Film, Media & Story

The NEXUS Working Group on Film, Media & Story encourages its members to participate in projects that engage traditional and new forms of storytelling around the world to harness the power of film to change the world
History of our Working Group on Film, Media & Story

Our Working Group emerged from conversations hosted by Amanda Cole with filmmakers, foundations, and executives during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In December 2014, SJ (who was in attendance for the initial conversations) joined Amanda as Co-Chair. Since then, our members have activated delegations at major industry events like Goodpitch, Sundance, and SXSW; hosted private industry dinners; partnered in hosting industry think tanks; supported major impact campaigns and releases; and served on numerous boards, committees, and focus groups, including at the White House, United Nations, and in Hollywood.



The WG on FMS brings together emerging voices and seasoned creatives and executives in the industry with the purpose of building a supportive community of peers, a network to mutually bolster the release of projects, and the ultimate goal of harnessing the power of storytelling for social impact.


Amanda Cole

Amanda Cole

NEXUS Working Group Co-Chair for Film Media and Story
Amanda Cole believes deeply that business can be a tool to enact substantial and meaningful change today. Amanda works to promote and practice those ideals through her role as Co-Chair of the Film, Media & Story program for NEXUS and her role on the Corporate Citizen team at Kenneth Cole Productions. Amanda has also applied her creative passion for performing arts and storytelling to sustainable business models

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in order to impact meaningful social change, and hopes to inspire others in her effort. Upon graduating from Brown University in Spring 2013, Amanda has joined (what has evolved into) the Corporate Citizenship at Kenneth Cole to help develop the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and to strategically maximize the company’s social value creation.

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Sarah Jane Murray

Sarah Jane Murray

NEXUS Working Group Co-Chair for Film Media and Story
Sarah Jane (SJ) Murray is an Irish-born writer and EMMY-nominated screenwriter and film-maker who lives and works in the United States. After living extensively in France, SJ earned her PhD in literature at Princeton, where she was the recipient of the Porter Ogden Jacobus Prize as outstanding student of the graduate school. She later studied screenwriting at UCLA and teaches regularly

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on story design, literature, leadership   creativity and film-making at Baylor University, where she is a tenured associate professor.

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A passionate abolitionist and avid salsa dancer, SJ has a passion for telling great stories that change the world — and empowering others in the film, startup, non-profit and for-profit communities to do the same.

She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the American Philosophical Society and the National Endowment of the humanities, is a life-appointed fellow at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III), and her creative work has been recognized by numerous international awards (including the Communicator Award of Distinction and the Silver Telly awards). SJ lives in Austin, TX, with her feisty wheatonpoo, Coco, and travels frequently to both coasts.

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Will Jenkins

Will Jenkins

NEXUS Working Group Vice Chair for Film Media and Story
Will Jenkins has more than a decade of communications and policy experience at the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Congress and international nonprofit organizations. Over the years, he has also worked with many filmmakers and other media makers on stories that engage public policy and social issues. During his time in the federal government, Will served as a spokesperson  

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to news outlets on a wide range of issues, including criminal justice reform, drug policy, immigration, public health, national security and education.

At the White House, he helped plan interviews and events with President Obama and senior officials for documentaries airing on PBS/Frontline, MTV, Showtime and other outlets. He has overseen high profile events and policy announcements featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA TODAY and The Washington Post, including a successful year-long campaign for $1 billion in new funding for addiction treatment. He has managed appearances for government officials on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, 60 Minutes and The Colbert Report. As a legislative aide in Congress, he guided from introduction to enactment the first legislation to protect American military members from the health effects of toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has been called this generation’s Agent Orange.

Will has trained or advised hundreds of filmmakers and other media makers on impact strategies through the Sundance Institute, South by Southwest, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Fledgling Fund, Good Pitch, Picture Motion, and other organizations. He was Policy Director for the Impact Film Festival at the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, where he coordinated screening discussions with politicians, filmmakers, celebrities and reporters. In 2013, he developed the American Film Institute’s first Political Bootcamp for Filmmakers. He is co-author of a report series on films and policymaking published through American University (

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Our Working Group is built around pillars of inclusivity, dialogue, education, and impact.
Inclusivity. Any NEXUS Member is welcome to participate. In fact, we encourage the collision of members from different industries so that, together, we can not only shape the entertainment industry, but also provoke shifts in storytelling across the board.
Dialogue. We welcome open and difficult discussions, held in hospitable fashion and in a climate of mutual respect and friendship. Thanks to this thriving environment, there’s no topic that’s too challenging for us to take on — from human trafficking to addiction or the devastation of the planet.
Education. From traditional distribution platforms to brain science on story and emerging forms of VR or AI, we provide members with access to cutting edge forms of storytelling and technology.
Impact. By supporting and bringing to the table creatives, executives and investors, we aim to generate tangible impact in the entertainment industry by creating meaningful opportunities for emerging partnership and shaping mainstream conversations around pressing social and human issues.
When Movies go to Washington Policy Paper
NEXUS Film, Media and Story leader Will Jenkins wrote a policy paper titled “When Movies go to Washington” highlighting the role of documentary films in legislative and regulatory change and influence in the United States Congress:

Our Programming

Speaker Series

Speaker series with filmmakers, media personalities and leaders in film, media and storytelling


NEXUS Film, Media and Story has had a long running relationship and programming at Sundance to promote upcoming documentary filmmakers


Collaborations with other Working Groups to show the influence and power of film and storytelling in the realms of climate change, human trafficking, equal justice, indigenous issues and other fields

Exclusive Salons

Salon dinners with international filmmakers and media members in intimate settings

Support of Documentary Filmmakers

Film, Media and Story has long advocated on behalf of important causes for rising filmmakers producing critical pieces and docs by hosting film screenings, salons and organizing panels at NEXUS summits

Contact Us

If you are interested in the power of film and storytelling and how it can be used effectively to ignite social good, we’d love to hear from you. Whether you are looking to get more involved or willing to support our mission through a grant, partnership opportunity or sponsorship, please reach out!

Get in Touch with Film, Media & Story

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