Vieux Farka Toure Music Video, Peace, Premieres on Rolling Stone — Produced and Edited by Thinking Forward Media

Thinking Forward Media was honored to produce and edit Vieux Farka Toure’s most recent music video, Peace. For this beautiful, subtle song we paired it with nostalic footage of Vieux’s home country of Mali, much of the video has a home-movie feel to it.
For the past year, Mali has faced enormous political turmoil, terrorism, and a massive refugee crisis Vieux and musicians from across Mali have tirelessly called for peace and reconciliation and a return to the country they love.
We love it too.  We first met Vieux when filming the documentary, The Last Song Before the War which features Vieux performing an incredible set at the 2011 Festival in the Desert 

The video can be viewed on Rolling Stone.


WORLD PREMIERE of The Last Song Before the War at the Chicago Intl Movies & Music Festival (CIMMFest)

On Sunday, April 21st, 2013, Thinking Forward Media in collaboration with Essakane Film present the WORLD PREMIERE of

The Last Song Before the War 

@ Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMFest)

Screenings at 5 & 7 PM

Society for the Arts, 1121 N. Milwaukee

Come on a transcendent journey to Timbuktu for a concert of a lifetime before the music was silenced…….  

THE LAST SONG BEFORE THE WAR is a feature-length documentary that captures the inspiring rise and uncertain future of Mali’s annual Festival in the Desert. Told through stunning high definition footage captured at the 2011 festival, the film is a lyrical road trip to legendary Timbuktu to hear Grammy-award winning musicians play their hearts out in the dunes of the Sahara. Shockingly, the music and the festival were silenced in 2012 due to the violent occupation of Northern Mali by extremists, destabilizing the entire Sahel region. To date, the festival and hundreds of thousands of refugees remain in exile.

 Screening details:


Thinking Forward Media, Fundraising Seminar — March 10, D.C. Independent Film Fest

We were thrilled at the invitaiton to provide a seminar on film fundraising at the DCIFF.  As independent filmmakers ourselves, we understand the challenges and rewards of retaining your voice, find your unique audience, while also funding your project. This seminar offers the insights of 20-year film veteran and successful grant writer, Anna Reid Jhirad, who will discuss how to succeed at NEA, NEH, PBS, and other major funders and networks.

Thinking Forward Media President Kiley Kraskouskas will also offer her story of how she and her partners leveraged a successful Kickstarter campaign and indie production into a winning NEA proposal that together funded most of documentary film, The Last Song Before the War, which is set to premier in April of 2013.

More information on seminars can be found here, DCIFF


Docs In Progress Holiday Party – December 14th

As a proud supporter of Docs in Progress, we are looking forward to celebrating the end of 2012 with this wonderful community!  Hope to see many of our friends at this event! Screening our rough cut of  Essakane Film with Docs in Progress this year was one of the best creative experiences we have had with the film and we are so thankful for this resource!

Kiley will be offering warm Gluwein among other concoctions at the bar!  Come by, relax, and hear about all the amazing programs and classes Docs in Progress has in store for 2013!

RSVP Here!

Experiencing Africa, Together – Africa Travel Association Newsletter, October 2012

We are honored to be guest editor the Africa Travel Association’s quarterly Newsletter, Passport to Africa, this year! Check out the October 2012 edition here:

Dear fellow ATA members,

Warm greetings from Washington, D.C. Thinking Forward Media is delighted to again be the guest editor of the Africa Travel Association’s 3rd Edition of the ATA Passport to Africa e-newsletter in collaboration with Passport Health USA.

As members of ATA, we come together for signature events a few times a year in New York City, Washington, D.C., and destinations spanning Africa. During ATA’s 37th Annual World Congress, over 600 of us traveled from all parts of the globe to gather in Victoria Falls to learn about Zimbabwe and experience her World of Wonders. And, next year we will do it again in Cameroon.

Together, we shared ideas, forged new partnerships, welcomed new members, made new friends, and felt the mist and thunder of the mighty Victoria Falls (many, for the first time). We learned to play the drum and tried Zimbabwe’s delectable cuisine at the Boma dinner, we planted trees for generations to come, we cruised the Zambezi River as the sun set, and we danced together to the tunes of one of Zimbabwe’s most revered musicians, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, during an outdoor concert. It doesn’t get much better.

