Thursday, December 10, 2015

Latest Media & Arts: Aging in Prison; Metaphor, Diversity, and Poetry

The Integrated Arts & Media presentations from CSWE's 61st Annual Program Meeting have been posted. These presentations include a lesson plan composed of at least one EPAS competency, one liberal arts area, and one audio/video element.

Integrating Media and Arts in Social Work Education:
The Example of Aging in Prison

Anne D. Katz (University of Southern California) and Joanne Altschuler (California State University, Los Angeles)

Inmates aged 55 and older are the fastest growing age group in U.S. prisons and generally have a lower level of physical and mental health compared to their community counterparts. This presentation integrates media and arts in social work education as well as addresses incarcerated older adults, ageism, and gender issues.

Standpoint and Metaphor:
Exploring Gender and Cultural Diversity Through Poetry

Michelle Emery Blake (Austin Peay State University)

This session, incorporated into the course Social Work and the Arts, was designed to employ both existing and participant-written poetry to facilitate discussion about gender and cultural diversity. The current format adds the component of visual metaphor (art).



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Audience Choice Awardees, CSWE 2015 Film Festival.

Director Maureen Fura and Sacramento’s KVIE Public Television are the recipients of the CSWE Audience Choice Award for their respective documentaries Dark Side of the Full Moon and A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness, featured at the CSWE 2015 Film Festival.

Fura’s film portrays mental health issues of mothers that may be misunderstood or receive inadequate treatment. KVIE Public Television’s documentary tells stories of hope, resilience, and recovery of Californians facing mental health challenges. Excerpts from the films may be viewed here.

Dark Side of the Full Moon and A New State of Mind were two of six films selected for the film festival at the 61st Annual Program Meeting as part of CSWE’s continuing efforts to highlight classroom resources for social work educators. Audience members rated the films.

Monday, November 9, 2015

American Indian Heritage Month:
Bringing Our Children Home.

November is American Indian Heritage Month. The Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts/Court Improvement Program, the National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues, and the National Resource Center for Tribes have developed the documentary Bringing Our Children Home: An Introduction to the Indian Child Welfare Act. It includes testimonies from Native Americans who were adopted outside their tribe, discussions of the effect of these adoptions on the individuals and their communities, and the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Monday, November 2, 2015

National Adoption Month: Feeling Wanted.

In time for November's National Adoption Month is a new short documentary, Feeling Wanted, by Yasmin Mistry of the Foster Care Film and Engagement Project that strives to "dispel negative stereotypes about foster care." It follows the journey of an African American girl who has a mother with substance use issues, a father in prison, difficulties in foster care, and a determination to make a better life for herself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Stage Presence receives CSWE Virtual Ovation Award.

Filmmakers Hannah Merritt (left)
and Flannery Wasson
Stage Presence, a documentary by University of Arkansas graduates Hannah Merritt and Flannery Wasson that features a bi-gender drag queen and a female comedian, has received the CSWE 2015 Virtual Ovation Award, including a $500 prize. Stage Presence, one of nine student-made films selected for CSWE's 2015 Virtual Film Festival, may be viewed for a limited time. To order the film, consult the festival's order information flyer.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Film study guide, American Heart.

A new, free film study guide has been posted for American Heart, Chris Newberry's film on refugee health care that was part of the CSWE 2014 Film Festival. The award-winning documentary takes viewers on an intimate journey into the lives of three refugees who now call America home.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Time's running out: CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival.

View and rate the nine student films in CSWE's 2015 Virtual Film Festival before the festival closes on September 14. The winning film (determined by audience rankings) will receive a $500 prize.
  • Listen to Elizabeth Foxwell, CSWE's film festival coordinator, explain the purpose of the Virtual Film Festival. 
  • Listen to Alexandrina André talk about her film The Colors of Stetson.
  • See Glee L. Dunbar, Ali M. Kiser, Ashley N. Tucker, and Miriam M. Hill, the filmmakers of Misunderstood: The Voice Behind the Cardboard, talk about their film (below).
  • See Hannah Merritt and Flannery Wasson talk about their film Stage Presence (below), or read the blog post.
  • Read Diana Guerrero's blog post on her film Life After Iraq and Amy Kasparian's blog post on the short films that compose Women in the Law.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Film study guide,
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall.

