Engineering Stories For Effective Altruism
Nature becomes the connective force for bringing together tw...
A deeper look at the fragility of one urban community in the...
Conserving land and transforming lives
The Direction of Dreams
a portrait to paint the basic income movement
History Now: K. Yarbrough
Over the course of three months we directed, produced and fi...
Everything You Ever Hoped
Julianne’s journey from homelessness here in San Franc...
SF Navigation Center VR
An virtual reality documentary about homeless services in SF...
A volunteer community revitalization initiative on 22nd betw...
Reinventing an approach to reduce gun violence
Celebrate a world that’s worth protecting.
Portraits from the SF Navigation Center
The journey of a culinary entrepreneur.
Melissa King collaborates to launch new recipes.
The Robot and the Hand
the next generation of education technology
Fuseproject product redesign and rebrand
Where do you go when you’ve gotta go?
Stairway to Stability
What it means to have a support system.
Aquarium of the Bay reveals insights on fishing for ocean he...
revolutionizing the way our kids learn math
Embrace Your Imagination
Social impact inspiring education and creativity
Dignity one shower at a time with Lava Mae’s Shower Bu...
A 48 hour journey from blindness to sight.
Up On My Wheels
HandUp is revolutionizing the way we help homeless people.
HandUp Members: PHC
Reducing homelessness through innovation
2000th Seal Released
2000th Harbor Seal Released by TMMC
Adopt A Family
Stories of the hidden homeless of Marin
Where you go when you want the best for your pet
Malawi Family Planning
a film about Reproductive health for Joyce Banda
Educational portraits from around the world
Share The Bulb
Cilvil rights for homeless people of Albany
Marine Mammal Center
Marine mammal and ocean health education
Diagnosis of behavioral conditions provide hope
The Ghost Below
The impact of plastic in our ocean is greater than you may t...
Healing the world through nutrition education
You’re Looking At Me
A personal look at Alzheimer’s Disease
Dogs Of Dolores Park
Ethnography of 50 breeds of dogs in San Francisco
Project Homeless Connect
a portrait of homelessness as PHC celebrates 50 service even...
TMMC Doc Series
Episodic content produced for the Marine Mammal Center
The Future of Education
At the forefront of the education revolution.
Leading the way in autism diagnosis & testing
SCRAP DIY Education
SCRAP is the Bay Area’s first re-use material supply for c...
Inspiring thoughts from Charles on the “R” word
Rescue to Release
A day in the life at the Marine Mammal Center.
Google Great Solution
Google is always looking to provide fresh ways to inspire gr...
Google Partner Solutions
Sharing great ideas is the path to innovation at Google
Meet The Dealers
6 part series insider look at eBay Motors
Mini Cooper Strategy
consumer insights and brand strategy for the future of car c...
Transgender Law Center
transgender civil rights strategy and branding
SF Foodbank / Georgetown
Volunteering is rewarding on many levels. This is the story ...
Source For Change
revolutionizing the role of Indian women in business.
Hunters Point Family
Creating community in Bay View Hunters Point
What happens when tourism exploits your local resources?
CDI is creating opportunity and hope for students of all inc...
Filmmaking and Social Impact Storytelling
Social Justice Storytelling
We’re on a mission to create positive social transformation through the art of film. At the core of our business is a mission to do good. We are passionate about and dedicated to social impact and helping great causes move their audiences to action.
We are deeply passionate about the art and craft of filmmaking. With an experienced and refined eye for cinematography and a skill for cutting together motion picture, we turn creative concepts not only into content worth watching but ideas worth sharing.
Your film is only as good as the impact it makes. Before filming ever begins we engineer to engage audiences in the change we want to inspire. We understand social media, seeding, festival circuits and other strategies for getting views and creating action with the content we produce. We design for exposure, amplification, action and impact.
Curiosity leads to insights, and insights lead to new ideas. This is the path to develop unconventional approaches that inspire your audiences with meaningful, compelling and engaging stories.
We love to listen and we believe that great creative comes from insights derived through careful listening. Our experience lies in thoughtfully and respectfully entering environments around to globe, listening to the stories people have to tell and investigating what we hear. Documentary is in our DNA.
We are passionately curious, a talent that has led us to the powerful truths of organizations working to solve climate, education, poverty & human rights issues around the world. Our skill is packaging these truths into beautiful and engaging films that people want to share.
