Public support for research funding is essential if policymakers and institutions are to increase support for the work of scientists like those we feature in our documentary. The film itself will be a great tool for building awareness, but even the best documentary films won’t achieve their objectives without strategic plans for building audiences and empowering those audiences to act. It won’t be enough to make and distribute the film; we’ll take it a number of steps further. Consequential, the company producing SIX DEGREES FROM SCIENCE, has a strong track record for building and activating audiences and sustaining activity around films in pursuit of changing hearts and minds on core societal issues.

"Ebola virus Makona from West African Epidemic" by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.


We aspire for SIX DEGREES FROM SCIENCE to meaningfully impact the future of research and the researcher experience. To exert that influence we will develop a clear theory of change, which identifies what specific impact we want to achieve with our film and campaign, and accordingly, which audiences we’ll need to prioritize. From there, we’ll create a multiplatform campaign that will:

Grow public awareness about the importance of basic research

Grow public awareness about the importance of basic research

Provide tools and material to empower researchers to advocate for the importance of their work

Provide tools and material to empower researchers to advocate for the importance of their work

Support efforts to increase public funding and support for research

Support efforts to increase public funding and support for research

Prioritize policy solutions

Prioritize policy solutions

"Researcher looking through a microscope" by National Institutes of Health (NIH) is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

"Laboratory Stuff" by iT@c is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.


To build audiences, we will augment our distributor’s marketing activity with dedicated outreach on social media and with earned media outreach with film publicists. While our past projects have been reviewed in The New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post and have been profiled on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight and on NPR, among many others, this outreach will go beyond traditional film press and include science writers, health writers, and other media that can extend the reach of our message to priority audiences. We’ll also use ancillary video content on social media to go deeper into specific issues (beyond what we can include in the film).


As we produce the documentary, we’ll be simultaneously designing an audience outreach and engagement campaign to extend its reach and impact. Consequential’s Ted Richane, who for years ran impact for Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions, will spearhead this effort.


We’ll design partnerships, a social media strategy, a community screening campaign, educational outreach, and more. This campaign will begin as the film’s premiere approaches, maximizing the size of our potential audience, and continue well afterward. We’ll run it in close collaboration with leading foundations and NGOs working around this issue area, and with the counsel of scientific/expert advisors, we’ll also create a plan for evaluation and measurement. This way, we’ll be able to monitor progress in real time and prioritize resources as needed.

"Science on a Sphere - Smithsonian Natural History" by woodleywonderworks is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


We will produce SIX DEGREES FROM SCIENCE for wide distribution, reaching as large an audience as possible, with a specific focus on those demographics with the agency to effect change related to increases in support for basic research. Ideally, this will begin with a high-profile festival premiere followed by a festival run. Our previous films have premiered at prestigious festivals including Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and SXSW in Austin, among many others, around the world. Following the festival run, we will coordinate a national release with a broadcast or streaming premiere. Past films have premiered on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and PBS, to name a few.


Our strategy for distribution is to:


  • Reach as many people as possible
  • Generate a return on investment (so funds can go to audience engagement and impact work)
  • Retain the flexibility necessary to do the outreach required for our film

"State Public Health Laboratory in Exton Tests for COVID-19" by governortomwolf is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .

We will begin speaking with potential distributors during production and will consider the timing of distribution decisions based on what’s best for the project. We will likely work with a sales agent who can maximize the reach and impact of our distribution through broadcast, streaming, and VOD platforms.

Simultaneously, we’ll make sure the film is available for non-theatrical community screenings and educational use. Because the intended audience for this film ranges from individuals who are well-versed on the issue, like scientists and science funders, to average citizens and students, the film team will go to extensive efforts not only to highlight facts, but do so in a way that is both captivating and relatable.


"High-resolution microscopy image of tubulin" by National Institutes of Health (NIH) is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.