Telling Our Stories: Jacob Burns Film and Media Center

We are just finishing up an amazing, emotional, challenging, inspiring week of work with the ExcEL community, rolling out an exciting partnership with the award-winning cast and crew of the film I Learn America.  ExcEL partner Jacob Burns Film and Media Center has been instrumental in making this happen AND raising it a level of professionalism and excitement that honors the messages and messengers.  Ossining High School students are the real stars!

Filmmaker Jean Michel Dissard has been working with the English learners at Ossining High School, helping them find the courage and voice to share their own stories.  Jacob Burns hosted a screening and panel discussion on the evening of June 3rd, Dissard attended and brought two of the students featured in the film (Sandra and Itrat).  We were particularly proud to have three Ossining High School students  (Luis, Bryan and Karen) participate on the panel and share their own courageous stories of immigration.

Students and community members engaged in deep and meaningful conversations following the screenings.  Questions covered topics like filmmaking (what inspired you to make this film) as well as questions about how students came to America and what it’s like for them living here.

The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution dedicated to presenting the best of independent, documentary, and world cinema; promoting 21st century literacy; and making film a vibrant part of the community. Housing a state-of-the-art theater complex, a 27,000 square-foot Media Arts Lab, and a residence for international filmmakers, the JBFC campus provides opportunities for people of all ages to discover, explore, and learn through the power of film, media and 21st-century technology.  Jacob Burns is a powerful partner for the students and community, supporting learning and the development of individual voices through the arts.

See the film.  Host a conversation.  Visit Jacob Burns.

Jacob Burns Film and Media Center

I Learn America