Storytelling With A Mission
We Are Truth Be Told
“We’re on a mission to help good causes tell their story through the art of film. We listen, explore, investigate, learn, create insights and then craft compelling stories to help causes make an impact. We inspire audiences to act and are working to make the world a better place. We have over ten years of creative direction, conducting ethnographic research, and creating documentary style films.”
Story of the founder
Growing up small changed my life. As a result of a defective pituitary gland I went through high school and half of college standing a little under four feet ten inches tall. I sat on pillows so I could drive my car. Needless to say athletics weren’t my strong suite; I tried out for soccer, tennis and ice hockey freshman year and didn’t make a cut. Instead I focused on community service and volunteering, and never looked back. I went to the Philippines with Operation Smile, built houses with Habitat for Humanity, taught Down Syndrome children with EPOCH and attended retreats at inner city rehab centers with Bridges. The end result is that I’m a compassionate listener who genuinely wants to help others; ten years of creative and strategic experience at a few of the top advertising agencies in the world helps me do it effectively. Armed with a full suite of professional film gear like aerial drones and electronic steadi-cams, and a great team; I’ve set off to tell social impact stories and change the world!
Films that make the world better
We are inspired by effective social impact and we believe that together we can change the world. Our mission is simple, help great causes tell cinematic stories. Our films have influenced legislation, educated children around the world, been awarded in international festivals, advised world leaders and have appeared on PBS, VICE, History Channel, Virgin America and several other global media channels.
Before starting Truth Be Told, we worked on award winning campaigns at advertising agencies named top agency of the year like TWBA/ Chiat/ Day, GoodBy, Silverstein and Butler, Shine. We have over ten years of experience conducting ethnographic research, bringing creative ideas to life and producing documentary style films. We are experts at writing scripts, developing screenplays, cinematography, producing and editing films and as you search around our site you’ll see we’ve done it for some wonderful clients.
Director / Founder
Ken is an experienced filmmaker and creative director on a mission to help good causes tell powerful and cinematic stories. Ken is passionately curious, a talent that has lead him to the powerful truths of organizations working to solve climate, education, poverty & human rights issues around the world. His aptitude for art and design have enabled him to package these truths into beautiful and engaging films that people want to share. Ken is a graduate of Georgetown University and Oxford and is the founder of Truth Be Told and co-founder of Story Code SF. He loves woodworking, building and cycling. He is an award winning filmmaker with films being shown on the international festival circuit and on PBS.
Silvia is a story teller and producer with a passion for doing good. Silvia’s expertise is managing the creative process and strategic business development. She has a penchant for film production and manages the logistics and flow to ensure the film shoots run smoothly and efficiently. She has a undergrad degree in economics from Harvard and a graduate degree in law from Georgetown University.
Digital Impact Advisor/ Movement Builder
Josh is an experienced content producer with expertise in engineering content for impact. Previously Josh was Director of Content for NextGen Climate Change and headed an effort to build momentum for the Climate Change movement. Josh is an expert at producing powerful and moving stories and thinks holistically to engineer nonprofit and social impact brands. He was also Director of Digital for the Obama Campaign, and navigates content relationships with distributors Netflix & Vimeo. He was selected out of 82,000 applicants to help manage Charlie Sheen’s social media presence. He is the director of Last Glimpse, a climate change travel show and the founder of Revelous Media.
Julie is helping to build key customer relationships, identify business opportunities, and collaborate on creative story lines and concepts to produce films that give a voice to social issues. Previously Julie held the title Vice President of All Things Fun, Meaningful & Rewarding at Salesforce Foundation. She was a founding member and Head of Global Integrated Philanthropy. She helped established Salesforce.com’s award-winning global volunteer and philanthropy programs. She is a senior executive with strong global leadership experience in creating positive social change. A strategic collaborator yet persuasive diplomat. She’s a participant in the THNK School of creative leadership, and has been an advisor for the Gratitude Network and Workday to develop philanthropy.
Producer / Story Developer
Cara is a multiple Emmy Award winning reporter and producer with vast experience in using video to tell compelling, inspiring human-interest stories. She has more than a decade of experience in broadcast journalism and has reported for network affiliates in Southwest Florida, Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. Cara started telling inspiring stories as a way to balance out the tragedy-focused ones she was assigned in the news industry. The perspective and personal transformation she experienced while creating those stories inspired her to start Storytellers forGood in 2009. She has since been creating short films that move and inspire as well as raise awareness and support for world-changing people and organizations. Cara leads regular storytelling workshops and webinars, blogs for the Huffington Post, and has shared her expertise at conferences including SXSW, NTEN and The Goodwill Industries National Conference. Cara is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in public policy. She has solo-backpacked around the word, teaches yoga and recently learned to surf while creating a short film on India’s first surfer girl.
