Learning Life Skills through Documentary

Grade seven students learn life skills through documentary filmmaking

Date: Tuesday, March 19, 7-9 pm
Location: Langevin School (107 – 6A Street NE), Calgary

After five months working with Calgary 2012 Artist-in-Residence Chris Hsiung, 120 grade seven students from the Langevin School are showcasing their best documentary short videos at a school-organized film festival. The film festival will be taking place tonight from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Langevin School (107 – 6A Street NE).

Two years ago, Chris Hsiung, independent owner of Hidden Story Productions, started Reel World Youth Documentary (RWYD) with funding from the Awesome Foundation and the Calgary Foundation. This project used documentary films to give students a fun way to learn from life outside the classroom. Too often, youth associate learning with sitting at a desk or doing homework. Instead RWYD pushes students to chose their own topics and investigate it off site, then shoot and edit their own footage.

After a successful pilot at the Alice Jamieson Girls Academy, Chris expanded the program to four grade seven classes at the Langevin School with the support of Calgary 2012 project funding. The result is documentary shorts ranging from video game addiction to bauxite mining to “making a difference” and exploring the subject of death. Audiences of the Langevin Film Festival will for the first time gain direct insight into the mind of the modern day grade seven student.

More importantly, students got the opportunity to learn life skills. Calling adults, following-up, setting up interviews, doing interviews, planning for the innumerable details of production, communicating in a professional way, dealing with failure were just some of the basic abilities students exercised. This was one of the few times students were given complete responsibility for their projects.

In the end, their motivation came not from marks or homework, but from a desire to exhibit their work to their classmates, friends and family.

About Hidden Story Productions
Chris Hsiung is the independent owner of Hidden Story Productions, a small video company that helps people to use video as a tool to educate, engage or advocate for social issues through short documentary stories.

His commissioned works has sent him as far afield to Kathmandu, Nepal to investigate youth activism and Tokyo, Japan for a karate tournament. He has delved into the lives of seniors and the marginalized community in his hometown of Calgary, and continues to seek stories worth sharing.

Chris has the honour of being a Calgary 2012 Artist-in-Residence and the Creative Director for TEDxCalgary.


Hidden Story Productions
Chris Hsiung
Availability: 10 am – 4 pm