EDUCATION: Learn Everywhere

‘Change the way you see the world’ with the swipe of a library card, click of a mouse, rip of a movie ticket…

(Photo: Creative Commons)

In a previous post, I discussed the values of education through world cinema, specifically among high school students. But we all know that education really extends beyond school and teachers and students (and books and homework, for that matter), and influences us every day of our lives, regardless of whether we’re enrolled in a formal educational institution. Learning takes place anywhere and everywhere, all the time, and even more so among viewers of Global Lens films.

Take, for example, when a patron enters the Hartford Public Library, seeking to learn about war and its influence on the people living in Iraq. The obvious choice would be to find a book or encyclopedia on the topic, but now that the library is one of several in our Global Public program, anyone can use their library card to check out Global Lens 2012 film QARANTINA (dir. Oday Rasheed, Iraq) for a visceral case-study of a family living in Iraq. The film even shows you the point of view of a military tank as it rolls through the streets of Baghdad…

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FEATURE: Education and Your Public Library

As more and more libraries join GFI’s Global Public program, Laura Brewer discusses how public libraries aren’t just for books anymore…

The dazzling interior of the Seattle Public Library.

Fall, or “Back-to-school” season, used to be one of my favorite times of year. I loved checking school supply items off my lengthy list. I looked forward to pouring over syllabi, seeing my friends more regularly, and holing up in the library doing research for term papers. But more than anything, by the end of August I was eager to leave summer’s freeform behind for the structure of the academic year.

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SUPPORT: Living Up To Our Name

mick

The Science of Inertia: don't get him started (photo: Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones)

Looking down the rabbit hole at the genesis of “initiative,” global film and making a difference…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved science. The systematic study of structure. Atoms crowding on the head of a pin. Discovery…

As an adult, I haven’t lost this love–ironically, it’s what led me to a career in the arts and The Global Film Initiative. Because I’ve always been fascinated by the [scientific] concepts of “inertia” and “potential energy” (that everything around us is simultaneously resisting change and has the potential to change), and how those concepts apply themselves in other elements of our world…

A stone rolls once pushed. Still water ripples when hit with a stone. Mick Jagger–if you start him up he’ll never stop. All that needs to occur is a decision to act. All that’s required to change a state of inertia or release potential energy is someone or something with… Initiative.

The Global Film Initiative began with this in mind, and it’s this guiding precept that has kept us inspired by what we do. The world around us evolves slowly, imperceptibly or sometimes not at all. But regardless, it is always ready for change. And once that change occurs it can repeat itself like rolling thunder…

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OPEN MIC: The Educated Eye

Jim Canacci, Lecturer at Kent State University at Trumbull, on using Global Lens films to inform, expand and appreciate the world around us

“Every story reveals a world.” -Global Lens Trailer

Jim Canacci

Jim Canacci, Lecturer at Kent State University at Trumbull

I truly believe that Global Lens changes “the way you see the world.” I know this from personal experience and through sharing these films with the students and campus community at Kent State University at Trumbull.

My first year with Global Lens was in cooperation with my good friend, Dr. Ken Bindas, who is now the Chair of the History Department at Kent State University. He asked if I would partner with him to show the films on my campus in Warren, OH, as well as at the Lemon Grove in downtown Youngstown. He provided me with the materials, and asked if I could do “the rest.” With the help of many generous people on my campus, we had a plan to show three of the films on campus during International Education Week. Jacob Roope, who organizes most of the events, helped choose which films fit best with the guest speakers and our potential audience members. Jacob Harver, who is co-owner of the Lemon Grove, was kind enough to show all the

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EDUCATION: All Eyes on the Screen!

Staffer Angelica Dongallo, coordinator of GFI’s educational screening programs, explains why world cinema deserves a place in the classroom…and vice versa

Angelica Dongallo speaks to students and teachers attending our first-ever World Cinema Week screening @ Ninth Street!

Pencils down!

Before you naysayers say nay—just as the parents described in this post did—about screening films to students in the classroom, hear me out. I’m not referring to the Hollywood blockbusters used by many teachers (we’ve all encountered at least one during our school days) as mindless background noise at pizza parties or as a last-minute time-filler on days with no lesson plans. Rather, I speak of cinema (particularly independent world cinema) and its unique value when shown with an intent, a lesson plan, critical discussion questions, the works.

Yes, contrary to popular belief, it can and should be done. But first, some context…

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EDUCATION: Change the Way You See the World…One Film at a Time

Film still from CRAFT

We’re literally all over the map with education this spring—new 2012 EDU films and discussion guides, high school screenings via World Cinema Week and a partnership with our Ninth Street neighbor, TILT!

Oh, the places we’re going with education this spring! This April, we continue our quest to change the way you see your world with new EDU films and discussion guides for teachers and students all across the country, and coast-to-coast. And speaking of coasts, we’re also venturing into new waters by hosting an educational screening for students right here on our home-turf @ the Ninth Street Independent Film Center! So much great news—read on!

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SUPPORT: Art as Diplomacy

How film can be just as good as a handshake when it comes to crossing borders and building relationships

WATCH: Global Lens 2012 director Oday Rasheed speaks with Deb Amos of NPR about QARANTINA and living and working in Baghdad

Ever since our founding, the phrase ‘promoting cross-cultural understanding through cinema’ has echoed with every presentation of Global Lens we sponsor, every grant we award, and every educational screening we host. Our belief is that film, especially world cinema, has the ability to transcend politics and lines of conflict, exposing us to new cultures and new ways of thinking, allowing for better communication as a global society.

It’s a spectacular concept, and hardly the first of its kind—over the centuries, art and literature have always had the same power. However, when it comes to film, for as simple as it sounds, until audiences see this process in action, the phrase rings a bit theoretical, and idealistic. In fact, in a world where the majority of people consider film a form of entertainment, saying it is anything other than that is a hard sell—unless of course we “sell” it within a context other than entertainment.

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NOW PLAYING: St. Louis International Film Festival, Bijou Cinema, Kent State University and more!

Films from the Global Lens 2011 film series are now playing at the following venues and festivals across the U.S. and Canada:

Click on the map above to find a Global Lens screening near you!

St. Louis International Film Festival (St. Louis, MO): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Springs, CA): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Tampa Museum of Art/Gasparilla International Film Festival (Tampa, FL): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, IL): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

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Window to the World: Launching a Foreign Film Series in Edinburg, TX

GFI chats with The University of Texas-Pan American about unique collaborations, persistence, and bringing Global Lens to town

Nadia Gallegos (left) and Virgina Haynie Gause, the people responsible for bringing Global Lens to UTPA!

Sometimes we speak with a venue interested in hosting Global Lens, and everything falls into place relatively quickly and easily—screening facilities are available, marketing support is plentiful, and the schedule practically writes itself. In other instances, however, things don’t come together right away, and instead, it takes some time to actually “make it happen.” This was the case with The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA), who had been speaking with us off-and-on about organizing a Global Lens program on campus since 2008, but for various reasons, wasn’t able to do so until just this past year.

One of the factors that finally made it possible was the introduction of our Educational Affiliates program in which university and college libraries can purchase a full Global Lens DVD set and then screen those films for public audiences. This option, with its affordable cost and scheduling flexibility, allowed UTPA to show Global Lens 2010 on campus—screening a different film every month beginning at the end of 2010. This “experiment” of sorts proved to be a great success for UTPA, and they are now gearing

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