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media with a mission


media with a mission

Phase 4 Media has a vision to use the powerful tool of media as a force for social change.  

We are filmmakers with a social mission, using documentary storytelling techniques to promote philanthropic organizations and their causes, inform audiences about change-making initiatives and inspire viewers to take action.

We act as consultants and partners, advancing the mission of our clients by creating media that helps you communicate powerfully and effectively, engage wide audiences and ultimately impact change.






Phase 4 specializes in producing original film and video content for socially-minded organizations...

including foundations, non-profits, NGOs, social enterprises, government agencies, educational organizations and socially positive corporate initiatives.

We provide a full range of production services, come to the table with a true understanding of social issue storytelling and approach every project with passion.


We Provide

Story Consulting

Creative Direction

Research & Script Writing

Documentary Style Filming & Interviewing

Commercial & PSA Style Production

Filming of Speeches & Events

Video Editing

Graphic Design & Animation

Audio Post-Production

Social Marketing Strategy

Outreach & Engagement Campaign Strategy

We Create

Videos for the Web & Social Marketing

Short Documentaries

Fundraising Videos

Videos for Conferences & Events

Commercials & PSAs

Video Storytelling & Evaluation

Videos for Internal Communication & Board Reports

Grantee Stories & Grantee Communication

Training Videos & Sharing Best Practices

Feature-length Documentaries

Topics of Expertise

Sustainable Agriculture

Food & Farming





Women's Poverty

Economic Development

Human Rights


Community-Based Change




Phase = a stage in a process of change or development

Four = as in fourth sector = a social enterprise or for-benefit business



Phase = a stage in a process of change or development

Four = as in fourth sector = a social enterprise or for-benefit business

Phase 4 Media was founded in 2008 by award-winning filmmaker Sarah Hesterman, who has been producing videos for corporations, foundations and non-profits for over 12 years.  

In 2013, Phase 4 partnered with InternewsNEXT to produce a short documentary on the changing landscape of media and technology in the developing world. Over the last four years, we have worked with Fair Food Network to produce numerous videos on healthy food access in Detroit and Cleveland and to promote the book "Fair Food".  Our short film highlighting the success of Fair Food Network’s “Double Up Food Bucks” program in Detroit was a winner at the 2011 Michigan Good Food Film Festival. In 2010, Phase 4 produced and directed the 20-minute documentary “Blessing or Curse: Oil and Uganda’s Future” which was distributed widely in Uganda in order to educate voters and parliament members on oil policy in their country. In 2009, we produced a six-part short documentary series on women’s poverty and philanthropy in association with the Headwaters Group for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Sarah’s 2004 film, Seeds of Hope: Feeding the World One Community at a Time, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is currently appearing on Link TV’s, the new social video portal funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The film won the Environment Award at the 2004 Media that Matters film festival, a Telly Award in the social issue category and aired on PBS and internationally.

Sarah grew up in East Lansing, Michigan and is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Film & Television. Sarah is dedicated to creating media that inspires, educates and engages audiences in critical social issues and her life goal is to raise awareness and understanding through film.

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The team behind Phase 4 has a strong history producing change-making media for the following organizations:

Africa Institute for Energy Governance

Barnes & Noble

China Institute

City Parks Foundation

Cleveland Urban Agriculture Project

Community Food Resource Center

Community Food Security Coalition

Detroit Voices

Fair Food Network


Headwaters Group 

Heifer International


Jeremy’s Heroes

JWT Ethos

Literacy for Environmental Justice

Ms. Foundation for Women

New American Farming Initiative

Partners for Change


Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Services for the Underserved

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Wellspring Advisors

Winrock International

Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis

Women’s Foundation of California

Women’s Foundation of Colorado

Women’s Funding Network