Movies that Matter


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Program Description

Education is a primary goal of Mountainfilm on Tour – Savannah. In addition to providing the local community with singular access to films on critical contemporary issues, we also reach public and private school students with our education program, Movies that Matter. Through the Mountainfilm lens, students embark on cultural journeys, encounter inspiring personalities and learn about our planet’s most precious natural resources.

Movies that Matter is an educational and entertaining playlist of 5–10 documentary shorts, designed to educate and inspire students. After viewing the films, students participate in Q & A sessions with directors and personalities from the films. And, in an effort to continue the conversations and ideas sparked at the film screenings, educational materials are available for teachers to use in the classroom. These materials include filmmaker/subject interviews, discussion questions, activities and more. All public and private schools in our region are invited to participate. Schools have the opportunity for staff and teachers to view selected films before the student screenings. Please contact Leslie Carey for information about including your school and students!


Objectives, Outcomes, & Impact

The goal of Movies that Matter is to inspire students—to teach them the importance of pursuing dreams, preserving natural resources, embracing different cultures and finding worthwhile adventures. Many of the documentaries feature individuals whose dedication, compassion and strength of character enable them to break records, achieve the “impossible” and defy stereotypes.

In 2019, Mountainfilm on Tour – Savannah screened films for over 4, 600 students and teachers from Savannah, Chatham County and Effingham County. Over the last several years, we have seen student attendees take action as a result of their participation in Movies that Matter. Several schools have started their own recycling programs. And, after viewing the film, With My Own Two Wheels, which featured students in remote villages of India and Africa walking miles and miles to reach school each day, Savannah students raised money to purchase bicycles for children from the film.

By promoting environmental and cultural awareness, Movies that Matter encourages students to become responsible and informed citizens. We also strive to educate the students who attend Movies that Matter about opportunities in the film industry, right here in Savannah. As part of our program, we bring professors and students from Georgia Film Academy (GFA) at Savannah Technical College to each of our Movies that Matter sessions. In 2019, we created a mentoring program with GFA for five Savannah Chatham-County Public School System students. Each student is paired with a current GFA student for a three-month mentoring program. The Zelda Tenenbaum Movies that Matter Scholarship was also started in 2019. The scholarship is available to a current high school senior in Savannah-Chatham County or Effingham County who plans to pursue a degree in filmmaking. First priority is given to students whose work reflects the mission of the organization.

Click here for the scholarship application.

Movies that Matter is supported by major entities in Savannah: DIRTT, the City of Savannah, Savannah Chatham County Public School System, Gulfstream, Colonial Oil, Enmarket, Publix Supermarket Charities and Wells Fargo.

This program is sponsored by the City of Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs

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