After months of planning, the Shanghai Student Film Festival proved to be one of the most rewarding experiences of this teacher’s career.
The number of students from international schools across Shanghai and across the world that were able to participate and be a part of this event were inspiring to me. Elementary students, middle school, high school… all were represented and each and every one of them brought something unique to the festival. From the gregarious student to the shy student, many students were able to explore learning 21st century style by telling stories using film as the medium. As Scott McCloud mentioned in his opening S2F2 speech, films are still a relatively new medium and the potential to discover new things using film is great indeed.
At my school, we had a quarter long elective class every other day to expose kids more in depth to art of film making. Kids made short films in this class, but what I find surprising (and encouraging) is that students submitted films that were either made on their own time OR that were created within the classroom to share their learning. Is this not
fantastic?? As educators, this is what we want for our students… embedded technology and authentic uses of technology. Just another reason every school school have a tech integrationist….
If you are thinking of starting a film festival in your neck of the woods, I want to share with you something that made our event this year even more special. Students who submitted films from all over Shanghai were invited to our school for the day so that they could attend a mini-conference just for them. They signed up using a google form ahead of time which helped us organize the event. Over 100 students attended interactive workshop sessions about:
- green screening
- acting in filM
- using Foley for sound
If you have questions about staring a film festival in your area, please contact us as we’re more than willing to help out. Tim Bray has the Phoenix Film Festival coming up at the end of April as well – we’re so excited to see film festivals growing in the region!
I’ve loved working with David Gran, Mikey McKillip, Jonathan Chambers and all of the others on the board for this event – remarkable educators. We’ll be presenting at the Apple Education Leadership Summit in Hong Kong (April 24-26) and we hope to see you there!
Please start a student film festival in your area…. start small and then watch it grow!