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Certified Image, Sound, and Story Educators can bring their class to the JBFC campus to see a feature film from our curated Education Film Library. Screenings are followed by a facilitated discussion with JBFC education staff that focuses on making connections between the Image, Sound, and Story material being used in the classroom with a feature film.

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Directed by Tomm Moore, 2014, Ireland/Luxembourg/Belgium/France/Denmark. Narrative, PG.

From the creators of the Academy Award®-nominated The Secret of Kells comes a breathtakingly gorgeous, hand-drawn masterpiece. Based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells the story of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. Pursued by the owl witch Macha and a host of ancient and mythical creatures, Saoirse and Ben race against time to awaken Saoirse’s powers and keep the spirit world from disappearing forever.

Content and themes of discussion may include: The art of hand-drawn animation; the power of myths; family relationships, visual themes and patterns.

5th Grade/Age 10+

For additional reviews and ratings of the film visit Common Sense Media.


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Girl Boxer

Directed by Emily Sheskin, 2017, USA, Documentary Short, NR

Jesselyn “JessZilla” Silva is serious about boxing, and at 10-years-old trains seriously with dreams of becoming a professional fighter. Her father, Pedro, finds himself caught in between supporting her dream and worrying about her future in boxing.

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Caine's Arcade

Directed by Nirvan Mullick, 2012, USA, Documentary Short, NR

9-year-old Caine Monroy spent his summer vacation building an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s used auto parts store. The entire summer went by, and he never had a single customer. But Caine didn’t give up. Then, on the last day of summer, filmmaker Nirvan Mullick walked in by chance to buy an auto part for his car. Caine asked Nirvan to play, and, well, watch Caine’s Arcade to see what happened next…

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Directed by Katie Dellamaggiore, 2012, USA. Documentary, PG

This inspiring documentary tells the stories of five members of the chess team at Brooklyn I.S. 318, a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country. The film follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories.

Content and themes of discussion may include: Nonfiction filmmaking; building character connections and story arc in the editing process; economic disparities in access to education.

For additional reviews and ratings of the film visit Common Sense Media.


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Directed by Aaron Kopp and Amanda Kopp, 2018, US/Swaziland, NR

JBFC Film Series: JBFC Kids

“It is our story and there are no right answer or wrong answers, only good ideas.” Liyana is a genre-defying documentary that tells the story of five children in the Kingdom of Eswatini who turn past trauma into an original fable about a girl named Liyana who embarks on a perilous quest to save her young twin brothers. The film weaves her animated journey together with poetic documentary scenes to create an inspiring tale of perseverance and hope.

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Directed by Nora Twomey, 2017, Ireland/Canada. Animation Fiction. Rated PG-13

Based on Deborah Ellis’s award-winning novel, The Breadwinner tells the story of a young girl named Parvana who is growing up in Taliban-controlled Kabul during the early aughts. In Parvana’s world, women and girls are not permitted to earn money or leave the house without an escort. When Parvana’s father is wrongfully imprisoned, she cuts off her hair and disguises herself as a boy in order to find ways of providing for her family. Working alongside her friend Shauzia, Parvana discovers a new world of freedom–as well as danger–and she embarks on a quest to find her father and reunite her family. Executive produced by Angelina Jolie, the newest feature from filmmaker and animator Nora Twomey (The Secret of Kells) is an inspiring and heart-wrenching tale of self-discovery and self-sacrifice.

Content and themes of discussion may include: The art of hand-drawn animation; religious extremism; gender and power; family relationships. Students do not need to read the book ahead of time, the film will stand alone in the discussion.

Content Advisory: some scenes may be frightening for young viewers; children threatened, men with guns, violence and conflict.

For additional reviews and ratings of the film visit Common Sense Media.

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Directed by Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley, and Juliana Penaranda-Loftus, 2015, Paraguay. Documentary, NR. Spanish with English Subtitles.

JBFC Film Series: JBFC Kids

“The world sends us garbage. We send back music.” This is the message of the Recycled Orchestra, the most unlikely musical group you can imagine, which performs on instruments made of tin cans, scrap metal, old tubes, and other bits of junk that were tossed in the trash. Based in a notorious slum outside the Paraguayan capital—home to one of the largest landfills in South America—this is the story of a visionary music teacher, a resourceful craftsman, and an intrepid group of children who build something unimaginably beautiful out of other people’s trash. When their story went viral, the young musicians were thrust on the international stage. Leaving home for the first time, they played in the great halls of Europe, Japan, and the United States—a world they’d never imagined—and their lives were changed forever.

Content and themes of discussion may include: The environment and importance of conservation; the power of music and art; resilience.

Content advisory: mention of parent who drinks and acts violently, damage to homes caused by natural disaster, tough and impoverished living situations.

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Directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, 2018, US, Documentary, PG

This documentary follows nine high school students from around the globe as they navigate rivalries, setbacks and, hormones, on their journey to compete at The International Science and Engineering Fair. As 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries face off, only one will be named Best in Fair. The film offers a front seat to the victories, defeats and motivations of an incredible group of young men and women who are on a path to change their lives, and the world, through science.

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Directed by Debra Granik, 2018, US, PG

Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland. The film is directed by Debra Granik from a script adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini, based on the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock.

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Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, 2015, US, Documentary, NR

This documentary tells the inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. And her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she's worth $9,000. Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (Going Up the Stairs) poignantly shifts from observer to participant altering expectations, as Sonita's story unfolds in this personal and joyful portrait. An intimate portrait of creativity and womanhood, Sonita highlights the rarely seen intricacies and shifting contrasts of Iranian society through the lens of an artist who is defining the next generation.