USC-MISC Newsletter: Spring 2016

PARTICIPATE: April 20, 2016

The Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics and USC Media Institute for Social Change present:

Spring Symposium 2016: Mental Illness In Cinema

USC MISC Saks Institute Present Mental Illness in Cinema

Filmmakers, critics, scholars and policymakers convene to discuss how mental illness is depicted in media and how society views the many issues that impact us all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Tommy's Place

Tutor Campus Center

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California



Complicated Grief PSA for NEw Hope Foundation

Complicated Grief PSA for NEw Hope Foundation

1 in 10 people will suffer from the condition called Complicated Grief after the death of a loved one. USC MISC produced a PSA for the New Hope Foundation to raise awareness of the condition and inform people of the various treatments. The PSA will be broadcast nationally later in the year.


The Pamoja Project has completed post-production.  The film will be submitted to film festivals in April. Stay tuned for screenings near you.

The film follows 3 women in Tanzania working to create change in the areas of education, business and entrepreneurship.


Congratulations to our 2016-2017 USC Media Institute for Social Change Scholars!

Miriam Arghandiwal is a Bay Area Afghan-American with a background in conflict journalism, politics, marketing and community outreach.

Rukayat Giwa was born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in Bakersfield, California. She received a graduate degree in educational studies and taught high school mathematics in Morrow, Georgia. She plans to use media to entertain, educate end empower people of color.

Born in Paris, Anna Lisa McLelland worked in a refugee center in Israel and served as speechwriter for Queen Noor of Jordan.  A nomad by nature, she writes about lost homes.

Julia Van Valkenburg is a media and pop culture blogger from Tucson, AZ. She joins MISC as a cinema and media studies MA with a background in production.

Jonatas da Silva was born in Brazil and raised in West Africa. He speaks 5 languages and has a passion for travel.  He comes to MISC after working as a Media Producer for Orphan's Promise. 



FILMING NOW: Spring 2016

Funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), partners USC MISC with the USC Keck School of Medicine for a series of videos on Big Data.  

Digital data is being collected all over the world very quickly and has increased in quantity faster than anyone expected.   The organization and sharing of this data is crucial to the ongoing work of biomedical research and in many ways the future of medicine depends on it.  MISC will be working in collaboration with researchers at the Keck School to document their work and we will produce films intended to convey the magnitude of this issue.


THE INTERPRETER:   After a several years of struggling to get clearance to bring Afghan interpreter Saifullah to the United States, film director Robert Ham welcomed him to San Antonio last month. 

Robert Ham and The Interpreter team now look forward to dramatizing this effort in the film which will begin pre-production this summer.  Based on true events, The Interpreter is about an Afghan interpreter working for the US Military, hunted by the Taliban while seeking asylum.

US. Army veteran/director Robert Ham, welcomes his interpreter Saifullah at the San Antonio Airport.

US. Army veteran/director Robert Ham, welcomes his interpreter Saifullah at the San Antonio Airport.


PAYA: The Water Story of the Paiute Hits festival circuit.

Cavelle Romero

PAYA: The Water Story of the Paiute, a Her Pictures Production in Association with USC Media Institute for Social Change and Owens Valley Indian Water Commission had its world premiere at the Red Nation Film Festival Nov 12th at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills where it won the Best Documentary category. The film recently screened at the Native Women in Film & TV festival in Santa Monica and continues to make its way through the festival circuit. Paya has also screened at local theaters throughout California to sold out audiences and is currently on a national university tour. The filmmaker, Jenna Cavelle, is currently developing the short film into a feature length documentary with an associated water rights outreach campaign. 


++The Walking Dead Joins Disney and Marvel in Taking a Stand Against Georgia’s Anti-gay Bill [Updated]

++Women, Minority Writers See Little Progress or ‘Actual Reversals of Fortune,’ WGA Report Says

++'Blackfish' filmmaker 'never imagined' her documentary on SeaWorld would have such a major effect

++The Hunting Ground Is Shifting the Culture on Campuses

++Oscar-winner's film may help bring a new law on honour killings in Pakistan