Students at Woodstock Union High School (in 2012, 2013) and Harwood Union High School (in 2013) learned the basics of documentary filmmaking and then produced short films about their lives. The students' films included a look at their family histories, their present lives, and reflections on their hopes for the future. The students accomplished all of this in Spanish.
In January 2013 and January 2014 Scott Miller visited Nicaragua to work with students in El Tránsito, a small fishing village on the Pacific coast. Over the course of a month, Scott hosted filmmaking workshops at El Tránsito Centro de Artes. Students designed, filmed, and edited their own short documentaries about their communities and their lives growing up in Nicaragua.
Then the students in Vermont and the students in Nicaragua watched each other’s films and have been in touch with each other via Vimeo (in the video comments), on Facebook, and through a Skype conversation.
The process of making short, personal films reveals both the individuality of the filmmaker and the culture in which he or she lives, and allows young people to share their unique perspectives with each other and all of us. Exchanging these stories internationally is a way to learn about another culture, establish real connections, and make global issues personal.