There's a new, free film study guide for Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, the film directed by Edgar Barens that was the Audience Choice Award winner from the CSWE 2014 Film Festival. The Oscar-nominated film breaks through the walls of one of America's oldest maximum security prisons to tell the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner and the hospice volunteers, who also are prisoners and care for him.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Behind the Screen: Two short films on women in the law.

Note: Moving Pictures is featuring the student filmmakers from the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival sharing the stories behind the making of their films. Learn how you can see the films and vote for the Virtual Ovation Award. The award--a $500 prize--will be presented to the top-ranked film in the Virtual Film Festival, as determined by the audience.

Filmmaker Amy Kasparian (Suffolk University) explains below the background to the short films Women in the Law and Thinking in Gender Terms of the Law Firm.

Representatives of the National Association of Women Lawyers
en route to meeting with President Herbert Hoover, Apr 2, 1930.
Front row, left to right: Oregon attorney Olive Stott Gabriel,
Washington College of Law dean Grace Hays Riley,
Mississippi attorney Laura Berrien, and
future District Court judge Burnita Shelton Matthews.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Div.
We produced Women in the Law as students in a course at Suffolk University Law School in Boston taught by Kate Nace Day, a seasoned filmmaker and the founder of Film and Law Productions. Her short documentary A Civil Remedy (featured in the CSWE 2014 Film Festival) focuses on domestic sex trafficking and the need to place new legal tools in the hands of survivors.

With Kate’s guidance and inspiration, we set out to create our own short films about what it means to be a woman in the law. As true students of the law, our work began with a lot of reading. We read about the historical foundations for women’s claims to formal equality; we read constitutional law cases about women’s rights to equal treatment; we read cases about remedying past discrimination; we read accounts of women in the legal profession; we read about domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, reproductive health, and prostitution.

Then, we read about the filmmaking process. The book Documentary Storytelling: Creative Nonfiction on Screen by Sheila Curran Bernard proved to be a useful tool for first-time filmmakers. The book served as a step-by-step guide and helped answer our questions as we made our films.

The hardest part of creating a film for our particular group was unique: We spent weeks trying to decide on a topic as a class. Ultimately, we realized that instead of compromising and settling on one story, we should divide and make our own. That way, people would be free to express their experiences in their own ways.

When all was said and done, we realized these two films complemented each other by reflecting on what it means to be a modern woman in the legal profession. My film with Hannah Alberstadt, Women in the Law, was more of a pensive, serious reflection of the present state of female progression within the legal field. Michael L'Homme’s film Thinking in Gender Terms of the Law Firm served as a more lighthearted expression of the subtle realities faced by women in the modern workplace.

Together, we think our films create a comprehensive statement about the current status of women in the legal profession. Ultimately, we hope our documentaries will start a dialogue and encourage viewers to share their own stories about what it means to be a woman in the law or any other profession.




Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Official Selection, CSWE 2015 Film Festival.

Take a sneak peek at the six films selected for the CSWE 2015 Film Festival that will be held at the Annual Program Meeting in Denver in October. The annual film festival is part of CSWE’s ongoing efforts to showcase multimedia tools for social work educators that can enhance teaching and learning of social work concepts. The film topics featured in this year’s festival range from mental illness stigma and postpartum depression to domestic violence, mothers in recovery from substance use, and older adults navigating the world of speed dating.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Behind the Screen:
Stepping Toward the Lion--Finding My Story.

Filmmaker John Lyden
Note: Moving Pictures is featuring the student filmmakers from the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival sharing the stories behind the making of their films. Learn how you can see the films and vote for the Virtual Ovation Award. The award--a $500 prize--will be presented to the top-ranked film in the Virtual Film Festival, as determined by the audience.

In time for today's International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression and June's Student Safety Month. filmmaker John Lyden (College of St. Rose) explains below the background to Stepping Toward the Lion, his film about a young Muslim American finding his voice via an innovative program for addressing bullying.

