It's not every day that students come face-to-face with world-renowned documentary filmmakers, but that's exactly what will happen when Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) kicks off next month.
NVFF, a nonprofit, launched its five-day, county-wide celebration of independent and emerging films and filmmakers in 2010.
The festival has an education component aimed at broadening the artistic and humanitarian horizons of local school kids.
NVFF selects age-appropriate documentaries with relevant, socially conscious subject matter that build on schools' existing curriculum. Students watch the movie in class, and the screening is followed by a discussion--about the core themes and how they relate to students' personal experiences--that is facilitated by the film's producers and "stars."
Last year's program screened a film that examined racism through the lens of students in Mississippi whose high school held separate proms for black and white teens.
NVFF is expanding this year's program by adding a second movie and doubling the number of kids reached. One film, about a 14-year-old girl who solicited donations and traveled to Southeast Asia to save endangered elephants, will be shown to 1,000 middle school students who will discuss themes of taking action and making a difference.
Another movie, about resilience and survival, chronicles a group of genocide survivors from Rwanda that formed a cycling team and later qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games; it will be viewed by 900 high school students.
NVFF's budget for the education program is $27,000, including: film crew travel expenses; NVFF staffing costs; and, DVD/curriculum sets for teachers to use with future students. Local families have volunteered to lodge film crews, who are waiving honoraria in lieu of donations to their respective causes.
To-date, NVFF has raised $15,000 in individual donations; a gap of $12,000 remains. Your support will help local kids build their global understanding, as well as their appreciation for the art of film.
Cinema Napa Valley dba Napa Valley Film Festival
PO Box 10994
Napa, CA 94581
Contact: Marc Lhormer, Executive & Artistic Director