EDUCATION: TILT and GFI–A Match Made in Film Education Heaven

Angelica Dongallo speaks to students and teachers at last year's screening

Angelica Dongallo speaks to students and teachers at last year’s screening

World Cinema Week is just around the corner, and with it comes our second annual educational screening with our neighbors at Ninth Street, TILT…

As March draws to a close, it’s impossible not to notice a change in the San Francisco air. The weather is getting warmer, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and here at The Global Film Initiative we know that this can only mean one thing: World Cinema Week is right around the corner!

Last April, in light of this glorious occasion, GFI’s acquisitions and granting extraordinaire, Angelica Dongallo, with the help of our Ninth Street neighbors, TILT, came up with a great idea. Instead of taking the film to the classroom, why not bring “the classroom to the film”? In hopes of fostering global understanding and connectivity in youth, high school students from The Marin School and San Lorenzo High were invited to Ninth Street to watch GETTING HOME by Zhang Yang. The post-screening discussion and Q&A proved to be an enlightening and intellectual experience, one which cultivated greater cross-cultural understanding among the students involved. It was plain to see that this collaborative venture was a huge success.

A scene from CAIRO 678

A scene from CAIRO 678

For this reason, we’re excited to say that TILT and GFI are bringing the World Cinema Week Screening back to Ninth Street for a second year! On April 18, CAIRO 678, Mohamed Diab’s incredible film on women’s rights, will be shown to students and educators from Arise High School, Oakland School for the Arts, Visions in Education, Midpen Community Media Center, and Thurgood Marshall High School. After the showing, a speaker from the Arab Cultural and Community Center will lead a discussion on the film in the aims to put the setting and subject matter of Diab’s film into context. It’s bound to be a mind-expanding event!

And who better for us to partner with in this endeavor than our friends at TILT (Teaching Intermedia Literacy Tools)? We asked TILT’s Program Coordinator, Bernadette Montez about the importance of cinema in education and its collaboration with GFI:

1975283125-10Can you tell us about TILT and its mission? How does TILT work to eradicate mis- and under-representation in cinema? 

Bernadette Montez: TILT, the Youth Program of the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, teaches young people the fundamentals of movie making and media literacy through hands-on training in video production and mobile media. TILT programs empower young people to tell their own stories, to work collaboratively, and to become life long learners.

TILT works to eradicate mis- and under-representation by empowering young people and adults to think critically about the media that surrounds them, to reflect on the stories that they feel are missing from the larger dialog, and provides access to the tools of production as well as mentoring which allows them to share these stories.

Can you talk to us about the importance of cinema in education?

Bernadette Montez:  Cinema is a vital piece in today’s education system. Not only is it a visual, verbal and aural text, it has the ability to ignite dialog and provide a point of entry into complex topics for both students and teachers.

What drew you to this Collaboration with The Global Film Initiative? 

Bernadette Montez: We were interested in collaborating with The Global Film Initiative due to the high quality films and subject matter that they promote. The goal at TILT is to inspire and empower young people through their interaction with media and we feel that this closely aligns with The Global Film Initiative’s educational programming. We hope to spark meaningful dialog about national and international issues through the media that we create and watch. Collaborating with The Global Film Initiative allows us to do just that.

Finally, What are you most excited about for this upcoming World Cinema Week? About the screening?

Bernadette Montez: We are most excited about bringing in young people from all over the Bay Area to see this remarkable film. We have schools and community programs attending that are from as far away as Palo Alto and Clayton. Of course, we have amazing local schools from Oakland and San Francisco attending as well. I am interested to hear their reaction to the film and to see what kind of conversation ensues during the post-film Q&A.

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We’re excited about that too! And furthermore, TILT’s focus on education as a means for change in a world where mis- and under-representation is the norm, mirrors GFI’s mission to quell unsatisfactory levels of diverse voices in the American cinematic climate. By bringing our missions together, perhaps we can work to give youth both experience in understanding films that represent the underrepresented and the tools they need to tell their own oft unheard stories.

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