Tribeca Film Institute Expands Digital Storytelling Program to Los Angeles; Youth Screening Series Partners with Women and Girls Lead Campaign

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by Sophia Savage
February 6, 2012 2:27 PM
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The Tribeca Film Institute is expanding its Tribeca Teaches program to Los Angeles. The after-school digital-storytelling program is going to Lennox Middle School (in a neighborhood with a 93% low-income Latino population), marking its first location outside of New York. It is presented in partnership with the nonprofit Southern California Crossroads. The program will focus on the use of video games to deliver a bilingual storytelling curriculum.

 "Over the past six years we have built a strong foundation for young storytellers in New York City," says Tribeca Institute's Beth Janson, "helping students to see themselves as storytellers, and providing teachers with the tools they need to use film and media in the classroom. We are proud to bring our expertise across the country and empower a new community of students to write their own narratives.”

The Tribeca Youth Screening Series, which offers free screenings to thousands of NYC public schools, also announced partnerships with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the Women and Girls Lead campaign, to screen a series of ITVS films with a focus on African American women’s leadership, empowerment and social justice.

The series kicked off in January with "Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock" -- "The Interrupters" and "The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975" are upcoming. Through the Young Women's Leadership Schools, hundreds of students will discuss leadership and activism in their communities, with Tribeca Teaching Artists leading workshops at each of the screenings. Tribeca's Vee Bravo says, "Public media’s  Women and Girls Lead campaign is a unique opportunity to directly inspire young women of color with truthful present-day stories about their communities and the women leaders at the forefront of social change.”

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Beginning this month, Tribeca Teaches Los Angeles will partner experienced filmmakers with teachers, community activists and parents to help students script their own stories using the familiar narrative of video games. This 18-week program will take place in Lennox, a Los Angeles County neighborhood with a population that is 93% low-income Latino immigrants. At the same time, in its New York City base, Tribeca Teaches will continue working in schools in all five of the city’s boroughs. One site includes an innovative cross-cultural classroom platform, where students at the Bronx Preparatory Charter School will explore the importance of community and identity through a partnership with a Brazilian school. Students in Brazil will read Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin, and conduct critical viewings of "Menace II Society," while students in the Bronx will watch "City of God" and read Brazilian social activist Chico Mendes’ "Fight for the Forest." The program will culminate in a student-driven film project.

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