Monthly Archives: April 2009

PAA In-School Residency Teaches 4th-6th Grade Students the Art of Documentary Filmmaking


 Riverside Filmmaking

Story by Andre Clayton

What do Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andrew Carnegie, and Charlie Chaplin have in common? School students in Cleveland answered that question in their 35-minute documentary about immigration and migration, “From There to Here: Discovering Immigration and Migration,” in front of an audience of parents and students on April 7 in their school cafeteria; the three men had immigrated to America.

The cafeteria-turned-auditorium, displayed what the students had been cooking up for the past 10 weeks during a residency with Progressive Arts Alliance artist-educators and filmmakers Cindy Penter and Tom Kondilas. The students, fourth through sixth graders, used photography, voiceovers, and stop motion video film techniques, which they had learned from Penter and Kondilas, to describe the miserable experiences 19th and early 20th century impoverished immigrants had to go through during their journey to America, such as being crammed with hundreds of other immigrants in the lower decks of a ship for months and eating rotten food. The audience remained silent as they were drawn in by the students’ vivid film footage.  Continue reading

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Marin Students Document their Neighborhoods’ History through 10 Week Filmmaking Residency

Marin Filmmaking

Photo by Patrick Fenner

Text by Andre Clayton

Luiz Muñoz Marin School (LMMS) was named after Puerto Rico’s first elected governor, one of many facts LMMS students learned while making their historical documentary film about the Clark-Fulton and Tremont neighborhoods of  Cleveland.

LMMS fourth, fifth, and sixth graders spent three months as documentary filmmakers, under the supervision of Progressive Arts Alliance artist-educators, Joshua Johnston and Patrick Fenner, as they interviewed prominent Clark-Fulton and Tremont history experts and filmed the historical places that make Clark-Fulton and Tremont unique places to live.

LMMS students showed their final work on April 2 in front of their classmates, teachers, and community members in the Lincoln West High School Auditorium. The West Side Market, Cleveland City Hospital, which is now a MetroHealth Hospital, the house used in the movie “A Christmas Story,” St. Michael’s Church, Carnegie Libraries, and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo were chosen topics for the documentary. The LMMS students also filmed their school and the history of immigration in Clark-Fulton and Tremont.

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