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Citizen Film Work Samples



Citizen Film and Groundspark have a 20-year history of collaboration.


Groundspark’s Respect For All series (including That’s a Family, Let’s Get Real, and Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up) have been shown to more than a million students and they have been used to train tens of thousands of educators, social workers, school counselors, youth service providers and parents throughout the United States.


Citizen Film documentaries, multimedia installations, and other non-fiction storytelling engage an audience of 1M+ per year in civic spaces ranging from public media platforms to public schools. Many of America’s most prestigious institutions have showcased our work, from the Sundance Film Festival to MoMA-NY.



IT’S ELEMENTARY: Talking About Gay Issues in Schools — GroundSpark

Debra Chasnoff – Director

Viewing Cue: 00:00 – 01:17


It’s Elementary is the first film of its kind to address anti-gay prejudice by providing adults with practical lessons on how to talk with kids about gay people. Hailed as “a model of intelligent directing,” It’s Elementary shows that children are eager and able to wrestle with stereotypes and absorb new facts about what it means to be gay or lesbian.


Since it aired on more than 100 public television stations in 1999, It’s Elementary has fueled a growing movement of educators and parents — gay and straight alike — who are committed to preventing pervasive homophobia and anti-gay violence.

LET’S GET REAL — GroundSpark

Debra Chasnoff – Director; Kate Stilley Steiner – Producer / Editor

Viewing Cue: 00:00 – 01:07


Let’s Get Real examines issues that lead to taunting and bullying, including racial differences, perceived sexual orientation, learning disabilities, religious differences, sexual harassment and others. Name-calling and bullying are at epidemic proportions among youth across the country, and are often the root causes of violence in schools. Let’s Get Real gives young people the chance to tell their stories in their own words–and the results are heartbreaking, shocking, inspiring and poignant. Unlike the vast majority of films made for schools about the issue, Let’s Get Real doesn’t sugarcoat the truth or feature adults lecturing kids about what to do when “bad” kids pick on them.

PROGNOSIS – notes on living — GroundSpark / Citizen Film

Debra Chasnoff & Kate Stilley Steiner – Co-Directors
Viewing Cue: 00:00 – 2:06


This recently completed documentary was created by Citizen Film from hundreds of hours of footage collected by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Debra Chasnoff after she was diagnosed with stage-4 breast cancer. The result is a gripping, emotionally raw journey that is universally relatable and darkly funny. Together with the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA), Citizen Film has launched a national campaign of screenings and community conversations that spark discussion and understanding of end-of-life issues and options.


Sam Ball – Director

Viewing Cue: 00:00 – 00:42


Young refugees curate their own prized possessions in exhibitions shown in public spaces. A shipping container is outfitted with luminous LED screens showcasing “video ads” for the refugees’ belongings. Inside the shipping containers, short documentaries are followed by immersive live video chats.


These media installations have been presented to large audiences on New York’s Times Square, and at UC Berkeley’s Magnes Gallery. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Frameline’s YouTube channel garnered more than 300,000 views for a set of new What We Carry with Us short films co-created by LGBTQ+ storytellers.