One Day in the Twin Cities, a participatory filmmaking extravaganza

This Saturday, folks may notice people with cameras wandering the Twin Cities as part of the One Day in the Twin Cities. The project aims to capture as much footage of the metro area as possible as part of its participatory event. It's part of an 11-city event, Your Day Your City, led by an organization called One Day on Earth.

The One Day on Earth project was initiated in 2010, when the organization set out to film as many countries around the world as possible in one day. That footage has since been edited into a documentary, called One Day On Earth, which is available on Netflix. The group did subsequent One Day projects in 2011 and 2012. This year, they are taking on the theme of the American city. 

Eleven metropolitan areas will be participating on Saturday, April 26, including Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, New York City, New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities. "The goal is to put everything on a geo-tagged website archive, and then probably to create a three-part series for Public Television," says Lu Lippold, local producer for the Twin Cities leg of the event.

The organization is asking people to consider 10 questions as they take video. "What are the best things are happening in the city?," "what is the city's biggest challenges?" and "how are people changing the future of the city?" are a few examples. According to Lippold, the questions are meant to get people to reflect on the place they live. 

Partners for the project include funders such as the McKnight Foundation, cultural and social justice organizations, as well as the Minnesota Film Board, which Lippold says is interested in showing off what the Twin Cities has to offer. In addition, "the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability has been an organizational powerhouse," says Lippold, especially in getting other nonprofits involved to help showcase the often unacknowledged work they do.
On Saturday, people are encouraged to film as much as they want and are able to, and then upload two to five minutes of their best footage. The producers from the national team will then take all the footage that's been uploaded, and select from that pool for the final product. Filmmakers will receive a credit, and will also retain ownership of any footage they submit. 

Lippold sees the One Day in the Twin Cities as a civic-engagement project. "All of these organizations and nonprofits and filmmakers are united in this," she says. "The main benefit to the Twin Cities is to say, 'Let's take control of our media image in a way that's never been done before.'" The project aims to show off communities that aren't frequently represented. 

Prior to the big day, there will be a workshop for first-time filmmakers, where they can learn camcorder and smartphone basics. The event, sponsored by TC Daily Planet, will take place at the Common Table (1001 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis) on Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Meanwhile, stickers are available at IFP and other locations to pick up and wear while you film. For more information, check out One Day in the Twin Cities, and watch for the hashtag #onedayintwincities on Twitter. 

One Day in the Twin Cities from One Day on Earth on Vimeo.