New Day Films was formed in 1972 as a feminist media collective to distribute films addressing gender issues. Forty years later, New Day boasts close to two hundred members and yearly distribution profits of $1 million. This article uses New Day's history to illuminate the economic and political implications of the media collective's recently developed digital platform. It argues that this distribution format extends the logic of the collective, which has informed both New Day's institutional culture and its dominant aesthetics. Drawing on interviews with key New Day members, research on the initial production and reception of the collective's earliest work, and analyses of the style and structure of both canonic and contemporary films in its collection, this article demonstrates that the organization's valorization of collective production and collective political action has a key analogue in its development of an aesthetic of collectivity. This aesthetic helps constitute the political “discussion film” and is coevolving in compelling, interactive ways with New Day's embrace of new technologies for noncommercial distribution.
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Research Article| May 01 2016
New Day Films, Digital Distribution, and Collective Aesthetics
Camera Obscura (2016) 31 (1 (91)): 153–163.
Elizabeth Coffman, Erica Stein; New Day Films, Digital Distribution, and Collective Aesthetics. Camera Obscura 1 May 2016; 31 (1 (91)): 153–163. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/02705346-3454463
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