Docs 4 Schools connects school students’ year 5 to Tertiary with documentaries from New Zealand and around the world.
Docs 4 Schools engages students with current issues, vital ideas, critical questions and new perspectives helping inspire and enrich their learning. It includes an In-theatre and an In-schools’ pilot programme.
Docs 4 Schools is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Rei Foundation.
In 2017, Docs 4 Schools launched a documentary film competition for students across three categories: primary, secondary and tertiary. Over 30 submissions were received from students across the country. The winning films were screened at Docs 4 Schools and the Doc Edge Festival in Wellington and Auckland in May/June. The competition will run again in 2018. Entries for all three categories will open in early July 2017 and close mid-January 2018.
Congratulations to our 2017 winners:
a film by Pongakawa School Media & Film Club Ruby Goldsworthy, Meg Crawford, Zoe Rive, Ruby Mae Burt, Frankie Mellish
Our In-Theatre Programme provides free screenings of New Zealand and international documentary films covering a range of themes carefully selected to interest students, year 5 to Tertiary and to support the New Zealand School Curriculum. Classroom resources are developed and provided for each film.
Check out the 2017 film listings.You can download film schedule and book films below.
Docs4Schools with the support of The Wallace Foundation has piloted an in-schools programme during term 1, 2017. Participating schools were able to select three films from the listings below to view in school for a limited period, via an online link. The pilot is currently being reviewed.
Israel/2013/90 Mins/Arabic, English, Hebrew/Hilla Medalia Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: identity, diversity, cultural differences, conflict, religion Curriculum Links: Key competencies, English, Media Studies, Social Studies, Dance. Synopsis: Former world-champ ballroom dancer, Pierre Dulaine returns to Jaffa to fulfill his lifelong dream of teaching dance to Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli children. Dancing in Jaffa follows four children, all of whom who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation and racial prejudice, as they dance with their enemy. With the guidance of Pierre, the children, who live uneasily side-by-side, learn to dance together and trust one another.
Australia/2012/95 Mins/English with some subtitles/Genevieve Bailey
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: Identity, diversity, cultural differences, relationships, growing up Curriculum Links: key competencies, English, media studies, social studies Synopsis: Eleven-year-olds from fifteen different countries and cultures share what is valued both privately and publicly in their lives, as well as their thoughts on issues such as love, war, terrorism, culture, family, happiness, religion and the future with remarkable humour, honesty and wisdom. From suburban living in America to bathing with elephants in Thailand, I Am Eleven takes the audience around the globe in a warm and life-affirming account of what it is like to be eleven today.
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: sport, competing, puberty, gender equality, cultural differences Curriculum Links: key competencies, social studies, media studies, English Synopsis: Half Hawaiian, half Samoan, Teshya Alo is 16 years old and weighs just 56kilos. But on the judo and wrestling mats, she throws women twice her age and kilos heavier. And she beats boys. Now, she has her sights set on taking gold at both the judo and wrestling world championships–and eventually the Olympics. She is younger and less experienced than her opponents. Follow Teshya and her family over four years as she faces the challenges of growing up and achieving her dream.
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: identity, diversity, gender equality, growing up, LGBT, social activism Curriculum Links: key competencies, English, Media Studies Synopsis: Follow the lives of four Australian kids – Gus, Ebony, Matt and Graham – whose parents all happen to be gay. As they each wrestle with oncoming puberty, the outside world wrestles with the issue of marriage equality, and whether or not kids of same-sex families are at risk. The film looks at the kids’ points of view. It is a contemporary and moving portrait of same-sex families that offers a refreshingly frank picture of what truly counts in modern life.
USA/Pakistan/2015/82 Mins/English and subtitles/ Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Suitability: Year 9-13 Themes: cultural and religious differences, persecution Curriculum Links: Music, social studies, media studies Synopsis: Lahore was a centre of musical culture – until Sharia Law was introduced in 1977 and music was deemed sinful. Musicians went underground with their music, largely playing secretly in private homes. Following the easing of restrictions, an amazing recording of the famous jazz composition “Take Five” goes viral on YouTube. A group of Pakistani musicians are invited by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis to perform at Lincoln Center in New York. This is a story about Pakistan –its people, not its politics and how music has the ability to bring people together across cultural divides.
