180 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students from Washington, DC sat forward at the American Film Institute (AFI) Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland as Susan Gray, director of the Pulitzer Center-supported documentary film Circus Without Borders, introduced a screening of the film.
“I hope that you will leave this screening somehow changed,” said Gray. “That’s part of why we made this film.”
The students from Creative Minds and Eliot Hine Middle School in Washington, DC had heard a little bit about the film beforehand. Pulitzer Center staffers Fareed Mostoufi and Meerabelle Jesuthasan had visited their classrooms the week before the screening to give them a sneak preview of what their field trip would contain, and to discuss the more technical aspects of the documentary-making process. This pre-field trip visit was part of a three-part visual storytelling workshop supported by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. As part of these pre-screening workshops, students learned that the two people at the center of the “Circus Without Borders”—Guillaume Saladin, founder of Artcirq in Arctic Canada, and Yamoussa Bangoura, founder of Kalabante in Guinea—were the film’s ‘subjects.’ They learned that documentaries follow subjects who are facing conflicts, and that filmmakers use audio (A-roll) and images (B-roll) to share how the film’s subjects are navigating conflicts. Students watched the film’s trailer to identify the main conflicts that Yamoussa and Guillaume would be facing in the film. They then tried to figure out whether the B-roll they were seeing were action shots, exposition shots, or archival footage. The goal: to introduce students to ways of telling stories like filmmakers, a week before they would actually meet the filmmakers and subjects who made “Circus Without Borders.”…
Read the Full Article and Related Lessons Plans at Pulitzer Center Blog