Malinda Wink knows how to make an impact

Malinda Wink. Photo by Ian Darling.

Malinda Wink. Photo by Ian Darling.

In the lead up to International Women’s Day 2021, we spoke with documentary powerhouse Malinda Wink about navigating a business through the year that was 2020, and her passion for the genre and insights into how to make impactful and co-conscious films.

You are the Global Director Good Pitch at Doc Society. During your time in the role, how have you seen the organisation develop and how do you think you have grown as a leader?

I formally joined the Doc Society team in 2019 after my five years as Executive Director of Good Pitch Australia. I’ve been impressed by the integrity and tenacity of the Doc Society team and their model of leadership that is deeply collaborative, nimble and affiliative.

As COVID-19 started to impact our organisation’s activities and the sector in early 2020 these qualities came to the fore. Faced with the prospect of our entire global program being put on hold until travel resumed, we decided instead to innovate ways to capture the energy and sense of community and connection that’s so integral to the Good Pitch program to the virtual sphere.

By April 2020 we hosted our first virtual impact workshop with filmmakers across East Africa in partnership with our friends at DocuBox. We then started working with our local hosts across the world to roll out our Good Pitch program with virtual workshops and events in Kenya, Mexico, Brasil, Lebanon and India to name a few.

Every place had unique challenges to delivery that required us to pull together as cross-cultural, cross-functional, multi-lingual, inter-organisational partners and teams. It aligned with these activities, the Doc Society team worked with its global network of partners to support the sector including hosting convenings to build more sector collaboration for responding to the challenges of COVID; raising and disbursing emergency relief funds for impact producers across the world; building a COVID-safe filming guide for documentary filmmakers; and supporting Climate Story Labs across the world.

Doc Society has five key strategic areas to achieve its mission, helping good films be great. Can you tell us more about these strategic areas and you’ve achieved them at Good Pitch?

We are assiduously open source about our work and share our learnings along the way. I encourage anyone who would like to learn more to check out the Impact Field Guide, which contains case studies, templates and a ‘how to’ for people keen to get involved in this line of work.

In your time at Good Pitch what films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

We work with filmmakers from all over the world who are making films in incredible circumstances, often at great personal cost to themselves and the people brave enough to share their stories.

What makes a documentary great for you? Are there certain qualities that make one better for you?

So many things! I am always impressed by storytelling that brings you into a world you might not have access to, leaves you with a new understanding on a justice issue, and motivated to do something about it.

And for any documentary filmmakers reading this – what advice do you have for them in making a good pitch?

Know your audience and why they would want to partner with you; Think laterally about the partners who might support your work. I think we can sometimes fixate on financial partners, which are important, but there are also many other contributions that can be so valuable to our work including networks, expertise, archives, access or memberships.

If you could make a documentary about anything right now what would it be, and why?

I’m personally passionate about issues of Democracy, Climate Change and Economic Justice.

This year the theme for International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge – what do you think we can do collectively, to help create a gender equal world?

We need to support new, inclusive models of leadership and a diversity of decision-makers if we are ever to resolve the great social and environmental challenges of our time.

 

Image: Malinda Wink. Photo by Ian Darling.
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Published: 4 March 2021