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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning
Students Participate in Cinematic Experience at School

G.L. Roberts CVI collaborates with the Durham Region International Film Festival

By Sarah Racioppa

From October 17 to 19, approximately 600 secondary students in the Durham District School Board (DDSB) experienced the glitz and glamour of a film festival at G.L. Roberts CVI in Oshawa.

Nicole Hart (left) poses with her G.L. Roberts CVI student volunteers on the red carpet.
Nicole Hart (left) poses with her
G.L. Roberts CVI student volunteers
on the red carpet.

When the Durham Region International Film Festival (DRIFF) wanted to connect with schools to show relevant themes to students, DRIFF organizers knew that G.L. Roberts CVI was the perfect location. "We came to their [G.L. Roberts CVI's] film festival last May and we really enjoyed the student-made films, and the unique theatre space," says Erin Boshart, Board President of DRIFF.

Boshart reached out to Nicole Hart, teacher at G.L. Roberts CVI and organizer of their own film festival. Together they collaborated to bring an exclusive program of films catered specifically to students.

"DRIFF included films that are relevant for socio-economic content, curriculum connection, and topical themes that are going on in our society over tons of different disciplines," explains Hart. "All of the content is driven to have those connections, and those next-step conversations with students and teachers back in the classroom."

​The G.L. Roberts CVI lecture theatre seats 300 people.
The G.L. Roberts CVI lecture theatre
seats 300 people.

All secondary students in the DDSB were welcome to chose from either a morning or afternoon session over the three days, which included both short and full-length films from all over the world. Films included: Cradle of Champions (English language - United States), Love, Scott (English language - Canada), Rocco (Spanish language - Spain), and many more. The program distributed to schools labelled each film with a theme/educational value so teachers and students could decide which films fit best with their current place in the curriculum. Discussions were held post-screenings with filmmakers and experts discussing relevant topics with students.

Dressing the part

Students dressed up in true film festival attire and posed for photos on the red carpet outside the theatre room. "It's a celebration of art. You could feel and see the buzz of excitement with the students taking pride in how they appeared, and representing their schools," says Hart.

A future in filmmaking

Hart notes that there are various levels to the cinematic experience, "It's more than just simply experiencing a film festival. It's the idea of exploring career opportunities in the film industry." She adds, "There are so many jobs in the trades that are connected to the film industry. That post-secondary and pathway planning piece can really be incorporated into the excitement and drama of a film festival."


Durham District School Board
400 Taunton Road East,
Whitby, ON
L1R 2K6 Canada

Phone: 905-666-5500
Fax: 905-666-6474
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© Durham District School Board, 2013