ebony and Jet Magazines, John H. Johnson’s personal collection.

During my demonstration of the App to our guests, I advanced the notion that diverse communities can now actually decide what they watch--- they can actually decide what they see.  With the proper strategy and deployment of new mobile technologies like the Project Catalyst App we can actually decide what we desire our media culture to be and what we wish to do with our own future. 


By bringing together such a diverse group of influencers and artists and  introducing them to one another as well as to the talent showcased on the App served as a method for me to increase the visibility ofProject Catalyst’s exclusive content in communities that would most readily consume and appreciate the work. 


Additionally, through the screening aspect of this community event, we were able to expand the exhibition, reach, and distribution of fresh and exciting films, new media, and music videos, to new audiences who would ordinarily never encountered these artistic works.

The Project Catalyst App in a very real way contains the seeds to begin to solve the two biggest issues in multicultural media distribution.  The App proves that we can create an indie bridge for artists who desire to reach diverse communities, while simultaneously creating a bridge for audiences who seek diverse content and stories. 

Could mobile technology and mobile content be the best opportunity for filmmakers and audiences to start to reconfigure how we think about culture and community?  Absolutely. It’s imperative.

Because it’s not that multicultural audiences don’t desire better entertainment options--- it’s that they don’t know where to get them.  And the Project Catalyst App is that bridge, that signature destination to make those critical connections.

One surprising result of the Chicago App launch was the executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center spreading the message about Project Catalyst on it’s digital marquee.  For three days the southside landmark’s marquee read: “Download the Amazing Project Catalyst Movie & Music App to your phone or iPad for FREE!”

How cool was that?  This definitely contributed to a spike in app downloads while in Chicago. Check out the picture.


Tell me how you’re using technology to solve your media distribution issues in the comment section below. 

Great ideas can change the world but it requires great people to make it happen, so download the Project Catalyst App here and spread the word.