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Irvington Middle School Students Present Original Movies At Film Festival

Irvington Middle School students confer on their movies for a school film festival. Photo Credit: Contributed
The fifth annual Irvington Middle School Film Festival was held Dec. 23. Photo Credit: Contributed

IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Sixth-grade students at Irvington Middle School got to present their original movies recently at the fifth-annual Irvington Middle School Film Festival.

The movie premiere on Dec. 23 featured a red carpet and popcorn sponsored by the PTSA.

Under the direction of teachers Karen Acrish, Jessica Doherty, Carol LaBella, Judy Nadler and Amy Panitz, the students participated in a unit called “Digital Storytelling: A Dynamic Look at Narratives.”

At the film festival, they viewed all 45 films they and their peers had created over the month before breaking out into smaller groups to discuss their work.

“This unit allowed the students to analyze visual media that they encounter in their everyday lives and transfer those skills to a digital storytelling project,” Doherty said.

“Incorporating this type of teaching gives all students an opportunity to shine. The final movies they edited were very creative.”

Throughout the unit, the students learned about the different components of a story, how to develop a character and how to tell a story digitally using pictures, sound and narration.

“It was interesting to see how the students’ personalities came into play as they collaborated in their groups,” Panitz said.

“You saw the creativity, flexibility and planning that are all necessary for a digital story to be told.”

The digital storytelling project began with a visit to the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville at the end of November, where sixth-graders were able to collaborate with staff members.

The visit was made possible through a generous grant from the Irvington Education Foundation, which also funded the new iPads that the students used to make and edit their movies.

“My favorite part of the project was editing our movie,” sixth-grader Clara Kolker said.

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