Education Blog

Spotlight on Student Screenings: Marshall, Oct. 10

By Paige Grand Pré, Education Communications Associate 10.18.17

Through screenings followed by discussions with Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) faculty, filmmakers, and special guests, our Classroom to Screening Room program uses the power of film to enhance curricular content. Teachers can choose from three distinct Classroom to Screening Room experiences: a feature from our Education Film Library, a workshop, or a special event, all of which challenge and engage students on different levels.

In this vein, the JBFC regularly hosts special student screenings of a wide variety of films, from new releases to featured titles in JBFC series such as Global Watch and Focus on Nature. To elevate students’ analysis of the viewing experience, participating classes receive study guides that help them draw parallels between the film and classroom content.

Most recently, on October 10, the JBFC proudly welcomed a packed house of White Plains and New Rochelle High Schools students for an advance screening of the new Thurgood Marshall biopic Marshall. Starring Chadwick Boseman as the film’s namesake and Josh Gad as his reluctant legal partner, Connecticut lawyer Sam Friedman, Marshall tells the story of an unlikely—but talented—legal duo. Poignant and timely, Marshall details how the two attorneys sought justice for their client, Joseph Spell, in the notorious State of Connecticut vs. Joseph Spell case. Set against the backdrop of Northern race relations in 1940, the film’s content feels more relevant than ever.

Following the screening of this remarkable film, students were treated to a Q&A with the film’s co-writer, Michael Koskoff, and Preston Tisdale, a lawyer who practices in Bridgeport, CT—exactly where the film’s pivotal trial takes place. This thoughtful and engaging Q&A offered students and chaperones alike valuable insight into the film’s historical accuracy and relevance to contemporary race relations. We are endlessly thankful to both the participating students and special guests, both of whom helped to make the event a huge success.

Up next is our special student screening of Jane—National Geographic’s new documentary about the life and work of trailblazing primatologist Jane Goodall—on Thursday, November 2 at 10:00 am. Interested in bringing a group of students to this special event, or just want to schedule a Classroom to Screening Room visit for a different feature film? Complete our google form HERE!

Special student screenings are announced both on our website and in our monthly Schools & Teachers E-Bulletin. If you'd like to join our mailing list or learn more about our Classroom to Screening Room program, please contact our Manager of School Programs, Sarah Lempke O'Hare, at