Producer / Screenwriter
Fay Darmawi is a film festival producer, community development banker, and urban planner interested using all forms of media to create lasting social change. She is the Founder and Executive Producer of the SF Urban Film Fest, a film festival focused on civic engagement inspired by great storytelling. Fay is a recipient of a 2016 YBCA Fellowship and is working on an interactive short documentary series about the needs of homeless students at Bessie Carmichael School in the SoMA neighborhood of San Francisco. Her 20-years of experience as a leader in affordable housing finance, including managing the low income housing tax credit platform for Silicon Valley Bank, as well as 5-years of screenwriting training, informs her media-related work. She has a masters degree in city planning from MIT, a certificate in screenwriting from UCLA Extension, and was part of the 2010 screenwriter co-hort of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.
::TRUTH BE TOLD CLIENTS::
ADOPT A FAMILY / AQUARIUM OF THE BAY / THE ASPEN INSTITUTE CLIMATEWORKS / CURE BLINDNESS / DISNEY / EBAY MOTORS / ENGINE2 / EVENTBRITE / FUSE PROJECT / GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY/ GOOGLE / HABITAT FOR HUMANITY / HALLORAN PHILANTHROPIES / HAND UP / HISTORY CHANNEL / HOMELESS ACTION CENTER / HUNTERS POINT FAMILY / LAVA MAE / LOCOMOTIVE LABS /THE MARINE MAMMAL CENTER / NEW SCHOOLS VENTURE FUND / PEERS / PROJECT HOMELESS CONNECT / PBS INDEPENDENT LENS / / SCRAP / SF FOODBANK / SF +ACUMEN / SOCAP / TAPROOT / WESTERN PSYCHOLOGICAL / TYNKER / VICE / WHOLE FOODS
Insights & Thoughs
Truth Be Told Blog
One of the reasons wealthy people do not donate is because they live in a bubble and aren’t exposed to the injustices of the world. This article mentions that “Notably, though, when both groups were exposed to a sympathy-eliciting video on child poverty, the compassion of the wealthier group began to rise, and the groups’ […]
For the past year I’ve been co-hosting Story Code SF to bridge the gap between filmmaking and technology. I recently discovered The Poor Kids of Silicon Valley and I think the simple straight forward delivery and succinct and pointed message make this a very strong piece. It doesn’t have any bells or whistles, but what […]
The non-profit sector is going through a revolution and things are getting a whole lot better. Over the past few years there’s been a lot of talk about inefficiencies in the nonprofit sector; in fact, the social impact industry has taken root because of a loss in confidence in the nonprofit model. One of the […]
The non-profit world is reaching an inflection point. Over the past few months the non-profit model has been getting a lot of attention. The result has been overwhelmingly positive, but organization’s are being challenged to question the ways they can have the most positive long term effect while staying true to their values. It’s an […]
Making a video can be one of the most powerful ways you can increase your exposure. That being said, creating a video can be daunting and seemingly complex; so here are a few things to think about that make creating a film for your organization more approachable. Let’s start with the subtle difference between telling […]
We’ve learned a few things along the way and wanted to share our experience with creating stories that matter. Let’s start with the subtle difference between telling a compelling story vs. laying some b-roll over interview footage, a nuance often overlooked when creating a documentary video. First off, the medium of video can be tricky; […]
Four ideas for great storytelling from Michael Margolis, Nancy Duarte, Gareth Kay & Simon Sinek: As you begin to craft your story ask what action do I want my audience to take and what realization do they need to have in order to take that action? Employ the power of paradox. If you start with […]
Last week at SPIN Academy we gave a presentation on telling your story with video to fuel your cause. We’ve been paying close attention to best practices for nonprofit storytelling. Below is the deck that we presented. We covered storytelling strategy, targeting your primary audiences, producing a beautiful video and engineering your video to be […]
This weekend I drank the Cool Aid. As many of you know my wife Renée is studying to be a nutritionist so we figured we’d attend a seminar on eating a plant based diet. Filming a documentary of the event gave us access to all the speakers. Yes, they are a smart and funny bunch […]
1. The best way to connect with your audience (and make an impact) is to let people see, hear and feel your story through a real life experience. 2. Teach by making people feel. Sympathy and empathy are deep connectors and video is the most effective medium for eliciting feelings. 3. The likelihood of an […]
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