Aleksei Wagner: 350.org
About the Project
Our new CMG Fellow, Aleksei Wagner, will be working at the 350.org Brooklyn office with 350's North America Digital Campaigns Manager, Sabelo Narasimhan. The CMG Fellowship will run for 8 months beginning in February and running thru September 2017. Aleksei's duties are directly aligned with CMG’s mission to build capacity for the use of video to make significant change by supporting filmmakers, social media managers, campaign strategists and activists who work on current issues in ocean conservation and energy & climate. While working with the 350 team, Aleksei will also assist in developing a long-term video strategy for 350’s programs and outreach, document actions with video leading up to, during, and after the People’s Climate Mobilization and edit new & existing footage into multiple short videos to be used by 350.org.
This CMG Fellowship is the second collaborative endeavor for 350.org and CMG. The first collaboration was through CMG's Focus Fund in 2016. CMG provided a $100,000 grant for the 40-minute film Disobedience, directed by Kelly Nyks and PF Pictures. The CMG Focus Fund grant supported the production and distribution of the film, a sequel to the well-received documentary Disruption. Production for the film occurred from January to April 2016 and Disobedience released with free online viewings on April 29, 2016. It’s release date aimed to coordinate with the worldwide 350.org Break Free from Fossil Fuels campaign May 4-15, 2016. The film engaged audiences around in the world in the history civil disobedience and its role in the Break Free movement, which generated movement from over 30,000 participants and 20 escalated actions over 6 continents. In March 2016 CMG convened for a two-day retreat at Alnoba in Kensington, New Hampshire for the Disobedience production team and the Break Free campaign staff. Production team members Kelly Nyks, Jonathan Rapoport, and Tad Fetig, along with 350.org Break Free campaign representative Duncan Meisel, joined the CMG team to discuss the film and campaign’s progress, as well plans for the production and campaign teams in the coming weeks and beyond. Aleksei's CMG Fellowship will continue to build on this collaborative work with 350.org.
CMG Fellows are funded directly by CMG with host organizations contributing a combination of matching funds, in kind support and staff time. In addition to allowing media makers to pursue their creative conservation work within an existing organization, the CMG Fellowship also aims to increase the capacity of host organization to communicate their message and to measure conservation impact.
About the Grantee
Aleksei Wagner is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, activist and educator. His work has focused on projects that bring together the power of art, community and organizing. Recent films have told stories of the way people are fighting back against the violence of police and gentrification, including a video for the campaign for justice for Ramarley Graham and videos for Before It's Gone//Take It Back's organizing to stop evictions in Brooklyn. As a staff member at Global Action Project for 8 years, Aleksei facilitated media analysis and film production workshops with youth organizing groups throughout NYC to produce films that advance their social justice campaigns. Aleksei is a Producer of the narrative shorts, Small Delights (with Director and Producer Hena Ashraf), and Happy Birthday Marsha (with Directors and Producers Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel), which tells the story of legendary trans activist Marsha P. Johnson in the hours before the Stonewall riots. Aleksei loves playing music, too.