Stepping Toward the Lion: Finding My Story showcases the intense struggles of Alaudeen Umar, a young African American Muslim, as he transitions from an all-Muslim school to a nondenominational charter school. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Alaudeen faced prejudice and bullying in this new environment, something that caused him considerable insecurity. As a proactive step to help him to deal with the bullying, Alaudeen’s family searched out and found a local interfaith storytelling group called Children at the Well.

The film depicts his transformation, going from being a bully victim in school, unsure and confused with his religion, to embracing his identity and becoming a versatile and talented storyteller.



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Behind the Screen: Stage Presence.

Filmmakers Hannah Merritt (left) and Flannery Wasson
Note: Moving Pictures is featuring the student filmmakers from the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival sharing the stories behind the making of their films. Learn how you can see the films and vote for the Virtual Ovation Award. The award--a $500 prize--will be presented to the top-ranked film in the Virtual Film Festival, as determined by the audience.

During June's LGBT Pride Month, filmmaker Flannery Wasson (Univ of Arkansas) explains below the background to Stage Presence, the film she made with Hannah Merritt.

Stage Presence was created in our college town of Fayetteville that is nestled in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. We could have easily shot the picturesque nature scenes around us, but instead we chose to spend 8 months in smoky bars and loud nightclubs burning through batteries late into the night. 

Stage Presence follows two young people who use performance as a means to express themselves and address gender stereotypes. Moises identifies as bi-gender and has just begun to perform as Valerie at drag shows as a way to connect with and explore both gender identities. He’s always felt there was more to discover even after coming out in his teens, so he has finally decided to break into the growing drag scene in northwestern Arkansas. Whitney is a rising stand-up comedian who writes material that doesn’t include typical "female" jokes. As a former peer health educator, she’s become known for crafting jokes that challenge making light of sexual assault. New to performing, she’s continually looking to establish herself and find her voice on stage.

Stage Presence gives you perspective into performers’ lives to see what motivates them to ignore the risks and nerves and get on stage to share their craft. It was important to us to capture the moments you don’t usually have access to when you are just an audience member. It’s not often that people can have conversations with stand-up comedians or drag queens, so we wanted to make sure to make a film that gives you the intimate look into their lives. Hannah and I had never made a documentary before creating Stage Presence, and we did so as undergraduates in a graduate-level course. In the end, we ended up with a film that we are immensely proud of and eager to share. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Behind the Screen: Forgiven.

Filmmaker John Lyden
Note: Moving Pictures is featuring the student filmmakers from the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival sharing the stories behind the making of their films. Learn how you can see the films and vote for the Virtual Ovation Award. The award consists of a $500 prize and will be presented to the top-ranked film in the Virtual Film Festival, as determined by the audience.

During May's National Military Appreciation Month, filmmaker John Lyden (College of St. Rose) explains below the background to his film Forgiven.

Forgiven was made for a school assignment. Students had to choose something they were particularly passionate about and convey that through some artistic medium, whether it be music, prose, poetry, or film.  I have always been fascinated with grief and how people hide from their pasts. The struggle faced by soldiers in adapting to everyday life after coming home from war is an arduous and confusing journey.  

I wanted to channel my fascination with that subject into a short, silent film. I picked some very talented local actors whom I knew could perform their roles without speaking any lines. I often feel dialogue can take people out of a story; the most powerful moments in film and in life are the unspoken ones.  

This film serves as a portrait of what we have been seeing in this country for the last few years with soldiers returning home. War is probably the most devastating phenomenon on this earth. I hope Forgiven is seen as a tool for what we can learn about the psychological effects war has on individuals.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Behind the Screen: Life After Iraq.

Filmmaker Diana Guerrero
Note: Moving Pictures is featuring the student filmmakers from the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival sharing the stories behind the making of their films. Learn how you can see the films and vote for the Virtual Ovation Award. The award consists of a $500 prize and will be presented to the top-ranked film in the Virtual Film Festival, as determined by the audience.

During May's National Military Appreciation Month, filmmaker Diana Guerrero (Univ of Maryland-Shady Grove) explains below the background to her film Life After Iraq.

