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Programs

The R.E.S.T. Summit

A virtual symposium that explores the nature of resilience, safety, and trauma for those working in video journalism and documentary film.
Resilience | Emotional & Digital Security | Trauma

A Mental Health Symposium for Nonfiction Video Storytellers

Presented by the Video Consortium and supported by the Google News Initiative, the R.E.S.T. Summit (Resilience, Emotional and Digital Security, Trauma) is a collaborative week-long virtual symposium that explores the nature of resilience, safety, and trauma for those working in video journalism and documentary film.

The R.E.S.T. Summit will provide a safe, inclusive, and inspiring virtual space for nonfiction film and video storytellers to collectively lower their protective shields, be vulnerable, and find more balance while reporting on real-world events. Using a community-driven and grassroots approach, this summit is made by creators for creators—to dive into sensitive, often overlooked topics around mental health and safety.

This program took place March 21-25, 2022, and applications are currently closed.

Please email rest@videoconsortium.org for updates on next year's program.

This program is generously supported by:

Google News Initiative

“While navigating the uncertainty and challenges of the last two years, it has proven more important than ever for people to access accurate information and quality journalism. Through the Google News Initiative, we’re proud to support The Video Consortium as they seek to connect a global community of video journalists and creators to help learn from each other and where possible seek best practice tips and techniques.” – Matt Cooke, Head of Google News Lab
Why

Why the Summit?

While video continues to play an increasingly integral role in how the news is delivered, there is still an opportunity to improve the tools and services available to help strengthen the wellbeing of creators and video-journalists. It’s easy to focus on accomplishments and awards as the main barometer of success, but the emotional toll of covering today’s most pressing issues is leaving an indelible mark on those who are driving the industry forward. Trauma and mental distress supersede accolades; regardless of a journalist’s achievements, actively acknowledging and discussing the challenges of this work is a necessary step towards healing long-held wounds and preparing for ones yet to be inflicted.

Over the past six years, the Video Consortium, a global nonprofit organization that supports, develops, and connects the new generation’s nonfiction video storytellers, has built a tight-knit professional network, bringing together both freelance and staff visual journalists who are working with today’s top media outlets and brands. Drawing on the trust, talent, and diverse experiences of its membership, the Video Consortium will marshal its resources and community to come together to discuss, destigmatize, and offer solutions for these pressing issues that are often left ignored.

What

What's the Goal?

The R.E.S.T. Summit will provide a safe, inclusive, and inspiring virtual space for nonfiction film and video storytellers to collectively lower their protective shields, be vulnerable, and find more balance while reporting on real-world events. Using a community-driven and grassroots approach, this summit is made by creators for creators—to dive into sensitive, often overlooked topics around mental health and safety.

How

How will it be presented?

Over a period of five days, the virtual Summit will consist of daily closed sessions broken up into three parts: conversational interviews with filmmakers, community roundtables, and masterclasses with leading voices. Focusing on solutions, we will invite participants from diverse backgrounds to (1) explore the effects of trauma across sectors and roles in the field, (2) collectively consider new approaches to personal and industry-wide issues to further change and (3) build community to heal and process trauma, now and into the future.

Areas of exploration will include: conflict journalism, engaging with traumatic material in post-production, the impacts of reporting on personal tragedies and emotional triggers in the field, racial injustice, sexual abuse, facing anti-journalist sentiments, trauma through the female lens, civil unrest and capturing protests, and much more. In addition, we will be hosting conversations around best practices for dealing with trauma on a daily basis: defining PTSD for participants to recognize the symptoms in themselves and others, exploring resilience practices and highlighting spaces for collective processing, maintaining a healthy work/life balance while juggling time-sensitive work, and digital security training to manage sensitive and/or dangerous projects.

Who

Who is eligible to participate?

This pilot program is open to 150 members of the nonfiction film and video industry who want a deeper understanding of the issues at hand and are interested in elevating the mental health of journalists, both individually and collectively. Our hope is that this experience will help participants heal, contribute their perspectives to a much needed cause, and find greater balance in their lives.

Cover photo by Carlos de Toro