Education is a primary element of Mountainfilm on Tour in Savannah’s mission. In addition to providing the local community with singular access to films on critical contemporary issues, more deliberately, and in a much more structured way, Mountainfilm reaches out to school-age audiences with its educational outreach program, “Movies that Matter.” As a Mountainfilm on Tour host, Mountainfilm in Savannah works in collaboration with the Savannah Chatham Public School System to identify local middle and high schools to participate in “Movies that Matter” education outreach program.
“Movies that Matter” selects award-winning documentary films from Mountainfilm’s world-class event for the purpose of inspiring and educating school-age children. These films expand young people’s worldview by revealing cultures worth exploring, environments worth sustaining, and ideas worth promoting. Many of the documentaries raise awareness about the environment, demonstrating how mankind’s well being hinges on our planet’s well being. For example, a film might show how the disappearance of honeybees profoundly impacts our food supply: “no bees, no plants, no plants, no food, no humans.” “Movies that Matter” reveals the many remarkable ways our planet takes care of us; the program empowers students to become stewards of environments by demonstrating how we, in turn, can and should take care of our planet.
“Movies that Matter” provides customized educational materials in support of the films. The materials, developed by Mountainfilm’s educational consultant, include interviews with the filmmakers, suggested talking points, discussion topics, and links to additional suggested readings and viewings. The powerful films introduce students to environmental and worldwide issues and the “Movies that Matter” Q&A session provides a forum for young audiences to ask questions and engage in critical discussions.
Objectives, Outcomes, & Impact
With the support of our community, Mountainfilm on Tour in Savannah will invite students to Trustee and Lucas theaters to watch award-winning and educational films. “Movies that Matter” expose students to salient environmental issues, open windows into different cultures, and demonstrate the dichotomous idea of mankind’s diverse and global interconnectedness to the planet. Incorporating this type of “bigger- picture” education produces better-informed and more responsible citizens.
Over the past few years, the students who attended Mountainfilm took action and several of the schools started recycling programs. The film, “With my Own Two Wheels,” showed students in remote villages of India and Africa walking miles and miles to reach school each day. Inspired by their foreign counterparts’ commitment to receive an education, Mountainfilm students raised money to purchase bicycles, providing necessary transportation for youth in these remote villages to receive an education. After “Right to Play,” students asked the organization how they could assist refugee children by sending soccer balls to their camp. Finally, students brought their knowledge of environmental stewardship and human perseverance home to friends and family.
School-age children are the most important audience we can possibly reach. And, it is up to us to try to get our uniquely inspiring content in front of them because they may, otherwise, never experience it. By promoting environmental and cultural awareness, “Movies that Matter” encourages our youth to become responsible and informed citizens. The films and Q&A sessions foster an environment of critical thinking. The messages inspire and invite students to engage in discussions and ask questions about their world and their generation’s role in shaping the future.
The “ Movies that Matter “ program delivers an empowering message: we all play a role in shaping the future and yes, their voices indeed “matter.”
This program is sponsored by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs’ Weave – A – Dream program.
Click here to download a sample copy of the educational materials.