Last January the Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched its YouTube channel as part of a broad effort to revamp its web and social media outreach to the 15 million people who live within the MTA’s service area. To date, this channel has attracted over 875,000 views and features nearly 100 videos covering all facets of the MTA’s operations, from trains and buses to bridges, tunnels, and construction. In this screening and discussion, MTA staff will share their practical and aesthetic approaches to telling the story of a giant, complicated transit network that affects the everyday life of New Yorkers.
Jeremy Soffin is the Director of Media Relations for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Since 2007 he has led the MTA’s daily effort to inform 8.5 million customers on rapidly changing service conditions, respond to public criticism, publicize positive initiatives and advance policy agenda for one of the most highly scrutinized public agencies in the country. Prior to joining the MTA in 2007, Jeremy was the Vice President for Public Affairs at the Regional Plan Association, an urban planning think tank that advocates for smart growth policies in the New York region. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and expects to complete his master’s degree in public administration at Baruch College later this year.
J.P. Chan is Manager, Strategic Initiatives and videographer at MTA, where he produces video content for the MTA website and YouTube channel. He is a 13 year veteran of the MTA and has worked in various parts of the agency, including the departments responsible for operations planning, environmental policy, marketing research, and budget analysis. He earned his Master of Urban Planning degree from NYU. He is also a self-taught writer/director of award-winning independent short films that have played at film festivals including Slamdance, SXSW, Comic-Con, and Tribeca.
Chi-hui Yang is a film programmer, lecturer and writer based in New York. From 2000-2010 he was the Director and Programmer of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the largest showcase of its kind in the US. As a guest curator, Yang has presented film and video series at film festivals and events internationally, including the 2008 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (“The Age of Migration), Seattle International Film Festival, Washington D.C. International Film Festival and Barcelona Asian Film Festival. Yang also contributes writes on politics and culture and lectures on Asian American cinema. He has also served on funding panels for Creative Capital, Rockefeller Foundation, ITVS and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Yang holds a BA in Political Science/International Relations from Stanford University and is currently a Visiting Scholar at NYU’s Center for Media, Culture and History.