With the success of the Alice Jamieson Film Festival, I decided I wanted to try this same documentary film project approach with another school. This time Ms. Gemma Epp volunteered her four grade seven classes. Add financial support from Calgary 2012 and the Langevin Parent Council and teacher support from Ms. Keets, Mr. Howe, and Mr. Yeo, it was a great chance to collaborate on a longer term project. Good thing we had five months to work with 120 rambunctious young students; we certainly needed it.
The purpose was much the same: to use the process of documentary video making as a way to encourage learning from outside the classroom. One of the fascinating challenges I noticed among grade seven students is the tendency to see that all the work can done using Google. I discuss more about other educational and technical challenges we faced in a post here.
Eventually with time and practice and encouragement from the teachers, many of the groups found their story to tell. Once they found it, they became motivated to learn and that’s a beautiful thing to see. If you want to learn more about the process, I’ve put together a post here to tell you more. Suffice to say, it’s a great thing to see students talking about their project over lunch hour or wanting to finish their edit even when it was past the deadline. I was very proud of their achievements.
We also dangled a little carrot. At the film festival, we’d be selecting the best movies for display on my website. And without any more delay, here are the award winners and a link to their short film:
Editing interview footage takes patience and careful thought to extract the most important ideas expressed by the interviewee and then edit them together to tell a coherent story. This award goes to the editor who really shined in editing their interview. This filmmaker went out and interviewed a local city councillor, Brian Pincott, about how to make a difference.
This award goes to Riley for “What does it take to make a difference?”
Part of producing a documentary is finding original stories to tell. This award goes to the director/producer who has found a hidden story worth telling. I had never heard of this rare disease before this group of filmmakers decided to bring it to light.
The award for most original story goes to Isaac, Adam & Aakriti for “LCPD – One Boy’s Story”.
A good documentary is one that has been well researched and investigated. This award goes to the director who has looked deeply into subject that is current and relevant. I was surprised by this group’s attempt to tackle what most would consider a massive subject. But they managed to do it.
This award goes to Madeline, Anoop & Aidan for the short film “Healthcare”.
Great stories must be supported by great visuals. The award for cinematography goes to the Director of Photography who has best captured the story through visual image. It’s hard to get good interesting visuals in realtime. This group managed to capture some great action and it showed.
The award for best cinematography goes to Dante, Dominic & Eric for the short, “Spirit of a Fighter”
Finally, the award for best documentary short goes to the film that exemplifies a combination of an original topic, editing and visuals that tell an interesting story. I chose this short doc because of their willingness to tackle a typically taboo subject in an interesting way.
For the year of 2013, the award for Best Documentary Short at the Langevin School goes to Shachi, Morgan, Hailey for the short “Death”.
These films demonstrated an exemplary effort in telling a story about their subject matter.