About

 

I help bring powerful stories to people who can best use them to change the world.

 

  Photo credit: Aymée Cruzalegui

Photo credit: Aymée Cruzalegui

Looky Looky Pictures

Your work will be so nice, they'll have to look twice -- first they'll see your film, then they'll see its impact on the world.

Ani Mercedes, IMPACT DISTRIBUTION PRODUCER 

Let me tell you a story

I first televised the revolution at age 13, when I lugged a VHS camera through my middle school interviewing everyone from classmates to the school principal with simple questions like "How many states are in the U.S.?" I wanted to start a conversation about the quality of my education. To my affirmation, some students and school leaders answered incorrectly. Unfortunately, my director's cut was censored by the teacher because he didn't want to show that his boss -- the school principal -- didn't know how many states are in the U.S.

I now continue to produce stories that create impactful and prudent conversations about how the collective public decisions we make shape our individual lives. 

I believe that... 

Stories don't change the world, people do. I thrive on connecting audiences and allies to stories that they feel understood and affirmed by.

I'm particularly passionate about stories that highlight solutions (rather than only problems), and about stories that 'study up' -- rather than ask why some people are impoverished and powerless, they ask why are some people so affluent and powerful?

Background

I began my career as a Kartemquin Films intern, studying hours of raw footage from award-winning filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters), via transcription, doing research for The Homestretch, and falling in love with the process of archiving 50-year-old footage.

I founded Thriving Filmmaker, which helps filmmakers create sustainable careers through online workshops and a video podcast interviews with filmmakers, distributors, and funders.

Prior to filmmaking, I served as a community organizer on both of President Obama's presidential campaigns, a White House intern (President Obama), and an elementary school teacher (Teach for America). I earned a Bachelors in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Public Administration from Syracuse University.

Current & Recent:

 

Projects

 In Production

In Production

Unaccompanied Children (working title)

Impact Production & Production Manager 

 In Production

In Production

COUNCILWOMAN

Impact Production

 
 
 Redistribution

Redistribution

MONICA AND DAVID

Impact Redistribution Strategy & Management

 

 Distribution

Distribution

Field of Vision & Firelight Media "100 Days” Series

Impact Production Consulting

 

Affiliations

 Impact Producer Fellow (2017)

Impact Producer Fellow (2017)

 2012 Intern, Research ( The Homestretch ), Transcription ( Life Itself)

2012 Intern, Research (The Homestretch), Transcription (Life Itself)

 Miami (2017) with  Unaccompanied Children (working title).  Taught "Personal Finance for Filmmakers" workshop.

Miami (2017) with Unaccompanied Children (working title). Taught "Personal Finance for Filmmakers" workshop.

 Designed and taught "Money for Creatives" workshop (2016)

Designed and taught "Money for Creatives" workshop (2016)

Services

 

I can help you...

 
 
 "This is the film we didn't know we needed." -film partner  Click here to see more from this partner screening.

"This is the film we didn't know we needed." -film partner Click here to see more from this partner screening.

Build and Maintain partnerships

  • Identifying festivals, distributors, partners, and funders that may help support your film
  • Build relationships with the people and organizations who can use your work as a tool to strengthen their work
  • Set up a relationship tracking database that will save you time and stress
 
 
 

Audience & Community engagement

  • Identify an audience base that's excited about your film
  • Online community management (i.e. social media, newsletters, etc.)
  • Build a community screening strategy and collateral materials (screenings kits, DVDs, discussion guides, host management, etc.)
 
 
 
Option 1 BasicStrategic Impact Plan.png

Design a clear IMPACT distribution strategy

  • Create a document that you can use for fundraising
  • Clearly define the central impact messages, objectives, and activities for your film 
  • Plotting out an appropriate timeline
 
 
 

Budget for Sustainability

  • Iterating your impact campaign into a budget 
  • Incorporate distribution strategy in parallel with impact strategy
  • Creating a treatment and pitch deck for fundraising
 
Ani’s services will not only take your film further. They will help you take the distribution of your present film and future ones to a whole other level.
— Claudio, Director
We are walking away with more than a bag of tricks. We now own a blueprint that will give us clear direction with every project.

Ani energized us and gave us a blueprint to flesh out, expand on and recycle into in all of our future projects.   
— Roxana, Producer
 

Resources for Impact & Sustainability


Impact Resources

"Can documentaries really “change the world”? No. Documentaries can challenge, investigate, reveal, inspire — but can’t change the world — only people can. A documentary does not absolve the personal responsibility of taking action. People change the world. (Paraphrasing Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director, Independent Documentary Association)"

5-Minute read by me (for Firelight Media), inspired by a Simon Kilmurry quote.

 

"The empathy frame also distracts us from more strategic uses of film: to validate and empower those who rarely see their experience on screen, to convene disconnected people and movements, and to build alliances and power."

5-Minute read by Sonya Childress, Director of Partnerships & Engagement at Firelight Media. 

 

Good Pitch Impact Guide

Free interactive resource to help social documentary filmmakers create an impact plan.

 

Sustainability Resources

 

Film & personal finance

Online resource to help filmmakers build a financially sustainable career in independent documentary film.

 
Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 7.41.11 PM.png

Self-Distribution

Documentary Foundation's online course on self-distribution strategies for independent filmmakers. 

Blog Posts

Contact 

The form below goes directly to my email (ani@lookylookypictures.com) so you'll hear back from me asap.

Name *
Name

Email

ani@lookylookypictures.com

location

Based in Miami, Florida, USA

Available worldwide.

PHONE OR VIDEO CALL

Click to request a call on my calendar.

Time zone

Eastern Standard Time (EST) +5:00 GMT. Click for Time Zone Converter

SOCIAL MEDIA