Impact Library

  1. Case Studies
  2. More Impact Studies
  3. Organisations we recommend

Case Studies

Stand on the shoulders of others - be inspired and empowered. And even avoid their mistakes. Overall, we have drawn extensively on the 16 case studies below.

Read the 'featured' case studies and you will be ready to get the most out of each chapter. We also recommend that you watch as many of them as possible too.

All case studies were correct at the time of writing.


Article in Documentary which lays out some of the facts figures and strategy behind this box office phenomena

2016 Obama’s America (2012)
Trying to prevent Obam’s re-election
Directed by John Sullivan and Dinesh D’Souza

Dissertation from BRITDOC assessing financial valuations of social impact in the UK

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Al Gore warns climate change is real
Directed by Davis Guggenheim

The ‘Blackfish Effect’ as reported in Business Insider link (2014)

and The Hollywood Reporter and Take Part

Blackfish (2013)
Seaworld is bad for Killer Whales and dangerous for employees
Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite

A media impact reporting with Edelman/Strategy One

Budrus (2009)
Non violent resistance unites in Palestine
Directed by Julia Bacha, Produced by Ronit Avni, Rula Salameh & Just Vision

Harmony Institute - Social Media Research Report

Bully (2011)
Bullying crisis in US schools
Directed by Lee Hirsch

POV national campaign to complement CPB's ongoing initiative 'American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen'. American Graduate Films Campaign Case Study

American Graduate Films Campaign: Brooklyn Castle & American Promise (2013/2014)
Remedies to the dropout crisis in American high schools.

Working Films video

Deep Down (2010)
A Story from the heart of coal country (US)
Directed by Sally Rubin & Jen Gilomen

Harmony Institute - Entertainment Evaluation Report

(DIS)connected (2008)
Our reliance on social media
Directed by Melody Gilbert
Escape Fire (2012)
Impact Report produced by Third Plateau
Directed by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke
Escape Fire (2012)
Case Study produced by Fledgling Fund
Directed by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke

Working Films video

Everything’s Cool (2007)
Science and popular belief in global warming
Directed by Judith Helfand

Norman Lear Centre presentation at TEDxPhoenix by Johanna Blakley 

Food Inc (2008)
Is the food capitalism produces actually good for us?
Directed by Robert Kenner
The House I Live In (2012)
The War on Drugs in the United States
Directed by Eugene Jarecki
Lioness (2008)
Female combat veterans in US
Directed by Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers
Made in L.A. (2007)
Latina immigrants struggle working in L.A.'s garment factories.

Working Films video

No Impact Man (2009)
Minimising our personal environmental impact
Directed by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein
Out in the Silence (2009)
Addressing small town homophobia in the US
Directed by Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer
Sin by Silence (2009)
Domestic violence (US)
Directed by Olivia Klaus
Sita Kimya (I Won’t Be Silent) (2010)
Sex & Gender Based Violence in Kenya

BRITDOC’s  Major evaluation study   including polls, focus groups, media analysis

The End of The Line (2009)
Addressing global over-fishing
Directed by Rupert Murray
Trembling Before G-d (2001)
Gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews reconciling their sexuality with their faith
Directed by Sandi DuBowski

Harmony Institute - Entertainment Evaluation Report

Waiting for Superman (2010)
America’s public school system
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Where Soldiers Come From (2011)
Following the four-year journey of childhood friends who join the National Guard after graduating from high school.


Going from Z - A for once


    Ahead of the curve, Working Films was co-founded by the late great Robert West to teach filmmakers to use their films more strategically. They have many free resources and run training sessions.


    Not just the festival of course, but funds for filmmakers to make films, labs for training and Sundance Artists Services working to unlock distribution for small indies.


    Free tool to track and display all the stuff you are achieving with your film in one designed space.


    Grassroots marketing and outreach for social action.


    The group championing US funders working in media.  They host research papers and grants infomation.


    Part of the US public TV ecosystem, ITVS Engagement work on films and also provides resources including film background information, discussion guides, postcards, and more.


    Funding outreach and building a platform to encourage doc discussion clubs


    Dedicated to cracking evaluation for independent documentaries.  Some of their reports are recommended above.


    Funding social justice films for 30 years and now building the global movement of storytellers contributing to systemic change 


    Expert team funding and guiding teams to make impact with films.  Helping to theorise and build the field - now also launching a new residency program.


    Grassroots distribution and community action services.


    Funding female directors to make films and make a difference. Team’s skills span film and social action.


    Clever thinking and writing around theories of change and theories of evaluation from the team at the School of Communication as the American University


    That’s us.  We made this course, we fund and distribute films and we run Good Pitch in partnership with Sundance Institute and supported by Ford Foundation’s JustFilms program


    Their mission to create more progressive and just societies using Activism, Media, Law and Enterprise.   They fund and support films that make a difference globally.  Partnership with BRITDOC on outreach and journalism.


    Strategy, implementation, and evaluation of impact-oriented film campaigns.   Site has tons of free resources including the essential Pre-nups guide for filmmakers and change organisations working together,

Ford Foundation - Just Film BRITDOC Foundation Bertha Foundation Sundance Institute Knight Foundation