No Coast Films is the production label of Elisabeth Reinkordt. The seed was planted in 2004 while she was a student in Modern Culture & Media at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and felt a desire to place roots in her home state of Nebraska.

In 2004-2005, she produced two parallel projects: Living With The Land: Sustainable Agriculture in Nebraska and Man’s Last Great Invention. The former, a feature-length documentary, profiled local and organic farmers, restaurants, and assorted pieces of the sustainable and local food system that was emerging in southeastern Nebraska. It premiered at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center in January of 2005. The latter was an experimental, ambient film about the Great Plains, featuring a mix of 16mm and archival footage and originally performed with a live soundtrack at the Cable Car Cinema in Providence in May of 2005.

Man’s Last Great Invention from nocoastfilms on Vimeo.

Upon returning to Nebraska, Elisabeth worked on various freelance documentary projects and in political communications before starting a full-time production job at the Nebraska Department of Education. From 2006-2012, she produced numerous short-form videos about educational issues in Nebraska, and learned a whole lot about education policy in the process!

In 2009, her friend and fellow producer Brent Meier approached her with a collaboration opportunity — making a documentary about the educational experiences of Latina/o students in Nebraska. When We Stop Counting, which premiered in October 2010, follows a year in the life of six high school students in Crete, Nebraska, and is noted for its use of student-generated self-documentation integrated into the production.

In August of 2012, Elisabeth left her comfy cubicle in the State Office Building to pursue graduate work in education policy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Additionally, she started writing articles as the staff correspondent for the Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA) NCSA Today journal. As she builds her knowledge base in education theory and public policy, she is continually committed to the communication of policy ideas to the general public. In 2013, she began a one-year contract as the Communications Specialist for NCSA, in which she developed the online media presence of the organization.

Her Master’s thesis, entitled What Did You Learn In School Today?: The Recursive Relationship Between Media Coverage Of Public Education And The Crafting Of Education Policy, investigates how news stories about education frame and form the public’s conception of what school is and could be, as well as what voices are lacking. Specifically, the research shows that voices of students, teachers, and parents are often missing from the conversation about education policy.

To care, you have to understand. And the best way to understand just might be through the telling of a good story. With No Coast Films, Elisabeth is committed to storytelling for the good of community.

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