BEF Film Festival - Spring 2014

Dear Everyone,

It is our pleasure to announce the first annual BEF Film Festival. The BEF has generously agreed to help host and fund this event. Our job is to get our students involved and get some films created to showcase at a local theater in the spring.

This year the event will focus solely on documentary films, which examine the concept of sustainability. This concept should be approached from each and every possible angle; as long as the film demonstrates a connection to the topic, it will be allowed as an entry. Any idea is fair game - my second grader might want to investigate whether wearing her cowgirl boots everyday is sustainable (or maybe that is my question), while the high schoolers I teach might wonder if only having 40 minutes for lunch is sustainable. Humor is obviously a tool and is welcomed, but please remember that the best documentary will use humor to help explore the question being addressed.

We are very excited about this being a district-wide event. The plan is to have four categories from which entries will be judged – Elementary, Middle, High School, and Open. The Open category will allow for any interested group of participants to be involved, by allowing groups to take advantage of the resources they have at their disposal (a film crew for example). The only requirement for an Open entry is that at least one BPS student be involved. The Open category would also be where collaborations between multi-grade/level school groups might fit, for example a kindergarten class that worked with a high school class. Otherwise the category would be determined by the grade levels of the student participants, K-5 = Elementary, 6-8 = Middle, and 9-12 = High School.

Films should be about 15 minutes in length. Obviously, the film will dictate what the judges think, but the expectation is that a question will be defined, explored, and some sort of resolution will be stated. This can be difficult to do in less than 15 minutes. Each entry must include a title and a list of credits at the end. The credits should acknowledge the people involved, as well as, identify any external material, songs, media, etc. that were used to make the film.
Please contact:

Peter Shaheen -
Bill McLaren -

with any questions.
Thanks and good luck!

Bill and Pete

PS - We will distribute more details about how entries should be turned in and what the deadlines will be, over the course of the next month or so. We wanted to plant the seed and invite everyone to start thinking about how this project/topic could fit into your plans for the year. We think it is going to be a great opportunity to celebrate the work we do in our classrooms and show it off to the rest of the world!