Germany/Switzerland/Iran/2015 90 Mins /English and subtitles/ Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Suitability: Year 9-13 Themes: gender equality, religious/cultural differences, conflict, musical expression, social justice Curriculum Links: media studies, social studies, English, music Synopsis: Fourteen year old Afghani refugee, Sonita, is living an impoverished childhood on the streets of Tehran. She finds her voice through the power and beauty of rap. Sonita imagines herself a superstar rapper. Sonita doesn’t rap about love or fame – she raps defiantly about her experience as an Afghan teenager at odds with her sexist surroundings. She’s an activist, only she’s too young to really know it. Sonita’s estranged mother makes a surprise visit from Afghanistan. It isn’t long before she makes her intentions known: she has re-entered her daughter’s life to bring her home and sell her as a bride, for $9,000, so the family can buy Sonita’s brother a wife of his own. With the help of the filmmaker Sonita is able to escape an uncertain future and forge a new life.
Suitability: Year 9-13 Themes: obesity, food, nutrition, corruption, world health Curriculum Links: key competencies, health social studies, media studies Synopsis: How did the food industry get us to stop asking the question: is sugar toxic? It all starts with a secret PR campaign dating back to the 1970s. For forty years, Big Sugar deflected all threats to its multi-billion dollar empire, while sweetening the world’s food supply. As obesity, diabetes, and heart disease rates skyrocket, doctors are now treating the first generation of children suffering from fatty liver disease. The sugar industry is once again under siege. They dodged the bullet once. Will they do it again?
Suitability: Year 11-13 Themes: Gun control, activism, religion, racial equality, conflict Curriculum Links: social studies, media studies, English Synopsis: This is a powerful film that will spark much debate amongst students. Follow Reverend Rob Schenck, anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, as he questions whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life. Along the way, Rev.Schenck meets Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager who was murdered in Florida and whose story has cast a spotlight on “Stand Your Ground” laws. McBath, also a Christian, decides to work with Schenck even though she is pro-choice.
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: disability, diversity, growing up, relationships Curriculum Links: key competencies, English, Media Studies Synopsis: Join a group of teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum as they prepare for an iconic American rite of passage – a spring dance. They spend 12 weeks practicing their social skills in preparation for the dance at a local night club. Working with their psychologist, they take the challenges expressed in their respective therapy groups from one level to the next: picking dates, dresses, and ultimately a King and Queen of the Prom.
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: poverty, gender equality, diversity, cultural differences, teens Curriculum Links: key competencies, English, media studies, social studies Synopsis: In the Game follows the ups and downs of a girls’ soccer team in a low-income area of Chicago. Set in a primarily Hispanic neighborhood, Kelly High School on Chicago’s south side is an inner city public school struggling to provide the basics for their students, many of whom do not make it to college, either because they cannot compete academically or because their families do not have the financial resources to send them to college. In the Game is a documentary about how race, class and gender impact the lives and futures of inner city girls. But this is not just a film about loss. Stan (coach) is trying to teach the girls about soccer. He’d like to see them win a game. But more importantly he is using soccer to teach the girls how to win in life.
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: climate change, activism, ecology, cultural change, diversity Curriculum Links: Social Studies, Science, Geography, Media Studies Synopsis: Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything takes a different look at the vast challenge of climate change. Inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. The film aims to empower people to take action, to work together to address the greatest challenge of our time.
New Zealand/2014/ 53 mins/English/Kathleen Mantell
Suitability: Year 9-13 Themes: suicide, depression, health and wellbeing, relationships, whanau Curriculum Links: health, English, media studies Synopsis: In the past two years, well-known comedian Mike King has turned his attention to suicide prevention amongst young Kiwis. This is the story of his work in the community with youth and whanau to challenge and reduce the statistics. The film includes heartfelt insights from students at local high schools. Mike will be in attendance at the screenings and will be available to answer questions.
