Italy to be exact.
Always eager to find another place to listen and read about our favorite medium, we saw that DocuSound does radio training in a growing list of countries. But they also showcase the work of producers -- some you probably know, others you'll be glad you discovered.
Short of a trip to Italy, we had to find out Che succede? And DocuSound's Fabrizia Galvagno was happy to oblige.
Docusound is a newcomer to radio producers -- at least in the U.S. When did you start and how would you describe the site?
Fabrizia: DOCUSOUND started in 2010, when myself and my colleagues Matteo Bellizzi and Andrea Vaccari (we all come from video documentary) decided to start working with a new perspective; we liked telling stories but we were looking for a fresh way to do it.
When we decided to crop the images out of our way of telling stories we turned to the Italian Union of the Blind to ask them to be our guides/mentors into their new world of sounds we were entering. The blind loved the project because it allowed them to be producer of their own content: working with sound puts the sighted and the non-sighted on the same level (actually the visually impaired have a much mo developed ability to listen and tell stories without images!).
From the very beginning idea was not to have an editorial line or an agenda, but rather to set QUALITY as our only rule: we feature quality products, no matter what the subject is, and we look for personal stories, personal approaches, unique angles. We are not journalists, in the sense that we don not cover current affairs, we are after creative storytelling.
DOCUSOUND Is an international project, we aim at having chapters in every country of the world. For this reason we have 2 types of websites: the international one (www.docusound.org) and the national ones (we have Italy for now www.docusound.it, soon we will have Kenya and Senegal and hopefully we'll have the US as we'll, and France and the UK and so on).
The national sites feature stories in he language of the country, stories that resonate with the culture, the issues and the hot topics of the country. Some of them can be subtitled and be shared on the international sitewww.docusound.org
The site www.docusound.org is the "international" umbrella of the DOCUSOUND project: we feature a description of the project and a selection of documentaries in their original language, with or without subtitles.
We also feature our media literacy program, which is the way we start up chapters in the developing countries (or abroad, in a wider sense). The media literacy program is open to minorities and we are very proud of it because, to our knowledge, it is unheard of: usually minorities are non considered at all, or segregated in a specific initiative, whereas for DOCUSOUND it is key that we mix people from all backgrounds (including the handicapped, the ethnic minorities, the undeserved groups...). We think that working together is the best way to make barriers between groups crush and bias dissolve.
The trainees are selected with a project and throughout 9 months they will write/produce/distribute their documentaries.
What are your goals?
Fabrizia: We have two goals:
1) to produce and distribute high quality inspiring professionally-produced stories that have an impact on the community
2) to get disadvantaged people to acquire the skills to advocate for themselves and share their stories.
As I said before it was the need to get a fresh perspective on my job that pushed me towards radio documentaries. I discovered a new way of telling stories, and I realized that certain stories are better told in audio than in video. It's still a new world I am exploring and I am excited at every small new discover! I am not a seasoned radio producer, I am learning.
You personally started in film and video doc production. What caused you to become a producer and curator of audio docs and features?
Fabrizia: As I said before it was the need to get a fresh perspective on my job that pushed me towards radio documentaries. I discovered a new way of telling stories, and I realized that certain stories are better told in audio than in video. It's still a new world I am exploring and I am excited at every small new discover! I am not a seasoned radio producer, I am learning.
Talk about your invitation to host producers' work on Docusound?
Fabrizia: Our ultimate goal is a worldwide international platform to share stories in audio, that's why we are inviting authors and producers to share their stories.
And will you invite radio outlets to "shop" work posted on your site?
Fabrizia: Honestly we are too small to be doing that, and that's not our goal.
We ask for non-commercial non-exclusive rights, if a network is interested in buying a piece we will be sending them the author/producer's way. We want to be showcasing great work that can inspire the audience and potential authors/producers. When we publish other people's work we always promote their website/blog/Facebook page...
Maybe 5 years down the line we will be selling our catalogue but for now our goal is to share stories for free.
What do you want producers in the U.S. to know about Docusound that you haven't already told us?
Fabrizia: First off: thanks for making some great radio/audiostories that we use as a guide and as an inspiration (in Italy radio is not as great as it is in the US).
Then: let us share your stories, we are not making any money out of it and we can actually increase the awareness/interest for your work, outside of the US. DOCUSOUND is growing in terms of numbers and in terms of the audience's interest, the fact that we include minorities is opening up a whole new audience (for content fruition and content production).
Last but not least: join the DOCUSOUND network and partner up with us to set up a DOCUSOUND in your city! Send us an email and ask for information.