Jennifer MacArthur is a multi-platform communications, distribution and engagement strategist with a focus on social issue documentary and civic participation. Her background spans nearly 20 years working in radio, film and television, digital media and publishing.
Out of a passion for helping producers and organizations create social change Jennifer founded Borderline Media in 2008. Projects and clients include: Sunrise, a feature documentary in production by Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco, the award-winning filmmakers behind Give Up Tomorrow; the UnitedNotions production Cocaine Prison, which has received grants from the MacArthur Foundation and the Sundance Institute; HBO's critically acclaimed film Gideon’s Army, which premiered in US Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won the Editing Award; POV's Emmy® nominated documentary Traces of the Trade (2008); Detroit Public Television's national outreach initiative for Arab American Stories; the ITVS social TV platform OVEE; and Channel X, an online marketplace where producers can license and distribute content directly to public television broadcasters.
Jennifer provided pro-bono fundraising and development support for Sandy Storyline, which won the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival juried transmedia exhibition Storyscapes; 3 ½ Minutes, a documentary in production by Sundance award-winner Marc Silver and executive produced by Orlando Bagwell; Street Fighting Man, which the Sundance Institute selected in 2013 for both the Documentary Edit and Story Lab, and the Creative Producing Lab and Summit; and The New Black, directed by Guggenheim Fellow Yoruba Richen. Additionally, she has advised on campaign strategy for Dirty Wars (IFC, 2013), Valentine Road (HBO, 2013), American Promise (POV, 2014), A Fragile Trust (Independent Lens, 2014), and many others.
Jennifer is deeply committed to social impact media, and the work of independent strategists who produce impact campaigns. With documentary film producer Brenda Coughlin, she co-founded the Impact Producers Group, a global peer support group that provides mentorship and professional development, and Impact Socials, a monthly networking event for creative change-makers.
Her passion for field-building is an outgrowth of her experience as an advisor to public media. As Director of TV + Digital Media Engagement for the National Center for Media Engagement (NCME), Jennifer spearheaded NCME’s National Impact Partnership with ITVS Community Cinema. She also coached PBS’ 168 TV and joint licensee stations on the initiatives American Graduate and Women and Girls Lead, including Half the Sky. She provided programmatic support for The Working Group’s Not In Our Town Building Inclusive Communities Initiative. Jennifer also served on the strategic advisory board for WQED’s iQ:smartmedia transmedia initiative, and was a reviewer for CPB’s Diversity and Innovation Fund.
As a sought-after expert on media engagement, Jennifer is regularly invited to participate in conferences, workshops and industry events, including: the Wyncote Foundation Roundtable, CPB and Sundance Institute Documentary Program Roundtable on Diversity, Good Pitch NY Campaign Development Workshop, MIT Open Doc Lab Summit, Media Impact Funders Annual Convenings, CPB/PBS Producers Academy, NEH Impact Workshop, Sheffield Doc/Fest, and Ambulante Film Festival Interactive Conference. She has also produced workshops for Firelight Media Producers Lab, ITVS Community Cinema, and the SilverDocs International Documentary Conference. In 2012 Jennifer was one of 12 senior film professionals selected by the BRITDOC Foundation to participate in their Impact Producers retreat in the UK.
Prior to forming Borderline Media, Jennifer produced NPR's StoryCorps Griot mobile tour in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian. She has also held positions at Link TV, Scholastic Entertainment and Village Voice Media. Jennifer is a graduate of The New School film program. She lives and works in Brooklyn, USA.