Tag Archives: feminist films

Tips for Using New Day Films in the Classroom

  • Choose films that tell a compelling story. Stories provide the conduit for conveying information. Most people don’t remember pure facts – but we are hard-wired to remember stories. Ask students to share their own stories as a counterpoint to the film’s stories.
Students take in a screening of "Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines"
Students screen New Day film “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
  • Check if the film has a companion study guide. Many New Day films include guides that offer detailed background information on the film’s subject, notes on running a successful discussion, a sample lesson plan, and additional resources.
  • Frame the film prior to viewing. Explain which elements relate to the course, e.g. anthropology students might identify moments of cultural significance and their relationship to the topic of study. Film is a rich medium, and students often need framing to notice and process the types of information most relevant to their learning.
  • Assign a feature film like you would assign a book. Use class time for discussion and collaboration. This allows students to time-shift their learning, review the film on their own, and take notes at their own pace. Most New Day titles are available via online streaming.
  • Don’t discount the power of the moving image. Students often learn in a deeper and more thorough way through visual media!
  • Pair two films together. Contrasting films on similar subjects from different regions, eras, or cultures can highlight commonalities and differences across a wide spectrum of issues.
  • Use a film to open up discussion on a difficult topic, such as race, gender, religion, adoption, or sexuality. Film is an emotional medium, and social justice documentaries can often elicit deeper and more thoughtful classroom discussions than texts.
  • Ask students to write down three quick “take-aways” from the film, before discussion starts. What did they find enlightening, compelling, or relevant? Collect the statements and share them aloud. The variety of observations may be surprising.
  • Organize a cross-disciplinary screening series. Including multiple departments helps save funds in tight budget times, and also inspires rich interdisciplinary discussions about issues that can be looked at from many points of view.
  • Use a film as a starting point for research or project assignments. Films are a powerful tool for getting students interested in a particular topic. Ask students to identify an element in the film – a character, a group, a location – and create an independent project around it.
  • Invite the filmmaker to your class, to enrich the students’ understanding of the material. Ask students to turn in questions for the filmmaker ahead of time, and prepare a few questions of your own. Many New Day filmmakers are available for Q&A, either via Skype or in person.
Filmmaker Kristy Guevara Flanagan fields some questions
“Wonder Women!” filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan participates in a student-led Q&A

I Am New Day: Kimberly Bautista

Kimberly-Bautista-headshot(1)I had been involved in solidarity work since 2003 to raise awareness about the violent murders of women in Juarez, Mexico, and that work connected me to feminists working in Guatemala. I began production on a documentary film, Justice for My Sister, which follows a Guatemalan single mother of five on a heroic journey to hold her sister’s killer accountable. When I myself became a target of sexual assault, and experienced first-hand the corruption and complicity of the Guatemalan justice system, I decided my film needed to do more than raise awareness – it needed to be part of a bigger violence prevention campaign. I formed the Justice for My Sister Collective with advocates in Guatemala and Los Angeles, and we’ve published a trainer’s training guide, a text-message campaign toolkit, and an activity booklet. We’ve held workshops and screenings with indigenous communities, immigrants, survivors of violence, service providers and police in 20 countries and counting. The film has won Best Documentary in Holland, Los Angeles, Bolivia, and Central America. I have toured universities and embassies to promote healthy relationships, and have since established a non-profit organization in LA to continue the campaign’s work.

For more information about Justice for My Sistervisit  http://www.justiceformysister.com/

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.