Middle School Students Found Field Trip to Providence Children's Film Festival Important and Meaningful

On Friday, February 23, the entire PCD middle school ventured to the RISD auditorium for a special film viewing, "More than a Selfie: Stories about Identity" presented by the 2018 Providence Children's Film Festival.

The short film collection included 10 animated and live-action movies focused on the question: Who Am I? The shorts compilation shared stories of developing or accepting one's own identity from people around the world: a boy with an egg for a head makes him feel fragile until...; a teen who wants to be judged by her jump shot and not her body; and a boy asking frank questions about why women wear the hijab. Ada Wetherby '24, Kayla Defusco '24, and Sarah Howe '24 described the field trip as meaningful and important. "The stories taught us more on what types of things are going on in the world," said Wetherby.

"Game," a live action film that follows a young girl's determination at her high school boys' basketball tryouts, was among one of the films that stood out to the group. "It's a story about a girl pretending to be a boy so that she can compete on the boys'

basketball team," said Howe. "I loved the story. It shows that there are girls out there being strong and proving and that we (young women) can do anything. It made me feel proud." "Sacred Hair," a film that depicts a life changing encounter between a young boy and a Muslim woman in a Montreal park, was another film that the group found memorable. Defusco, Howe and Wetherby each walked away from the trip with a sense of global perspective and lessons in open mindedness and humility.

This past February marked the Children's Film Festival's ninth year in Providence and showcased more than 100 independent and international films that were picked by a jury of adult and child viewers. Each selection was chosen for its ability to demonstrate the artistry of filmmaking, provoke discussions on timely topics, and make connections with people and cultures from around the world. While some students have attended in past years, for some, it was their first time at the festival.

Middle schoolers will continue with the film theme this week as the medium was selected as the focus for the 2018 PCD World Arts Day on Friday. The annual program is a creative immersion of hands-on workshops featuring different forms of art from around the world. This year, students and faculty will view short independent films together following a series of workshops in which they will work as actors, animators, film critics, sound engineers, producers, and screen writers.

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