Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District News Article

Roxboro and Monticello Middle Attend CIFF

April 27, 2016 -- More than 150 students and adults from Roxboro Middle School took a field trip to the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) earlier this month. Students saw seven different short films from Spain, Hong Kong, Peru, Jordan, Canada, and the United States in a variety of languages, including Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic and English. The films connected to the classrooms due to their international scope, and because nearly everything that was spoken in the films was not English.

The students loved the trip and films. Many of the students had never been to the film festival before, and many ended up going on their own over break because they were so excited for the trip. Some students even expressed that this was the highlight of their school year. The students talked about how cool it was to see the films that were in the languages that they are currently learning, as well as in the locations that those languages are spoken as the primary language.

The staff that went on the trip said they were impressed by the maturity of the students, their desire for exploration and their appreciation of global culture.

As a recipient of the Ohio Arts Council Yellow School Bus Grant, Monticello Middle School Chinese, Spanish and ELA students were able to travel to the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) at Tower City on April 7. The classes viewed national and international films in their languages and other languages and cultural contexts. Due to the international scope of the films, they connected to the classroom. The short films were from Spain, Hong Kong, Peru, Jordan, Canada, and the United States. Additionally, this allowed students and teachers to experience various genres of film and appreciation of other cultures as global participants.

The ELA students saw the documentary Romeo is Bleeding. Set in Richmond, California, the film's subjects set out to write and perform a contemporary adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The film incited a discussion among the students on the importance of leadership, and they made acrostic poems inspired by their CIFF experiences. The film's writer/producer, Donte Clark, spoke to students and answered questions.

Chinese teacher Ms. Hong Zenisek took 20 students to the film festival. The students’ favorite film was a short 3-minute production called "The Guest," which is about a Chinese-American mother and daughter in Canada. The students were able to listen to the director/producer speak, and according to the teachers, they asked the great questions and really enjoyed the field trip overall. A total of 72 Monticello students and six teachers made the trip to CIFF.

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