These memories will last a lifetime, and so too will the bonds we formed. As an international trade association with hundreds of members, ATA can sometimes feel far as we live in different parts of the world, but participating in events like the upcoming 7th Annual Presidential Forum in New York City in September, your local chapter events, and the 38th Annual World Congress in Cameroon, we can come back together. As the African proverb says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

We at ATA hope you will be a part of us going far this year and for years to come by experiencing Africa with us. If you would like to share your news in the next edition of the ATA Passport to Africa e-newsletter, please email

Warm regards,

Thinking Forward Media

P.S. ATA’s Passport to Africa e-newsletter is a unique opportunity to stand out among Africa’s leading travel and tourism industry professionals in the private and public sectors, who are interested in your destination, product and services. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities and advertising in ATA Passport to Africa, please email

Thinking Forward to Teach Master Class at Women in Film & Television International Summit

Thinking Forward Media is thrilled to teach a two-part crowd funding master class at the Women in Film & Television Summit on Sunday December 2, 2012.  The class will provide proven tips on how to create and manage a crowd funding campaign. Throughout the class we will delve into a range of campaign case studies for various types of films and organizations, and, bring the audience behind the scenes to learn how to apply the tools of storytelling and fundraising to this new platform.  We will also discuss new platforms for artists and overall trends in crowd funding.

As long-time members of Women in Film in Video, Thinking Forward Media looks forward to welcoming the attendees from around the world to Washington, DC and to participating in this summit that will foster globally-focused dialogue around the issues most important to women working in the film and television industry.

More information and registrations for the summit can be found at

For more information about booking Thinking Forward Media to provide a crowd funding talk or full day workshop, please contact Kiley Kraskouskas at


Press Release: Weavers Unite! Documentary Film Raising Funds to Tell the Story of Mapuche Weavers & the Search for Identity




Los Angeles, California  – California-based artist and Chilean immigrant, Guillermo Bert is turning traditional Mapuche textiles into a contemporary multimedia art project.  Two years ago, Guillermo, an acclaimed contemporary artist, realized an uncanny resemblance between modern QR codes and ancient Mapuche textiles.  Ironically, these similar patterns represent quite disparate cultures – while the QR codes are a modern-day virtual tool of efficiency and data collection; Mapuche textiles represent an ancient craft requiring deep knowledge of materials, technique, and culture to create complex works of art.

How does he do it?

Guillermo encodes individual Mapuche stories into original barcode patterns, which, in turn, is woven into textiles by traditional Mapuche weavers.  These woven QR codes can be scanned by any smart phone to reveal the story encoded through a website.  On October of 2012, Bert will exhibit this cross-cultural art project at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Adam Hyman was so inspired by the work of Bert that he decided to follow this project, documenting Guillermo over the last two years as he traveled to and from Chile collecting stories, creating the QR codes, and collaborating with the weavers (a task that has not proven easy).   He hopes to bring the culture and issues of the Mapuche, little known outside Chile, to the awareness of a larger global community.

Hyman, co-director Anthony Rauld, and their team are now looking to raise $25,000 for the remaining production expenses including final shoots in Chile and in Los Angeles as Bert works closely with the Mapuche weavers on the completion of the textile project, culminating with the opening of the exhibit in October.

The larger goal of this film is to bring to life the culture and community of the Mapuche through one of their most ancient art forms – textiles – in order to preserve it.  The film intends to give a detailed look into the possibilities of textiles, the difficulty and skill of their production, and their timeless beauty, through a unique look at a little-known culture.

The Coded Stories Kickstarter campaign can be found here:

It ends on July 17, 2012.


Coded Stories

Coded Stories documents Guillermo’s journey from the US to Chile to tell the story of six Mapuche by encoding each of their stories into a barcode which is then woven into a traditional textile by Mapuche weavers. The Mapuche “storytellers” will encompass a wide range of Mapuche voices: writers, village elders, farmers, sculptors.  So far, they include: the poet Graciela Huinao; “Bird Man” Lorenzo Aillapán who has the ability to imitate bird calls; ceremonial woodcarver Flavio Salazar; Machi (medicine man) Juan Curaqueo; the director of the Mapuche radio station, Elias Paillan; and weaver Anita Paillamil.

The encoded textiles and their companion films will be unveiled at the October 2012 exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, with additional exhibitions planned in Chile and America.  The art, exhibit, film and website will jointly raise awareness about the Mapuche and spark dialogue about the struggle to preserve identity in the face of globalization and consumer culture.


Kiley Kraskouskas, 571.421.4901,






Docs in Progress “Spread the Stories” Crowdfunding Campaign Launch

On June 22, 2012, Docs in Progress held their Annual Open House during the AFI Silver Docs Film Festival in Silver Spring, MD. Thinking Forward Media President & Docs in Progress Board Member Kiley Kraskouskas launched the “Spread the Stories” 30-day Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $10,000 to support the work of DIP.  Adam Chapnick, Director of Business Development skyped in for the live launch!

Docs In Progress is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to empowering independent documentary filmmakers and educating the public about documentary as an art form.

