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Classroom to Screening Room presents film screenings and discussions that enrich students’ study of literature, social studies, science, world languages, and the visual and performing arts. Teachers are welcome to choose between a workshop, special screening, or a title from our education film library for their visit.

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Various Directors, 2016/2017/2018, Germany/Japan/Australia/Russia/France/UK/US/Netherlands. Shorts Program. NR.

JBFC Film Series: JBFC Kids

With a compelling range of styles and themes, Kid Flicks Two offers clever, thought-provoking films sure to inspire audiences ages 8+ to expand their horizons. In the Grand Prize award-winner Game (USA), AJ has the drive to excel but must push through obstacles to get there. Meanwhile, teamwork takes on different stripes when an odd couple of bears are forced to work together in the hilarious stop-motion short Poles Apart (UK). Plus, the CG-animated wonder Gokurōsama (France) bridges cultures and generations by showing us that even in an automated age, a little human touch can still work wonders. An additional short, Third Period (USA) by JBFC Creative Culture Alumni, Reweina Tessema, will also be included for grades 7 and up.

3rd Grade/Age 8+


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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.

5th grade/Age 10 +

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


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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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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. 

5th grade/Age 10+

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 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. 

6th Grade/Age 11+

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 Linda Goldstein Knowlton, 2011, USA. Documentary, NR.
JBFC Film Series: Global Watch

In profiling Chinese adoptees in contemporary America, this deeply moving documentary illustrates that even the most specific of experiences can be universally relatable. Of the roughly 80,000 girls who have been adopted from China since 1989—a decade after China implemented its One Child Policy—the film intimately follows four teenage girls: Haley, Jenna, Ann, and Fang. These four wise-beyond-their-years, yet typical American teens, reveal a heartbreaking sense of self-awareness as they attempt to answer the uniquely human question, “Who am I?” They meet and bond with other adoptees, some journey back to China to reconnect with the culture, and some reach out to the orphaned girls left behind. In their own ways, all attempt to make sense of their complex identities. Issues of belonging, race, and gender are brought to life through these articulate subjects, who approach life with honesty and open hearts.

Content and themes of discussion may include: Nonfiction filmmaking; racial and cultural identity; family relationships.

6th Grade/Age 11+

Content advisory: themes dealing with children feeling rejected and loss of identity. 

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

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Toronto International Film Festival

Directed by André Hörmann, 2014, Germany/USA.  Documentary Short, NR. (Shown with Inocente).

14-year-old Andrew lives with his grandmother in an underserved neighborhood of New Orleans.  His mother lives in Atlanta with her new boyfriend, and his father, a Major in the US Army, is frequently away on deployment.  This short film follows the ever-hopeful Andrew, who dreams of one day being the drum major in New Orleans' Mardi Gras Parade.  Andrew deftly navigates his life at home, on the streets, and at band practice, displaying poise, leadership, and commitment beyond his years.

7th grade/Age 12+


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Directed by Sean Fine & Andrea Nix, 2012, USA. Documentary Short, NR. (Shown with Andrew With Great Fanfare).

Like many other American children growing up in California, 15-year-old Inocente enjoys spending time with her friends and family and creating art.  But unlike many of her peers, Inocente must also deal with homelessness and her status as an undocumented immigrant.  The first Kickstarter-funded film to win an Academy Award, this documentary short explores the power of artistic expression, the face of homelessness in America, and the perseverance of hope.

7th grade/Age 12 +

Content Advisory: Themes of homelessness, attempted suicide.

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

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Directed by Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel, 2010, USA. Documentary, NR.

Every year, more than six hundred teenagers from over sixty Chicago-area schools gather for the world's largest youth poetry slam, a competition known as "Louder Than a Bomb." This film follows four teams in the run-up to the competition, capturing their lives, stories, inspirations, and methods of preparation. The film culminates as the four teams meet in the competition, an immense expression of creative energy that will change their lives forever.

Content and themes of discussion may include: Nonfiction filmmaking; the art of editing to build story; race and class; the power of creative expression.

9th grade/Age 13+

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

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Directed by Brett Morgen, 2017, US. Live Action Documentary. Rated PG.

Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage, unearthed from the National Geographic archives, award-winning director Brett Morgen (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) tells the story of Jane Goodall as a young, untrained scientist. We follow Goodall as she conducts the chimpanzee research that ultimately challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, Jane offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Goodall—a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists.

Content and themes of discussion may include: Nonfiction filmmaking; researching and using archival footage; gender; family relationships. The stunning story and cinematography will inspire conversations back in the classroom about the importance of conservation and research.

9th Grade/Age 13+

Content advisory: Chimpanzees mating and some animal violence.

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