Using the Oscars: Why I Love Them and Watch Them
February 25, 2013 in character education, Elementary Educators, Fighting world poverty, Helping Girls and Women Around the World, High School Teachers, Middle School Teachers Tags: Documentaries, inspiration, Movies, Oscars
Yesterday when I posted on Facebook for WOW! and on my Editor 911 page about The Oscars, we got fewer responses than I figured we would, and many of them were negative. It turns out everyone doesn’t love this night as much as I do–I confess I like the Hollywood glam, I like to see the people we see on the silver screen interacting with other people, and I like the emotion of the winners. I do realize that these people are being awarded for pretending to be other people and for a life that is already rich and full of rewards. But I still love it.
When I realized I wanted to write about The Academy Awards on my blog today, instead of a book, I realized that you can use the awards with kids/teens/other adults, just like you can a book. You can use some of the stories from last night to inspire others to follow their dreams, to reach for the stars, and to persevere through anything. There are two stories/award winners in particular that I feel share this theme, and their stories are below.
- Winner of Best Documentary: The winner of the Best Documentary category last night (Feb. 24, 2013) was Searching for Sugar Man about a Detroit singer-songwriter, Rodriguez, who was popular in South Africa in the 1970s (never popular in the U. S.). The singer has a strange but true story–I won’t get into that here–but what’s interesting about this film is that the director, Malik Bendjelloul, ran out of money before he finished shooting the documentary. So, instead of trying to borrow more or do a Kickstarter campaign, he downloaded a $1.99 app on to his smartphone and shot the scenes he needed on his phone! Now that’s resourceful! That’s persevering; and last night, his spirit paid off because THE MOVIE WON AN OSCAR! To read the full story and share with your middle school/high school/college students and or children, go to this link: http://news.doddleme.com/equipment/director-runs-out-of-money-turns-to-iphone-to-finish-oscar-film/
- Best Documentary Short: This moment brought tears to my eyes last night, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one! The filmmakers who won this category for the documentary, “Inocente,” brought the subject, a 19-year-old Latino girl, of their film on stage with them. The woman (whom I believe was one of the directors) who accepted the award also had tears in her eyes and said that the girl was homeless a year ago, and now she was here in front of all of these people because of her art. That caught my interest–how about you? Art is powerful, just like music, and this girl’s passion is obviously going to change her life. On Huffington Post.com, an article states: “The documentary follows the life of Mexican-born, 15-year-old Inocente Izucar, an artist living San Diego, California, who with brilliant colors and unique pieces uses art to rise from her challenging reality and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional painter.” Now Inocente is 19 and has been given a chance to display her art and make an income. The website Nonprofit Quarterly has more of the story because of the nonprofit organization, Shine Global, which is dedicated to end abuse and exploitation of children around the world through film, made the documentary. For more info on this important subject and to see why the arts are important and we should encourage our children to do them, go to this link: http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/policysocial-context/21847-nonprofit-produced-film-inocente-wins-oscar.html
Sure, it was fun last night to see Ben Affleck and George Clooney on stage accepting for Argo (an excellent film in my opinion) and to see one of my favorite, beautiful actresses, Jennifer Lawrence, win best actress. I thought Seth MacFarlane was funny most of the time, and of course, loved to see Jennifer Hudson belting out her famous song from Dreamgirls.
However, the stories that will stick with me from here on out are the two I mentioned above. I hope they touch you, too; and I hope you can find a way to share them with the young people in your life!
Don’t forget the middle-grade novel I am holding a contest to giveaway until March 1. Check out the super easy contest here.