To learn more about and to support the campaign, please visit:


Thinking Forward Media Elected to Africa Travel Association (ATA) International Board of Directors at World Congress in Zimbabwe


Africa Travel Association

Release: June 15, 2012

Africa Travel Association (ATA) Announces New International Board of Directors Elected at 37th Annual World Congress in Zimbabwe

NEW YORK, June 15, 2012 – The Africa Travel Association (ATA) announced the election of its new board of directors. The board was elected on May 21 at ATA’s 37th annual World Congress in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

ATA government members elected Zimbabwe Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Walter Mzembi, as the new president of the travel trade association.

Minister Mzembi succeeds Honorable Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, The Gambia Minister of Tourism and Culture, who served as ATA’s president from May 2010 to May 2012. During Minister Jobe-Njie’s tenure, ATA country membership grew significantly, along with high-level government participation and industry attendance at ATA’s annual tourism events in the United States, particularly the ATA Presidential Forum on Tourism in New York and the U.S.-Africa Tourism Seminar in Washington, D.C.

Other governments elected to the board include Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

ATA members once again nominated Karen Hoffman, President of The Bradford Group, as First Vice President. Other ATA Executive Committee members include:

Honorable Khamis Kagasheki, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, United Republic of Tanzania (Vice President)

Omar Carrera, Area Director, Sales & Marketing for East Africa, Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Vice President)

Mohammed Zaki, RZ Travels (Vice President)

Andrea Papitto, Vice President, Thinking Forward Media (Vice President)

Dr. Gaynelle Henderson-Bailey, Henderson Travel (Secretary)

Charlie Gatt, Publisher, Travel World News (Treasurer)

The full list of the new board of directors, comprising governments, airlines, hotels, wholesalers, tour operators, PR firms, media and individuals is as follows:


Central African Republic Honorable Sylvie Annick Mazoungou, Minister of Development of Tourism and Handicraft

Arab Republic of Egypt Honorable Mounir Abdel Nour, Minister of Tourism

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia  Honorable Amin Abdulkadir Bereket, Minister of Culture and Tourism

Republic of Ghana Honorable Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism

United Republic of Tanzania (Vice President) Honorable Khamis Kagasheki, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism

Republic of Uganda Honorable Professor Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage

Republic of Zambia Honorable Given Lubinda, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism

Republic of Zimbabwe Honorable Eng. Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry


Arik Air Mr. Robert Brunner, US Country Manager

Delta Air Lines Mr. Chuck Imhof, Staff Vice President, New York Sales

Ethiopian Airlines Mr. Tewolde G. Mariam. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

South African Airways Mr. Gregg Truman, Vice President, Marketing


Expedia Travel Mr. Diego J. Lofeudo, Senior Director of Market Management, EMAF, MEIO, GR & TK & CY, Expedia Travel

Garden Group of Hotels – Zambia Mr. Gaudenzio Rossi, General Manager

Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Vice President) Mr. Omar Carrera, Area Director, Sales & Marketing for East Africa

Southern Sun Tanzania Mr. Adam Fuller, General Manager

Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) Mr. Edward Kishe, Director General

Wholesalers / Tour Operators

Africa Tour-Rific (USA) Ms. Doris Wooten

Cameroon Travel Center Ms. Francoise Kameni Lele

Group IST Mr. Gilad Goren

Henderson Travel Services (USA) Dr. Gaynelle Henderson-Bailey (Secretary)

Khanondo Safari & Tours (Zimbabwe) Mr. Forward Mutero

Passport Health Ms. Tammy Broghammer

Production Travel & Tours (USA) Mr. Ronald Mracky

West Africa Tours (Mali & Senegal) Mrs. Mariama Ludovic de Lys


The Bradford Group (First Vice President) Ms. Karen Hoffman, President

Thinking Forward Media (Vice President) Ms. Andrea Papitto, Vice President

Travel World News (Treasurer) Mr. Charlie Gatt Jr., Publisher


Mr. Mohammed Zaki RZ Travels (Vice President)

Mr. Ogo Sow  Ogo Sow Communications

Mr. Lehlohonolo Moagi 4U2 Advertising Multi-Media Inc.

Ms. Adele Black Affluent Hospitality Group

About the Africa Travel Association (ATA)

The Africa Travel Association (ATA) is the leading global trade association promoting travel and tourism to Africa and strengthening intra-Africa partnerships. Established in 1975, ATA serves both the public and private sectors of the international travel and tourism industry. ATA membership comprises African governments, their tourism ministers, tourism bureaus and boards, airlines, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, front-line travel sellers and providers, tour operators and travel agents, and affiliate industries. ATA partners with the African Union Commission (AU) to promote the sustainable development of tourism to and across Africa. ATA’s annual events bring together industry leaders to shape Africa’s tourism agenda. For more information about ATA, visit