RYOT Films and HuffPost are launching Short Stories, a new partnership between the two brands to acquire and distribute a slate of premium, short documentary films on HuffPost and across Verizon Media.
The first release will be Stanley Stellar: Here For This Reason, about acclaimed photographer Stanley Stellar, who photographed four decades of New York City’s ever-changing gay community. Here For This Reason, which debuted at Tribeca Film Festival, will be released Wednesday to coincide with Pride month.
Hayley Pappas, Head of RYOT Films at Verizon Media, said the short film is a medium of the moment and a forum for an everyman brand of evocative expression. The only thing limiting that expression has been viable showcase options, Pappas said, but that will begin to change with Short Stories.
“Making short documentaries has been a part of our DNA from the start,” Pappas said. “Over the years, we’ve watched the quality of short films that are being made skyrocket while the market for homes for these films has remained relatively limited. For some time now and in many ways, we’ve witnessed poignant and poetic short docs have wonderful film festival runs but little life or exposure after that.”
Pappas continued: “With HuffPost, we can bring these films to the masses — give them a powerful platform and an opportunity to reach people outside of the film world. The demand from audiences for quality content that defies conventional formats is there, and the storytelling from filmmakers is absolutely there as well. In many ways we’re just democratizing the access and thrilled to be able to do so.”
Short Stories builds on RYOT Films’ legacy of award-winning documentary shorts and HuffPost’s journalistic rigor to bring artistic, thoughtful nonfiction films told in thirty minutes or less to Verizon Media audiences.
Directed by Eric Leven, the Stellar film uses its subject’s exclusive photo archive and pays homage to the many untold stories of people who advocated for rights, broke taboos, and endured the trauma of the AIDS epidemic.
The second film slated to be released is Lowland Kids, which essays the impact of the oil industry and climate change.through the story of the last teenagers on Isle de Jean Charles, a sinking island off the coast of Louisiana primarily inhabited by Native Americans. Directed by Sandra Winther, the film premiered at South by Southwest this past March and will be released on HuffPost this fall.
“Short documentaries have something particularly special about them. They are small but mighty — films that root us in fact while playing with craft; stories that may last only minutes but stay with us for years,” Pappas said. “With Short Stories, these are the kinds of stories we want to tell and the types of journalists, artists, and filmmakers we hope to support. We’re thrilled to have a partner in HuffPost that doesn’t shy away from but instead leans into exploring uncomfortable topics and illuminating diverse perspectives for their audiences worldwide.”
Distributing on HuffPost and other properties will allow Verizon Media to amplify the selected films across its ecosystem of nearly one billion global consumers. The partnership continues Verizon Media’s investment in championing storytelling through global reach and technology and with an emphasis on understanding issues of the day.