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: sustainability, environment, social action, fashion Curriculum Links: key competencies, social studies, science, media studies, English Synopsis: We now live in a disposable clothes society. We’re wearing more man-made fibres and buying more clothes than ever before. Former Blur bassist, Alex James is on a mission to discover why. He looks at the environmental impact, exploitation of workers in garment factories and asks can anything slow down fast fashion?.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Monday 15 May | 10.00am Auckland Q Theatre: Monday 29 May | 10.00am
Denmark/2016/76 Mins/English and Subtitles/ Andreas Johnsen
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: food, sustainability, hunger, globalisation, environment, culture Curriculum Links: key competencies, social studies, science, media studies, food tech, English Synopsis: Insects as food is a hot topic. Particularly since the UN recommended edible insects as a resource to combat world hunger. Follow the team from the Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen as they travel the world talking to some of the two billion people who already eat insects. They forage, farm, cook and taste insects with communities all over the world. As they travel the globe some hard questions emerge: are insects a mirror that reflects our broken food systems, or the silver bullet that will fix them?.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Tuesday 16 May | 10.00am (screening 2 sessions at the same time) Auckland Q Theatre: Tuesday 30 May | 10.00am
New Zealand/2017/38 mins/English/Mason Cade Packer
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: challenge, identity, leadership, male representation, relationships, social media Curriculum Links: Key competencies, English, Media Studies Synopsis: The Common Touch is the incredible story of Christchurch Boys High School Senior Monitor Jake Bailey who was diagnosed with cancer just days before his graduation and told that he only had three weeks to live. From his wheelchair, Jake delivers an incredibly memorable address which one of his classmates films. It goes viral (having attracted almost 2 million views to date on YouTube) touching the hearts of people all around the world. The Common Touch tells Jake’s story from before his diagnosis to present day.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Thursday 18 May | 12.30pm Auckland Q Theatre: Wednesday 31 May | 10.00am Thursday 1 June | 10.00am
USA/2016/8 Mins/Arabic English subtitles/Jodie Livingston
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: conflict, refugees, displacement, emigration, persecution, identity, culture, families Curriculum Links: Key competencies, Social Studies, English, Media Studies Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Fatima, tells her story of escape from war in Syria as she tries to rebuild her life and pursue her dreams of music and school. Schools for refugees in Lebanon are referred to as safe zones.
Short #2: We are people too: stories from the Jungle
USA/2016/22 mins/English and subtitles/Stephanie Meurer
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: conflict, refugees, displacement, emigration, persecution, identity, culture, families Curriculum Links: Key competencies, Social Studies, English, Media Studies Synopsis: Share the stories and experiences of volunteers, workers and refugees at the infamous camp ‘the jungle’ located just outside Calais, France.
Short #3: Bitter Sweet
New Zealand/2016/14 Mins/English/ Ella Becroft & Ilai Amir
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: conflict, refugees, displacement, emigration, persecution, identity, culture, families Curriculum Links: Key competencies, Social Studies, English, Media Studies Synopsis: Bitter Sweet follows Mixit, an Auckland-based refugee youth arts project, as they reimagine Shakepeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Wednesday 17 May | 12.30pm & Friday 19 May | 10.00am Auckland Q Theatre: Thursday 25 May | 12.30pm & Thursday 01 June | 12.30pm
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: climate change, environment, culture, natural disasters Curriculum Links: Key competencies, Social Studies, Science, Geography, Media Studies, English Synopsis: Something is changing in the Pacific Ocean. Tidal levels are increasing, crops are failing, storms are more powerful, and land is being eroded – all of this impacting the children of the region. The indigenous peoples of the Pacific have nowhere to run as climatic changes bring frequent disaster to their shores. Living with constant fear, island communities are forced to face the prospect of having to relocate away from their ancestral homes and start a new life as climate refugees without the connection to their past and sacred sites.
