Education and Family

The Global Child

Dr. David Kenneth Waldman

The Global Child – Social Change Documentaries: Creating and Exploring Social Documentary Film Making with Laura Seltzer-Duny

Have you ever wondered just how many videos are there on YouTube? reported in 2009 Americans alone viewed a record 16.8 Billion Videos Online. Today, May 11, 2013 a search in Google with the Key Word You Tube had 9,570,000,000 hits. I can assume that there are hundreds of millions of videos not counting those that never get uploaded to You Tube.

Today our show is about Social Change Documentaries with a producer, director of social documentaries. “2012 was another big year for break-out films in the social change genre. With most of the bases covered for all of the major problems we’re facing, more and more films this year focused on the solutions side of the equation, giving a voice to the uplifting stories of people working to realize their dreams of a thriving, sustainable world. For the films that focused on the problems-side, it’s no longer enough to advance the well-trodden ideas of the past. It’s a time of creative destruction, where all of our assumptions about the world are no longer taken for granted, giving air to fresh, radical new perspectives and ideas.” (

While many are quick to still focus on what is happening in front of them, our guest today, Laura Seltzer-Duny has been producing, directing and managing the production of award-winning documentaries and educational programs since 1995. She founded Seltzer Film & Video for the purpose of producing social action documentaries that inspire change.

Seltzer-Duny Produced, Wrote and Directed the award-winning PBS documentary “The Last Boat Out”, narrated by Sam Waterston. Her film tells the story of a family of fishermen trying to harvest the waters of Chesapeake Bay in the face of diminishing harvests and relentless development.

As the Senior Producer of the PBS Television Series “Made in Spain”, she managed the post-production of the 26-episode series and wrote 13-episodes that aired nationally on PBS. She was a Producer for the two-hour documentary “Ronald Reagan: The Private World of a Public Man” that aired on the History Channel and an Associate Producer on the PBS documentary series “Modern First Ladies” for MacNeil Lehrer Productions that premiered with The Biography of Lady Bird Johnson. She has produced numerous TV segment for the PBS series “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly”, the RLTV Channel’s “Healthline,” “Prudent Advisor,” “Viewpoint” and the NBC series “Hispanics Today.”

Seltzer produced the multi-award winning interactive DVD and traveling exhibits “Changing the Face of Medicine” and “Local Legends” with MacNeil Lehrer Productions for the National Institutes of Health. Both High Definition projects profile courageous female physicians that have made an invaluable impact on the lives of people in their communities and around the world. Most recently a project for Military Kids Connect in which Laura travels to locations around the country to talk to experts and military kids about the stress and challenges they face everyday.

Laura Seltzer is a freelance Documentary Filmmaker and Production Company owner based in Washington, DC. She began her career in New York after studying filmmaking at New York University.

Listen to Laura’s passion to give a voice through video in order to create positive social change. Social Documentary film-making impacts social change and I want to play a brief introduction to The Last Boat Out before we begin our conversation today with Laura Seltzer-Duny