Life After Iraq tells the story of Dario DiBattista---Marine veteran; author of the war memoir Go Now, You Are Forgiven; and instructor in the nonprofit Veterans Writing Project. In the film, he explains what he experienced before, during, and after being deployed to the Middle East during the War on Terror, also known as Global War on Terrorism. In addition, the documentary relates what Dario is doing now and how he feels about his experiences in Iraq.

Scene from Life After Iraq
Life After Iraq allowed me to further research the lives of multiple veterans who have suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). My goal is to raise awareness and explain what it really is to overcome such experiences and come back to “normal.”

Dario has a busy schedule, so we decided to meet at Baltimore Community College and shoot or interview there. The original idea for the mood of the interview was to incorporate a chiaroscuro technique, which added a more dense mood to the overall documentary. However, some complications occurred once I began editing, and I had to shoot the interview all over again. But persistence and patience do have their rewards in the end.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

See the films in CSWE's 2015 Virtual Film Festival.

Scene from Diana Guerrero's Life After Iraq
(part of the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival)
View, rank, and discuss the nine films selected for the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival. The festival’s student-produced films focus on areas such as Alaska Natives, gender identity, homelessness, interfaith outreach, race/diversity, schizophrenia, and veteran readjustment. The winner of the Virtual Ovation Award—the top-ranked film of the festival, as determined by the audience—will receive a $500 prize.

How to Participate
  1. Sign into or register for Google+
  2. Go to "Communities"
  3. Search for "CSWE Film Festivals" and click on the Film Festival logo
  4. Click on "Ask to Join"
Once you are a community member, you will be able to see the films and complete the short rating forms online. The festival is expected to run until September 14.

Questions? E-mail Film Festival Coordinator.

Below: Trailer for Stage Presence, a film in the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival.



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Official selection, CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival.

View the Official Selection for the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival, which features student-made films related to social work. Topics range from schizophrenia and homelessness to cultural competence, the life of a drag queen, and the readjustment of veterans.

Want to see the films and vote for the Virtual Ovation Award? Contact Film Festival Coordinator.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Call for entries, CSWE 2015 Film Festival.

Filmmakers can now submit their social work-related films for consideration in the CSWE 2015 Film Festival. A popular annual event with social work educators and students, the 2015 festival will be held at the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting in Denver, CO, from October 16-18, 2015. The following links may be useful:

• General film festival information
• Official entry form

Not sure if a film is suitable? See the Official Selection for the CSWE 2014 Film Festival, review a flyer that lists all past festival films by topic, or check the list of APM Tracks. The deadline for entries is June 5, 2015. There is a 20% discount on the entry fee if filmmakers submit by May 29.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Video from WHO.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. This video from the World Health Organization, Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect, features the stories of seven individuals who experienced abuse as children.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Film: Med students on their relationships with patients.

Penn State Hershey's College of Medicine has posted the short film Lessons Learned: Students Discuss the Lessons They Learned From Their Patients. The insights of these medical students may be of interest to social work educators and students, as students contemplate their relationships with clients in field placements and their future practice.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New additions to CSWE's Integrated Arts & Media Web Page.

There are two new presentations now offered on CSWE's Integrated Arts & Media Web page:
  • Integrating Content on Human Trafficking With Audiovisual Media
    in Classrooms
    Nairruti Suketubhai Jani and Thomas Felke (Florida Gulf Coast University)
  • Lesson Plan: The Global Origins and Practice of Critical Social Work—
    Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed
    Juliana Svistova, Lara Bowen, and Meera Bhat (University at Albany, SUNY)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Call for entries, CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival.

Students can now submit their social work-related films to the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival and be eligible to win a $500 prize. The entry deadline is February 27, 2015. Visit the Call for Entries Web page for full details.

View clips from the winners of the 2013 and 2014 Virtual Film Festivals.

Wondering if a certain film subject qualifies? Take a look at the 2015 APM Tracks for ideas about subject matter, or view the Official Selections for the 2014 festival and 2013 festival.