Praise From The Entertainment Industry
“I have traveled with Sandra twice: to India to talk to writers and filmmakers from around the world about using film to advocate for social good and to Puerto Rico, to an HPV conference, to talk to doctors and scientists about the value of conveying health messages through story.
Both were extraordinary experiences for all the Hollywood writers in attendance; both reached countless partners around the world who, because of these meetings, had their eyes opened to the power of changing the world through story and image.
No one else is doing this kind of work around the globe. No one, but Sandra, has taken the expertise of this community and applied it to do so much good in so many places around the world. I find Sandra to be enormously impressive. I think the work she does is invaluable and irreplaceable.”
Former President of the Writers Guild of America, West
“As executive producer of the ABC series Private Practice, I relied on Sandra’s vast network of contacts not only to ensure that the medicine we discussed on the show was accurate but also to generate story ideas within the writers’ room.
As a member of the group of writers, she took to Mumbai, India, I was astonished by the range of briefings she was able to organize, as well as the extraordinary access she provided us to people living and working in slums, brothels, hospitals and women’s centers.
That exposure translated directly into both television episodes and panel discussions at the WGA to educate and move others about what we had witnessed. Sandra has provided exemplary service to myself and other WGA writers who deal with medical issues in their work.”
Hollywood Television Writer/Producer
“When we set out to do a preschool show that dealt with medical issues in every episode (Doc McStuffins on Disney Junior), it was uncharted territory. The network, understandably, was nervous. In comes the great Sandra de Castro Buffington! Her natural confidence and drive pushed people out of their comfort zones, and the results have been the creation of a show that has made bold choices and a real difference in the health and well being of children worldwide.
She saw the potential in the series and asked people to live up to the highest standards of what television has the power to do. Personally, Sandra is a delight to work with and an absolute powerhouse of a human being. Her boundless enthusiasm and inherent belief that everyone wants to do the right thing, release great energy into the world, and pushes people to do more than they might have expected.
If I were trying to change the world, I’d want Sandra at the helm. Sandra, you have been such a wonderful and important champion of our show. I am so very grateful. Can’t wait to work together again in the future.”
Award-Winning Hollywood Showrunner, Writer, Producer
“Sandra is the go-to person in the entertainment industry for educating writers about issues that are important to all of us.
She combines a deep knowledge of the craft of storytelling with expertise on a range of important topics and has the passion and energy to take writers to every corner of the globe to show them what it means to be human today.
She has a unique gift for educating writers, and our stories today are all the better because of her efforts.”
Executive Director, Writers Guild Foundation
“I traveled on a research trip to South Africa (with Sandra). We spent one week learning about global health challenges and innovative solutions.
Not only did the trip inspire me on a personal level, but it also directly inspired my work; for example, in a recent episode of Touch, the storyline on violence against women was a direct result of the stories I heard on the research trip.”
Hollywood Television Writer/Producer
“I’ve watched as Sandra has created a vital, robust platform for addressing the biggest issues facing our world today: racial justice, immigration, mass incarceration, youth sexuality, reproductive health and rights, sustainability, to name a few. From a single issue program, focused primarily on the US, she has grown and shaped a truly global Media Center with Hollywood at its hub, at work in many countries. Her critical work is research-driven, mapping, and tracking social impact storylines on the most popular shows, as well as their associated impact on viewers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behavior.
Sandra is an effective and committed “story whisperer” on heart-opening, social justice, health, and sustainability issues, encouraging writers and producers to approach these subjects with integrity and truth. The immersive events she hosts for the creative community, from Story Impact tours to edgy panel discussions, provide inspiration, allow story creators to glean tales from the field, and learn from each other.
Sandra and the Center serve as a connector and a conduit, an objective bridge between the world’s most challenging realities and the creative community. Perhaps most importantly, she supports creators with gentle neutrality: introducing them to worlds and issues with which they may not be familiar, but ultimately, allowing them to draw their own narratives and conclusions. The Industry is lucky to have both Sandra and her Global Media Center for Social Impact; together, they are leading storytellers to do their best, most impactful work.
Each one of us on the trips was deeply impacted by them, and none of it would have ever happened without Sandra’s guidance, vision, and leadership. From the toughest of circumstances (a brothel in India) to the most inspiring (school kids singing and dancing in South Africa), Sandra kept us on mission with clarity, focus, and intelligence: making sure that we got the most out of each experience.
And, perhaps even more impressively, she always did it with grace and a smile to us, to her own staff, the local folks with whom we interacted, and even our many non-English speaking drivers! How exactly she managed to maintain this professional dignity and effectiveness, even in a sweltering Indian garbage dump surrounded by flies and the most desperate of human souls, I do not know. (and have to admit to a certain degree of awe!)
Sandra created situations where we could learn (without being preached to) and experience (without limitation); it’s a unique gift, the kind of thing the best producers aspire to in making movies. Sandra then created a larger platform from which we could share our experiences through the WGA. Just amazing!”
Hollywood Feature Movie Producer