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Vivian Norris
Vivian Norris is a filmmaker, journalist and academic teaching Global Communications and Policy at Tulane University in New Orleans. She has lived, worked and studied in Paris, Rome, Seattle, Austin, Oslo for most of her adult life. She holds a PhD, focusing on Globalization Studies, and wrote a dissertation on Globalization and Media. She co-founded the Women in Cinema Film festival in 1996 in Seattle, where she was a Programmer and Development Director for the Seattle International Film Festival.

Currently Dr.Norris is an independent producer and recently directed and produced a feature documentary, Obama Mama, on the life of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, and her work with Microcredit, co-produced with Brian Woods of Truevision UK being distributed by The film is traveling internationally to universities and film festivals. She also writes freelance on Business, Film and Technology for BBC Online. Previously she worked as a co-producer on a feature film about Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work fighting poverty. She founded Vigilante VNM Productions to produce independent documentaries with social messages, which campaign for women's rights, integrity in economics and business, and transparency in media among other topics. Her next project focuses on the Geopolitics of a Changing Texas, her home state.

Dr. Norris will be teaching Global Policy and Communications at Tulane University in New Orleans from Fall 2015. Dr.Norris also has a strong background working in the Media Content , Curation and Social Media. Dr. Norris has lived in and travelled to many different parts of the world looking at the effect Media and Cinema has on societies, and how commercial (Hollywood) cinema can be used (or abused) in terms of communicating social messages. She has written about and lectured on the use of entertainment to help create a better world and the educational use of cinema in classroom for the past two decades at the university level and at film festivals (Transformational Media Conference-London, University of Texas, Rome Filmstudio festival, HEC Business school,...). Post-doc research includes the future of Digital Distribution, and issues related to Biotechnology and the Oil Industry, as well as the Epidemic of Narcissism and its Effects on the Financial Industry, Individuals and Politics.

She works as an independent producer and founded Vigilante VNM productions to produce high quality documentaries and co-productions.
With one foot always in the non-profit and development world, Dr.Norris has worked with those in need, focusing on women, teen mothers, microcredit and film. She has straddled the worlds of contemporary art and film for the last twenty-five years, curating both art collections, cultural exchanges and film festivals.
Dr. Norris has also worked creating bridges between the film industry and education side, lecturing on uses of cinema in the classroom, helping create a Film Studies program and organizing conferences linked to film festivals. She co-founded a festival which focus on cinema by women directors and has curated other festivals internationally. Dr. Norris de Montaigu supports the citizen photo news site and is currently focused on alternative distribution and networking between NGOs, grassroots organizations, and others, in order to help audiences access vital content.

Her work in the arts includes cultural festivals, private art and antiques collections, and with galleries and museums internationally. She founded Gallery (206) in Seattle, curated art shows brought over from France to the US, and has advised in buying for International Corporate Art as well as private clients. Her specialty is Outsider Art, primarily drawings.

Outsider Art enthusiast since she first saw works by Adolf Wolfli in Europe in 1987, collecting works by Darger, Widener, and Steffan.
She has studied, lived, carried out research in Paris, as well as in Rome, Oslo, Seattle, and LA along with her native Texas.
Follow on Twitter: vivigive and vigilantevnm and visit the
More from Vivian Norris on Le HuffPost

Entries by Vivian Norris

Ida Lupino: A Heroine for Women in Film, Behind the Camera and on the Silver Screen

(5) Comments | Posted April 6, 2016 | 5:56 PM

Film festivals contribute to the discovery of films from around the world, but more recently, have also been highlighting another kind of "foreign" film, those made by and about women. In the United States, within the film industry, both independent and larger budget Hollywood studio-backed films, produce an embarrassingly tiny...

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Thank You President Obama for Your New Orleans Visit

(6) Comments | Posted August 29, 2015 | 3:19 PM

Those who were hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath were the poor. They were also part of the fabric of a city, which, without them, would lose much of its soul. New Orleans is not only the most culturally rich city in America; it is also one of...

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At the Bentonville Film Festival, Women Are Playing in the Major Leagues

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 3:44 PM

Thelma: But, umm, I don't know, you know, something's, like, crossed over in me and I can't go back; I mean, I just couldn't live.

-- Thelma and Louise

A League of Their Own's Geena Davis, is doing something extremely important this week in, of all places, Bentonville, Arkansas. The...

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Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain Hits Theaters 30 Years After the Disaster

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 12:04 PM

Neither Union Carbide nor its successor, Dow, has apologized to the people of Bhopal, India, where what is still known as the world's worst industrial disaster took place 30 years ago this week. The number of deaths caused both directly and indirectly from the disaster differs, but it is in...

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What You Are Not Hearing About Ebola

(5) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 3:01 PM

At least 30 experts were unable to attend the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference in New Orleans these past few days, as the Louisiana State Health authorities banned any potential attendee who had been working in the Ebola-affected countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea. This lead...

