Highlights from the APA Conference

By Cindy Burstein, New Day Member

Day One

Great day today at the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention! It began with screenings of Seeking Asian Female and Concrete, Steel & Paint, followed by engaging conversations at our exhibit booth with APA members, encounters with trick or treaters, and the drawing of our first raffle! Looking forward to tomorrow…

APA_Day 1Day 1 of the American Psychological Association Convention in Washington, DC. We’re ready to go at Exhibit Booth 144! Stop by and meet the filmmakers! — with Heather Courtney and Cindy Burstein.

Day 2.3Seeking Asian Female buttons peak interest from our booth visitors!

Day 2.4Meera Rastogi, APA member and Film Festival committee programmer, stops by to say hello!

Day 2.5New Day member Mike Fountain selects the first of our four raffle winners to win a free DVD!

Day 2.2A glimpse into the APA Film Festival screening room

Day 2.1Gigi, from the APA social media team, just attended two New Day Films screenings of Concrete, Steel & Paint, a film about crime, restoration and healing (by Cindy Burstein, pictured here) and Seeking Asian Female (an eccentric modern love story about an aging white man with “yellow fever” and the young Chinese bride he finds online). 

 Day Two

And the fun continues! Booth visitors are enthusiatic, I’m Just Anneke screens with LGBT shorts and packs the house and an educator tells us a story that had us in awe… he met his husband at a screening of Daddy and Papa! Wow. It’s a New Day, everyday, here at the APA.

Day 2.11New Day member Leena Jayaswal is ready for APA!

Day 2.12APA Film Festival Programmer Robert Simmermon stops by the New Day Films Exhibit Booth to welcome us and say hello!

Day 2.13I’m Just Anneke screens with LGBT Shorts at APA Film Festival to a packed house!

Day 2.4Roxy, from Modesto Junior College, made it a priority to see I’m Just Anneke at the APA Film Festival! “This short film is a valuable tool as I begin my profession as a child and family advocate and in my work as a student government leader on my college campus.”

Day 2.15Daniel has us in awe after telling us his story… that he met his husband 12 years ago at a screening of the New Day films title Daddy & Papa!

Day 2.7New Day was here

Day Three

Danny (pictured yesterday-he met his husband at a screening of Daddy and Papa) returns today to introduce us to the family… a treat, indeed! A booth visitor thanked us for our LGBT content, especially related to transgender youth. Filmmaker, Corin Wilson, and friend of Concrete, Steel & Paint stops by to lend a hand. Creativity is in the air! Hearts and minds are open at APA.

Day 3.1Danny and Steven stopped by with the whole family to say hello! They met at a screening of the New Day Film, Daddy & Papa… twelve years ago, and celebrate that date as their anniversary! Congratulations. New Day Films is sharing the love.

Day 3.2Filmmaker Corin Wilson stops by to lend a hand for New Day Films!

Day 3.3APA is building community through art-making

Day 3.4Professor Mark Cooper leads the art-making project

Day 3.5“The creative spirit is at the core of the psych.” Hmmmm… this sounds a lot like New Day Films!

 Day Four

The final day kicks off with a morning screening of Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines… POW! And one of our raffle winners, a high school principal, picks Straightlaced-How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up as his prize! It’s been a rewarding stretch in DC. 4 days, 4 screenings, and hundreds of new encounters. We look forward to continuing the connection. Thank you, APA!

Day 4.1Simone from Goddard College meets New Day Films at the screening of Wonder Women! “This film took me back to my childhood, and got me thinking across the decades!”

Day 4.29am coffee, and a screening of Wonder Women=good deal!

Day 4.3New Day Films enjoyed having 4 titles from our collection screen this year!

Day 4.4High school principal, and New Day Films raffle winner, John O’Dell, is interested in opening up the dialogue with guidance counselors, parents and students with Straightlaced–How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up!

Day 4.5Mary Anne Dornbusch, APA Convention Manager and Film Festival Program Committee Liaison, stops by to say hello!

Day 4.6All of our candy is gone. It must really be time to go!!

Day 4.7That’s a wrap! Thank you, APA.

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Films for July and August

July 17th is International Criminal Justice Day

Criminal JusticeJuly 17th marks the establishment of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s only permanent international court with a mandate to investigate and prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Over the past year, we have added important films in our Law and Criminal Justice collection, many of which address the work of the ICC.

