Educating, informing and transforming…through conversations that matter.

Our purpose: Telling stories through film and TV on issues that impact our daily lives. Stories that are intellectually stimulating and emotionally impactful can change how we view the world and transform cultures.

Our projects aim for an intellectually stimulating, objective exchange of ideas that challenge prevailing attitudes about things that matter. They educate and inspire viewers with up to date balanced information which lead to conversations that matter with people who really care…

Keynote | Media, Freedom & Responsibility: The Power of the Press

The First Amendment gives the press immense power and freedom of expression. Yet there are many who say the press today is taking advantage of its unique freedoms. Media as we knew it has changed. Economics has taken its toll. Some say the press is “presstituting” not reporting! What is the media’s actual role and is it fulfilling its mandate to inform or using its power to exploit. Learn More

Roots of War, The Road to Peace

The Roots of War… the Road to Peace was initially the brainchild of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, a primary funder of the award winning McCuistion TV program. In October 2003, Niki, Executive Producer- Producer of the McCuistion program, received a call from Hugh Akin, the Sumners’ Foundation Executive Director, asking if she’d be interested in producing a documentary on terrorism.

As it was in keeping with her theme of conversations that matter , a recent McCuistion program about 9-11 she produced within a week of 9-11 (Terrorism: Important Information You Haven’t Heard Yet), had earned a Women in Communication award and so the die was cast. Of course the answer was yes. A grant was written, the budget developed, appointments for interviews from Iraq- to Saudi Arabia set up and in March of 2004, the small team of Niki- as film maker/Producer- Director- co-interviewer and camera back up( yes, a very small team and budget), Dennis McCuistion, narrator ,co-interviewer and associate producer, and Phil Smith, videographer – and co-editor, headed to Iraq.

The doc, scheduled to air in 2006on KERA first aired a local theatre .It was protested by the Freedom and Justice Foundation, in part because the doc listed groups with ties to terrorist activity. Determined to see the doc air, but now having no choice but to use her own money, Niki made a half dozen trips to the Middle East to study Middle East politics and policy, and conduct interviews with the people of the region, from professionals and civic leaders to political “terrorist “ groups. The Roots of War… the Road to Peace finally aired in 2009- 3 years after its scheduled airing date, to modest acclaim.

Perhaps if she knew then what she knows now- the answer to that phone call just might- just maybe, have been no thank you. And yet…it was one of those life changing events- the learning adventure, the people she met, the stories they told and the outcome of what occurred during the Roots of War… the Road to Peace, filming, editing and initial airing, subsequent disappointments and anticipation, led to a new Roots of War and a lifelong respect and compassion on the film maker’s part (Niki) for the conflict, issues and the people of the region on all sides of the political equation.

Niki believes that through conversations that matter- people can learn to have a more open respectful outlook toward differences in culture, ideology and politics which can then lead to a better understanding of others viewpoints and more informed choices. The outcome… a more peaceful sustainable world. Perhaps.

Visit: The Roots of War site to read about the controversial story and and watch the the full documentary
http://www.therootsofwar.com/

Watch the Roots of War – Road to Peace

Divergent Voices – Seeking Truth in the Middle East

The conflicts in the Middle East escalate daily. All over the region, its countries’ leaders and constituents blame, point fingers, throw rocks and missiles at their neighbors for their differences. Divergent Voices, a full length documentary takes a realistic look at the conflicts, the key issues and the history behind these issues from various perspectives- through the voices, eyes and ears of the people who are living the situation. It takes a hard, no holds barred look at the past and current history, the constituencies, the anger and animosities ,the perceptions and fears that fuel the differences and asks why there is so much hate.

Told by Arabs, Muslims and Jews, in a point- counterpoint narrative, it illuminates the key issues, the diverse cultures, democracy, terrorism, occupation, economy, energy , the Shia- Sunni divide, and gives a better understanding of the situation on the ground and how it affects international relations amongst all. Not for the faint hearted , DV dispels myths and half-truths through stories and front porch perspectives. It examines the voice of officials as well as everyday citizens who have their own perspective- those who hate and those hopeful of peace , civility and prosperity.

Watch – Divergent Voices: Seeking Truth in the Middle East

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The McCuistion Program: Talking About Things That Matter With People Who Care

Celebrating its 25th year on KERA, PBS Dallas- an independent production with a focus on business, social, economic issues that impact our daily lives.

The McCuistion Program is unique; specifically designed to combat poor quality and
often biased information. Each 30 minute program, focuses on a topic of current interest. Executive produced/ produced by Niki McCuistion, utilizing key subject matter experts, facilitated by- Dennis McCuistion, and involving informed panelists and audience members, the McCuistion Program succeeds, at illuminating business, social and economic concerns and challenges.

Our purpose is to develop a stronger community of involved and informed citizens who can influence issues that impact their communities, the environment, how their children are educated, public policy and economics and health care, locally and on a national basis.

Our viewers and audience members are individuals from all socio- economic walks of life. The program not only educates and actively encourages civic involvement; it does so with fair and balanced objective information. It invites viewers to get involved in making a difference, whether by active participation in civic and charitable activities or letting their city, state and national elected officials know how they feel.

As an independent production, which does not receive any PBS pledge or government funding, being on the air, with one of the most respected TV stations in the country , speaks well of our program. In addition we have received over 40 Telly, Clarion and Katie awards for excellence in content and production. Each week we reach thousands of viewers. And every time one viewer watches a discussion that takes place that person becomes a more informed individual. It is our goal to influence the quality of choices that individual makes that directly affects their quality of life in every area that is important to them and their community.

Visit the McCuistion TV Site