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9 Years After Hurricane Katrina: New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward and Recovery

(2) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 6:24 PM

The group of citizens gathered today alongside the levee which runs the length of the Industrial Canal, in the Lower Ninth Ward -- the hardest hit, the place where so many lost their lives. The names written on a banner reminded us of the lives lost, as local leaders in...

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The First Thing You Do in War Is Take Over the Communications System, or Why I Love Sheffield Doc Fest

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 9:23 AM

The panel was the best one I attended, and along with the screening of Attacking The Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime (a film which reminds us why journalism with integrity matters), was the not only worth the two hours, it was worth the trip from Paris...

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Why Women in Film Matter

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 9:07 AM

For anyone who has spent any time in and around Hollywood, it is impossible to ignore the male-dominated industry and its sexist standards. I recently saw a great Swedish documentary on the life of actress Ann Margret, in which she says how hard Hollywood on women. Her face betrayed the...

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SXSW Film: Damnation, a Documentary That's Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility

(1) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 5:08 PM

In 1935, FDR promoted the building of dams and this grew to include over 75,000 dams standing more than 3 feet tall throughout the United States. Many of these dams have outlived their usefulness, and many caused great damage to ecosystems and fish, especially salmon. The response to this for...

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When Strong Women Are Attacked by Weak Men (and Women)

(2) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 9:11 AM

These past weeks, French and international press has placed the private life of the President, Francois Hollande, his now former companion, Valerie Trierweiler and a French actress, Julie Gayet, on the front page non-stop. Yes, this is gossip, titillating and voyeuristic. And yes, it sells.

I watched and listened to...

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Thankful for IDFA Documentary Market & RIP Peter Wintonick, 'King of Docs'

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2013 | 9:40 AM

"...Time and memory are the only subjects of every film" -- Peter Wintonick (1953-2013)

For deal making, and bringing one's documentary project to the next level, with great partners, there is nothing like IDFA Documentary Market in Amsterdam each year. This is the place not only to see...

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Paris Photo: Childhood and How We Are Twice Removed From Everything

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 8:32 AM

The opening night of Paris Photo 2013 (November 14-17 at the Grand Palais) was in part about apologizing to children for what we adults have done and are doing to them. Yet the very fact that these stories are being told at a distance, the distance created by the camera...

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Healthcare and Financial Disaster: We All Know Someone, Even the President

(8) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 6:46 PM

"Today I am signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother, who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days." -President Barack Obama

Many many Americans have known and still do know people who have become fragile economically because they fell ill....

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Outsider Art in Paris During the FIAC

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 4:21 PM

New York gallery owner Andrew Edlin is one of the friendliest, most passionate supporters of outsider or self-taught art in the world today. He purchased the U.S. Outsider Art Fair, which took place in New York, last January and is bringing the successful fair to Paris next week...

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When Doing Good Is Good Business

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 9:25 AM

"A world without Poverty is Possible." -- Muhammad Yunus

This week, heads of state gather in New York for the UN General Assembly, and the CEOs of major companies, wealthy people from across the globe, philanthropists, and others who are looking for new and more efficient ways to do some...

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Greek Cinema Confronts the Harsh Reality of the Financial Crisis by Not Standing Aside, Watching

(2) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 3:52 PM

Playing during the Toronto International Film Festival is a heck of a film, which captures the often-violent side of how the financial crisis is affecting young adults, especially women, in today's Greece. Through recent visits and conversations with Greek friends, and working alongside those who have felt they had to...

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'In a Burnt Orange Mood: What Must Molly Ivins Be Thinking?'

(15) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 3:32 PM

Pondering this question about Molly Ivins several times a day has become a new hobby of mine since the spectacular Senator from Fort Worth, Wendy Davis, stood up for 13 hours and basically destroyed the Republican Party in Texas. Actually the GOP destroyed itself, but I have a theory on...

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Texas Theocracy: Today They Destroyed the Republican Party

(281) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 12:30 PM

"Texas is better after signing this legislation today. ...The amount of prayers. Last Sunday, we went around in Sunday school...tell us about your have to believe in the power of prayer.... Thank you for your faith." What was said by a male GOP member of the Texas legislature at...

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What Women in Texas and South India Have in Common

(7) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 9:06 AM

Summer began at a documentary film festival in Sheffield where I ended up sitting on a bus next to a lovely woman, Muslim Tamil poet and activist named Salma, who is also the subject of a film about her life. Little did I know that our conversation about patriarchy and...

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Hit 'Em Where It Hurts: How Anti-Choice Rick Perry Is Bad for the Texas Economy

(17) Comments | Posted July 7, 2013 | 11:29 AM

Say I am a CEO of a company in New York or somewhere "back East" as they say down in Texas, and I saw Governor Rick Perry's ads on local TV praising the benefits of moving myself, my employees and my company to unregulated, low tax (or if you are...

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