Bronson Allen: Filmmaker, Teacher and Guest Commentator.
We continue on the topic of engagement from a more practical ‘out-in-the-field’ point of view in a conversation with Bronson Allen, independent filmmaker in Toronto, Canada (Bronfilms) who also works as a documentarian and teacher for Inner City Angels, a charity that endeavors to bring arts education to under-served schools in the Greater Toronto area.
When asked how the art of filmmaking engages young participants, Allen, who has been with Inner City Angels for 4 years, replied this way:
“Filmmaking is inherently a collaborative art, even if it's just a kid with a camera and an actor to put in front of it, there's a collaboration going on there.
"So there's always an element of children having to work together as one in order to achieve a collective goal. And when that goal is rewarding, as finishing a piece of art, or making a movie always is, there's a collective joy that comes along with seeing your team's success.
“Also, there's a sense of connection that comes from kids seeing talent in their classmates. When I got the students to make short videos and then show them to the class, there would be a collective "Whoa!" or "Awesome!" when a classmate's video had shown where the filmmaker did something particularly impressive such as cool camera movement or funny acting.
“It's as if they've just seen a magic trick, and they're surprised because they didn't know their classmate was a magician.
“Film allows kids to express themselves, whether it's just how they uniquely set up a shot, or the sense of humor they reveal when they're in front of the camera.
"Then, in turn, when showing their work to their peers, their fellow students are able to connect with them on another level, through admiration or respect for their work, or just a better understanding of who they are.
“And when every child has to put their art out there to be seen by the others, it makes it more commonplace and therefore the kids are less likely to be harshly critical to the other student’s art, when they themselves are putting their work up to be judged. “
Inner City Angels has been around since 1969. Today, in collaboration with sponsors, they offer art workshops that span the curriculum, with lesson plans aroundtopics such as Ancient Civilizations, First Nations, Colour Theory, Life Cycle and Systems, Paint like the Masters,etc.*
The charity brings many volunteer artists, from many disciplines, into the classroom: painters, sculptors, artisans, graffiti artists, puppeteers and musicians, and more.
Thank you, Bronson Allen, Toronto Filmmaker and Inner City Angels Volunteer.
BY: DOROTHY NIXON
Contributing from Montreal, Quebec CN
Source: Inner City Angels