Impact Futures Part 3 – Impact Is More Than Docs

By Danielle Turkov and Amy Shepherd

This post is part of our series on the industry of impact.

Impact in film isn’t an optional extra, a philanthropic ideal or a charitable add-on; impact is everything.

From social issue entertainment to cause marketing, audiences want meaningful content experiences. Having invested heavily in bringing their narrative vision to life, filmmakers want to know that their creative projects will have a positive impact on the world. And everyone is starting to demand a more ethical and values-driven arts, media and entertainment industry.

Impact is the future of storytelling.

All stories have influence, but there’s a misconception that only some can have impact. Until now, impact has largely been confined to documentaries – issue-based stories naturally fit with impact distribution campaigns that help increase film reach, target the most influential audiences and provide context for marketing.

It’s time for impact to break out of the box.

Every film production decision made from script optioning to inclusive casting, sustainable sets and responsible data management is an impact choice. Studios, streamers and broadcasters intrinsically impact society in what content they put out into the world and how. Strategic political impact advocacy can extend and amplify the opportunity a film has to make measurable real-world change. 

When consciously embedded into every aspect of a film’s supply chain, impact is a powerful driver of both economic value and issue revenue – the social good component of investment return.

As an industry we all need to think differently about impact, to understand and harness its true value and potential. By engaging with impact as an integral part of filmmaking, we can together achieve deeper and more long-lasting change – and this in turn will truly transform society.