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Video Visionary Award – Humanitarian Recipient: Invisible Children

by Joni Blecher on June 18, 2013

Video Visionary Award Humanitarian - Invisible ChildrenWe’re pleased to announce our next recipient of the RealPlayer Video Visionary Award – Humanitarian, which recognizes non-profit organizations that use video in innovative and creative ways to help spread their message, is Invisible Children. This organization is dedicated to addressing the problems surrounding the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Conflict in Eastern and Central Africa by using media, mobilization, protection, and recovery.

The goal at Invisible Children is not only to end Joseph Kony’s use of child soldiers to exploit his rebel war and beliefs, but also to help with the rehabilitation of communities that have been affected by these atrocities. Invisible Children values all human life equally and believes in a collective responsibility to help stop injustices worldwide. The organization features compelling videos on its YouTube channel, Invisible Children, that focus on these issues and profile people affected by the LRA .


Invisible Children is a media based organization that believes in the importance of story telling through video. It believes by utilizing this approach appropriately and reaching out to the masses, establishing International support can inevitably help to change policy and alter lives. Perhaps one of the organization’s most innovative ways it used video was to create the KONY 2012 video, which helped to spur a huge grassroots movement. Just a few months ago, Invisible Children used video again to show the results of the viral video campaign (see the video below).


We caught up with Noelle West, Director of Communications at Invisible Children, to learn more about the organization and how the use of video helps spread its message. What follows is our interview with the Video Visionary Award – Humanitarian recipient:

RealPlayer (RP): How long has Invisible Children been producing videos?

Noelle West (NW):  We screened our first film, Invisible Children: The Rough Cut, in 2003. Since then we have produced 12 films that have been viewed 129,660,524 times online (and growing everyday). From the very beginning we’ve been storytellers and visionaries aiming to inspire hope and action in our generation. Each film aims to introduce the audience to the complexities of the LRA conflict, highlight the human resilience that transcends borders, and inspire immediate action.

RP: Do you use any special effects in your videos to achieve a particular goal?

NW: We are bombarded by media wherever we go. We, at Invisible Children, believe that content is king. It has to be the most compelling, the most astonishing, and the most passionate way to tell a story. It needs to be a quality story that is entertaining and moving in hopes that the viewer wants to participate.

RP: How has video helped you spread the word about Invisible Children?

NW: We are proud of the concrete results our films have affected. Until very recently, our film KONY 2012 was the most viral video ever, reaching 100 million views in just six days. The KONY 2012 campaign started as an experiment. Could an online video make an obscure war criminal famous? And if he was famous, would the world work together to stop him? Because of this campaign, 3.7 million people pledged their support for the efforts to arrest Joseph Kony.

In December of 2012, thousands rallied in Washington, DC. The KONY 2012 Global Summit on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) brought together seven leaders from International institutions and the affected region to talk about what they are doing to stop Joseph Kony and his rebel army. As a result, in January 2013, Congress passed the Rewards for Justice Bill authorizing a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to the arrest of Joseph Kony.

RP: Can you tell us about the video team?

NW: Our Art and Film department is headed by our Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Jason Russell. Completing the roster is a talented team of 1 production manager, 2 animators, 5 film editors, and 4 graphic designers. Every season we also have interns that support these roles.

RP: Where can people go to learn more about Invisible Children and spread the word on the Organization?

NW: You can visit to learn more about our organization, follow us on twitter, and like us on Facebook. Just this week we re-launched our programs page with four new videos that animate the four-part focus of our organization.

Know of an organization that uses video to spread its message? Get instructions on how to nominate a non-profit organization to receive a Video Visionary – Humanitarian award.

What do you think of Invisible Children’s videos? Do you think a video can change the world? Do you support the organization’s efforts to end these atrocities? Let us know in the comments below.


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