Helen De Michiel, filmmaker and writer
Thirty Leaves Production is an organization I started to frame the independent media work I generate and collaborate with others to create. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, we focus on producing, writing, and directing films and new media.
We also take on projects that support the media arts field, such as strategic planning, conferences, speaking and writing, all with the focus of creating public awareness of independent media as a necessary and vital cultural movement.
There is no mystery to Thirty Leaves. We come up with ideas, partner with other individuals or organizations in the non profit world, and raise funding to create our projects to our own standards. They are distributed and seen in a variety of contexts — from online, broadcast and festivals to schools and workshops, museums and community groups of all kinds. Our goal is to engage the public with our work, trigger dialogue, and work towards social transformation.
We call this evolving practice Open Space Documentary.
Why Thirty Leaves? Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nat Han wrote, “it takes thirty leaves on a tree to make one apple.” A nice metaphor I’ve always kept in mind for the sheer amount of energy and individuals coming together to get a media project off the ground.