August 12th is International Youth Day

YouthThe theme of the United Nations‘ of International Youth Day 2014 is
“Mental Health Matters”. According to the U.N., “on a global level, it  is estimated that approximately 20 per cent of adolescents and youth experience a mental health condition each year.” Check out the many voices represented in our films about youth.

August 26th is Women’s Equality Day

WomenThis year, we are celebrating the 94th anniversary of national women’s suffrage, an important step towards equality in a world where there is still much work to be done. New Day started as a feminist co-op and has some of the earliest feminist titles. Enjoy our vast Women’s and Gender Studies collection.

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Required Viewing: How Educators Are Using New Day’s $4.99 Stream to Enrich Their Classes

By Kelly Anderson, New Day member

Kelly Anderson
                Kelly Anderson

Last semester, I gave my students at Hunter College a list of documentary films they could write papers about for their midterm assignment. When students realized they would actually have to go to the library to view or check out the DVDs of the eligible films, a small mutiny broke out. Like everyone else, I had known for a while that media viewing habits are moving towards on-demand streaming. As a middle-aged person who still pops a DVD into my player quite often, however, I hadn’t quite realized that the shift had already happened.

I perused the usual sources – Netflix, iTunes and Amazon – looking for films to assign that could be streamed. And while I found some good titles, it dawned on me that with the move to streaming the range of films available to teachers (and viewers in general) is shrinking. Independent filmmakers have a hard time accessing the dominant platforms for streaming, and the availability of a film is more and more defined by its commercial — rather than its cultural or educational — value. The repercussions for education, and culture in general, are significant. Many of the films that most influenced me as a student would never have been available to me without the rich range of independent media my professors had access to.

Luckily, New Day Films now has an individual streaming option  ($4.99 per stream), and I was able to create a rich assortment of films that my students could choose from. The experience got me thinking about how streaming is impacting the ways educators are using media, and changing the nature of teaching with films. I reached out to some professors who are using New Day’s individual streams with their students, and asked them about their experiences.

In Whose Honor?
               In Whose Honor?

Many professors have students view films outside of class because it saves them valuable classroom time. Thomas Gannon, an English professor at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, uses Jay Rosenstein’s documentary In Whose Honor?, about Native American mascots in college sports, in his “Introduction to Native American Literature” class. “The film is a good vehicle for exemplifying Natives trying to take back the tools of their own representation,” Gannon says. “However, I stopped showing it in class after the first year or so because this is a literature class, and meeting time is always at a premium. I prefer to assign films outside of class, which is easier since this film is now available online.”

Straightlaced
                  Straightlaced

Eliot Graham, who teaches courses on individual and cultural diversity to graduate education students at Rutgers University and Harvard, assigns Debra Chasnoff’s film Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up as required viewing outside of class. “I’m trying to make my students think about how teachers propagate messages that are racist or sexist or homophobic, often unwittingly,” Graham says. “If it’s just an intellectual exercise they will do it in my class and then forget about it when they enter their own classrooms. I use Straightlaced because it shows kids talking about experiences that they had in school, and it has more of an emotional impact.” Graham says that his class periods aren’t long enough to allow him to show the 67-minute film in class, so assigning it outside of class works well. “When I’ve used it in class I usually end up excerpting pieces that total up to about 30 or 35 minutes, which is always terrible because I’m like, “I can’t possibly omit this part!”

Streaming also allows films to be used as secondary sources, or for additional research. Gannon says, “One of my midterm essay prompts regards Native American mascots, with a required source essay by Phil Deloria. In Whose Honor? is highly recommended as another source. Most of the really good papers use it, and the student writers thereof usually seem to be highly moved, even outraged, by the film.”

How does assigning a film outside of class impact the quality of the in-class discussion about it? For my students, who are asked to do close readings of films, being able to stop and re-watch a particular section is invaluable. Graham requires the students to write about the assigned film, and says that it enriches the discussions and activities they do in class together. Whether students absorb the film better together in class, or alone at home, is unclear, and likely depends on the individual student and the viewing circumstances.

What’s clear, though, it that streaming is here to stay. And with New Day’s individual streaming option, educators can find more ways to take advantage of the power of films as they teach in their own disciplines. “If there’s a video my institution owns, but it isn’t available online, we have to watch in class or not at all,” says Graham. “This gives me more flexibility to be able to more things.”

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