It’s official. There’s a movement happening.

We knew this movement was brewing over five years ago when we first created Manifesto! and shot our pilot episode.

The movement, discussed recently by Doc-maker extraordinaire Karen Everett, is a movement of solution-oriented documentary storytelling. Sound familiar? Indeed. Focusing on solution based stories with a healthy dose of optimism rather than overwhelming disaster-porn despair is not completely new, as we’ve mentioned and spent a significant amount of time fighting for. But Karen says there is a ‘zeitgeist’ a ‘discernable shift’ happening now. She mentioned Manifesto! on her regular Doc Mastermind conference call as an example. And if you watch what’s being programmed at festivals and listen to the announcement Oprah made at Sundance, you’ll see this trend is real.

This makes us wonder how much impact one project can have on an industry. People do tend to have similar ideas at the same time; but this can’t explain a zeitgeist… However, it did make us consider recent events.

A friend of ours was pitching Manifesto! to a programming executive at a large cable network recently. Guess what she told him? She loved the project… blah blah… she’d love to put in the air… but it’s not a fit for the network right now. We’ve heard that before, not a big deal.

What came next was what was interesting. She told him people knew about Manifesto! around town. She went on to tell him that she didn’t think it would be wise to take a project like ours on a network like hers. She thought the network would not do the project justice. Sounds familiar again; the project is too ‘worthy’ (a word used by multiple executives) for their network.

But who cares, that’s old news. The new news was what we already knew, but hadn’t heard any executive say. Executives know about the project. It’s something that lives on beyond the pitch, the trailer, or the proposal they receive. It has a life, if only in their hearts and minds. Did I just say ‘hearts and minds’ in the same sentence as ‘TV executives?’ I did. It’s true, there are good apples out there. Whale Wars is a good example of the vision of these good apples (as well as the hard work of the activists who pushed it onto the airwaves) and this doc trend we’re discussing.

This leads us to announce what we’ve been planning for some time. Having been involved early in this movement, we’re starting an alliance for these filmmakers who wish to tell progressive stories and get them on the air.

The Make TV Alliance (MakeTV). This is a new alliance of filmmakers, TV & film executives, and non-profit changemakers based in Los Angeles. Manifesto! Advocacy Network members will attend as well. Stay tuned here, we’ll announce our first meeting very, very soon!! Drop us a line at infoatmanifestotvdotcom if you want to help organize or speak. And subscribe to the newsletter for updates!