So, how could Living Earth Television exceed my expectations? We're still here :)
Change is difficult in this culture of ours. Corporations and NFP's do things the way they have done them in the past, and many struggle just to continue - rather than looking for new and better ways to meet their objectives. They claim to be "innovative" but from the trajectory of our social challenges, it appears that "innovation" often just means finding a "quick buck" rather than adding quality.
The process of completing and broadcasting our first documentary, "Kindergarten" by Zhang Yiqing, was quite a learning experience for me. Yes, it demonstrated that we could provide excellent programming for a small fraction of what it costs to produce a new documentary. And broadcasters are interested in this high quality content. However, broadcasting is so squeezed for cash now that it doesn't want to pay for programming that isn't going to bring in big profits.
As a Board Member, we discuss strategy and planning objectives. We have some great films in the pipeline, but need money to translate and otherwise reversion them for broadcast. Watch "Kindergarten" at http://www.linktv.org/kindergarten. It is a remarkable film. What does it say about our media and our society that it isn't seen as "commercial?" We're still going to make this work!
It was also very exciting to watch how Martha Foster was able to facilitate broadcasts of American Documentary films by the government television station in Myanmar. This was a striking accomplishment - again showing that there is an important place for Living Earth Television - if only enough people help us move forward.
LETV is the vision of Martha Foster for the creation of global public television. Using documentaries made locally, around the world, the vision is one of allowing people to get to know their global neighbors directly, through films made by people within the culture - rather than outsiders. This process is like learning about a culture by visiting someone living there, rather than listening to a lecture by an "expert" in your own country. Just as importantly, excellent documentary films can be translated and subtitled far less expensively than sending film crews and editors around the globe, often ignoring that which is the same about people - too often focusing only on the differences. This organization has built an impressive infrastructure over the past couple of years without a significant budget, through outstanding professionals who have volunteered their efforts out of a desire to help make the world a better place. They know that helping LETV is probably giving their efforts and their donations the biggest bang they could possibly hope for. No time for small ideas. Yet, LETV is a tiny blossom waiting to emerge; working to secure funding to complete its first translations of excellent documentaries from China. Living Earth Television is going to revolutionize international media through intercultural partnerships, drastically reducing the costs for excellent programming, making available remarkable programs that are currently limited to regional television stations and a few film festivals.
Working with Martha and the whole crew at Living Earth Television has been such a pleasure with the united mission of bringing LETV to as many people as possible. Working with such an interesting, like-minded group of people along with filmmakers from around the world make LETV truly unique.