Students from five high schools participated in filmmaking and storytelling workshops during their junior year to help shape Our Time is Now. In addition, a working cut of the film was screened at each school at the end of their Senior year where students helped locate what was and wasn’t working in the film. Throughout the process, we used the film to promote dialogue between students, teachers and administrators.
Turn the Lens is a series of Littleglobe filmmaking projects that provide opportunities for community members to empower themselves through personal storytelling. Turn the Lens community members spend focused time behind and in front of the camera, bringing personal and intimate perspectives to the screen and to audiences. This process provides means for people to bring to the forefront their individual and collective stories, encourages cross-community dialogue and helps participants empower themselves by stepping outside of their usual realms of interaction to reflect more clearly the world as they see it.
In each Turn the Lens program our diverse team of facilitators and filmmakers lead a consistent flow, collaborating with each community of participants. Sessions begin with a phase of “ensemble” building, creating trust between members, exploring accessible uses of the camera, free-writing, movement and storytelling. Once rapport has formed within the group, the team begins lessons in hands on documentary filmmaking including camera operations, interview skills, free-writing and film editing. Additionally, participants begin to learn methods of community engagement including facilitation, leadership and personal and community storytelling. Throughout the months of the project, each group explores with increasing depth issues and challenges that they feel is fundamental to their community.
The final stages of each Turn the Lens project include participant facilitated community screenings of the resulting collaborative media, utilizing the personal stories built over the course of the project as prompts to instigate safe and frank conversations about community challenges and identity, public policy and services missing and how better our institutions can serve communities. After these culminating events, Littleglobe continues to engage and support participants and local partners to be able to build on the work of the project through capacity building, new projects and locating means to move forward in new ways together.
More at littleglobe.org/turnthelens