On Monday, the Film Society of Lincoln Center celebrated the culmination of the first year of our education initiative focused on visual literacy and bringing art cinema into the classroom with a lively screening of students’ work in the Walter Reade Theater.

Funded by a generous grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and executed in partnership with BRIC’s arts education program, the program engaged 460 Kindergarten through 5th grade students and 37 teachers across three public elementary schools this year, and will grow to serve close to 1,000 students by year three. The program is designed to help elementary-school-aged children gain access to the art form, to inspire their own voices, and to undertake a cinematic path of expression as a foundation of literacy learning. The students learn to approach film like text by analyzing, discussing, and creating films in the same way they would approach writing. At each grade level, they screen and discuss classic and contemporary art-house films and make their own work inspired by these techniques and genres.

The program also launched with a Teacher Training Institute, which trains participating classroom teachers in the use of filmmaking equipment as well as the program’s visual literacy practices. The program aims to cultivate a vibrant culture of filmmaking in school communities and grow a future generation of filmmakers and film lovers.

The first year of the program concluded on Monday with a Film Sharing event in the Walter Reade Theater, at which the students screened excerpts from the short films they created in the classroom. The theater was alive with energy as childrem from the three participating schools watched their work on the big screen for the first time. The Film Society of Lincoln Center offers its warmest congratulations to these amazing young people and all who participated in the unforgettable event!

For more information about education initiative, click here. Stay tuned for video from the event and, for now, check out these great photos of the event by Julie Cunnah.

All photos by Julie Cunnah.