Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Changing Perception Film Screening: A Swarthmore College Blueprint Program with Chester Upland Students

Chester Upland Student Filmmakers from the Blueprint Program at Swarthmore College

A film screening of Chester Upland School District students’ films was held at the Swarthmore College Lang Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. The Blueprint program has partnered with the district for about 10 years helping students to learn filming and editing of films. This semester 40 Chester Upland students from Chester High School, STEM, and Cardinal O’Hara teamed up with instructor Roseann Liu and Swarthmore students to produce a series of short films changing common perceptions of Chester’s community, its school, and its youth. The students trained for 2 days per week and some Saturdays since January. 

From the event description: “What comes to mind when you think of Chester? Urban blight? A school district on life support? These perceptions, at best, only tell a partial story of what Chester is about.” The student filmmakers tried to challenge popular perceptions of Chester by telling their own stories, from their own perspectives through film. “But these films also explore Chester students’ own changing perceptions of themselves, their peers, their community, and their life trajectories.” A very engaging audience viewed, “Dear Chester…”, “Chester: What Brings Us Together”, “Beyond Education: Seeking A Brighter Future”, and “It’s Not So Bad After All.”

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