Short #2: Meet Peter
New Zealand/2016/14 mins/English/Gemma Duncan
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: environment, culture, geology, community, urban planning, population Curriculum Links: Key competencies, Science, geography, media studies, English Synopsis: Did you know there are over 200 caves lying under Auckland city? For the last 50 years these 30,000+ years old, caves have been carefully documented by Peter. Journey with Peter as he uncovers these fascinating hidden treasures many of which are disappearing as Auckland’s urban sprawl continues.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Monday 15 May | 12.30pm Auckland Q Theatre: Monday 29 May | 12.30pm (**fully booked**)
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: identity, diversity, female representation, sport, religion, families Curriculum Links: Key competencies, English, Media Studies, Social Studies Synopsis: Naomi seems like a typical nine-year-old girl, until her passion for powerlifting transforms her life with world record-breaking championships and national news headlines. SUPERGIRL explores Naomi’s coming-of-age journey as she and her Orthodox Jewish family are changed forever by her inner strength and extraordinary talent.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Friday 12 May | 12.30pm Auckland Q Theatre: Friday 26 May | 12.30pm
New Zealand/2017/47 Mins/English/Fiona Apanui-Kupenga
Suitability: Year 9-13 Themes: bullying, male representation, identity, sport, competition, Maori culture Curriculum Links: key competencies, social studies, media studies, English Synopsis: Former All Black Norm Hewitt and actor Manu Bennett (The Hobbit, Spartacus, Arrow) share their first-hand accounts of bullying with heart wrenching honesty. A very powerful insight into bullying at school and in the home, from both sides.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Thursday 18 May | 12.30pm (**fully booked**) Auckland Q Theatre: Tuesday 30 May | 12.30pm
Suitability: Year 7-13 Themes: Maori culture, World War 1, identity, preservation, community, family Curriculum Links: key competencies, social studies, science, English Synopsis: Uncover the story of a Maori soldier from Whanganui who lost his life 100 years ago in World War 1 fighting on the battlefields of Belgium. Memoralised in stone on the top of a monument that sits in in the gardens of Pakaitore, his story had been lost until a community came together to restore the monument and the story behind it.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Tuesday 16 May | 12.30pm Auckland Q Theatre: Wednesday 31 May | 12.30pm
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: relationships, conflict, diversity, growing up, inequality, poverty, education Curriculum Links: key competencies, English, Media Studies, Music, Social Studies Synopsis: In the award-winning short documentary film Joe’s Violin, a donated musical instrument forges an improbable friendship between 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold and 12-year-old Bronx school girl Brianna Perez, showing how the power of music can bring light in the darkest of times and how a small act can have a great impact.
Short #2: Forever Home
USA/2016/14 Mins/English/Rachel Korman
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: relationships, families, siblings, growing up, challenges, homelessness, inequality, acceptance Curriculum Links: Key competencies, English, Media Studies, Social Studies Synopsis: A unique look into the lives of 10 children (former foster kids) who have been adopted by their foster carers. The children ranging in age from 10 – 20 talk about the challenges they faced before Eric and Jaci Hasemeyer decided to give them a ‘Forever Home’. Totally relatable for Kiwi kids these likeable youngsters discuss homelessness, parents in jail, not fitting in etc.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Thursday 18 May | 10.00am Auckland Q Theatre: Friday 2 June | 10.o0am
Suitability: Year 10-13 Themes: art as expression, creativity, painting, modern art Curriculum Links: key competencies, art, English, media studies Synopsis: A unique look at one of New Zealand’s most celebrated living artists: Max Gimblett. Experience Max’s creative genius as he creates his art in his Soho Studio in New York where he has lived for the last 40 years. An intimate portrayal that provides real insight into the man, his art, his life as a Buddhist and the people around him.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Thursday 18 May | 10.00am Auckland Q Theatre: Thursday 01 June | 10.00am
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: conflict, social action, identity, culture, social media, refugees Curriculum Links: key competencies, social studies, science, media studies, English Synopsis: From her bedroom in the Chicago suburbs, an American Arab teenage girl takes on the role of a revolutionary. Rather than traditional weapons of resistance, she uses social media to coordinate the revolution in Syria. Armed with Facebook, Twitter, Skype and camera phones, Ala’a Basatneh helps her social network ‘on the ground’ in Syria to brave snipers and shelling in the streets, allowing them to show the world the human rights atrocities of the Syrian dictator.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Thursday 11 May | 10.00am & Friday 19 May 12.30pm Auckland Q Theatre: Thursday 25 May | 10.00am & Friday 2 June 12.30pm
Suitability: Year 5-13 Themes: conservation, environment, social action Curriculum Links: key competencies, Social Studies, science, Geography, English, Media Studies Synopsis: Naledi tells the true story of a baby elephant born into a rescue camp in the Botswana wilderness. When she’s suddenly orphaned at one month, the keepers and scientist looking after the herd become tireless surrogate mothers to keep her alive. Scientist, Mike Chase is not only fighting to keep Naledi alive he’s also launched the most ambitious census ever of African elephants; a last ditch effort to help them survive the seemingly never-ending onslaught of ivory poachers.
SCREENING SCHEDULE Wellington Roxy Cinema: Friday 12 May | 10.00am (**fully booked**) Friday 12 May | 12.30am (**additional screening**)