At the end of each two-week series of creative documentary workshops we have a special film screening event, where students share the fine works they have created in a festive, celebratory atmosphere. Each time we do this I am always amazed at how much the participants have learned about filmmaking and how much their confidence has grown as digital media makers, in such a short period of time.
At the recent screening event with Children’s Paradise Montessori School, however, there were even more pleasant surprises awaiting me. The last film shown, made by students Aidric, Feivel, and Karl, turned out to be a tribute piece to me, for all the work, energy, and love I had put into the workshops. They interviewed their fellow students and teachers alike and edited together an extremely touching piece that brought tears of joy to my eyes. Equally impressive was how they had made this film, literally under my nose, but without me having the slightest idea what they were up to! Well get out your box of tissues and have a look at Aidric, Feivel, and Karl’s heart-melting handiwork:
After the films were shown I was also presented with a bag of gifts from the students, teachers, and administration. The crown jewel of the gift bag was a giant, handmade card made by the students, that unfolded like a giant filmstrip! So many wonderful thoughts and feelings were shared on its numerous pages, this time using handwritten and drawn (not digital) techniques. Have a look at the moving images and words they composed via this gallery from our FaceBook page:
Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2
On a related note, I am currently about six months into this new venture of volunteering internationally, offering free creative documentary filmmaking workshops. While I know through this I am following the deepest yearnings of my hear and mind, it still hasn’t always been easy. At times being a foreigner in constantly new countries, cities, and towns has been physically and emotionally draining. More than once I’ve faced struggles in finding organizations to partner with and a “flock” to teach, sometimes leaving me to wonder if the world really wanted what I had to offer. Given all this, though, it really meant the world to me to receive such a tidal wave of appreciation and gratitude from all the good people at Children’s Paradise Montessori School. It was a clear and much-needed reminder that I am on the right path and making a difference. So for all that they have done for me in return, I too offer many, MANY thanks!