The California Film Institute’s Education program was able to expand its outreach well beyond the San Francisco Bay Area during this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival, held online for the second year. As a result, over 12,000 teachers and students from 114 different schools in 25 states were able to take advantage of the free film screenings, filmmaker conversations and curriculum resources.
“We’ve always believed that film is a crucial window for students to learn about themselves and the world,” said Joanne Parsont, director of education at the California Film Institute. “But the pandemic presented us with a unique challenge. So, while the world was still shutting down, we quickly adapted our education model to an online platform, developed new curricula, and connected students to filmmakers worldwide. No longer limited by geography, our online programs are now accessible to youth within the county and youth across the country — all at no cost to students or schools.”
Thanks to the support of local partners, students were given the opportunity to speak with filmmakers in person, either on or near their school campuses. This included a visit to the Marin School of the Arts in Novato by acclaimed Director Mike Mills (20th Century Women), who spoke with students after a screening of his latest film, C’mon, C’mon, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Gaby Hoffmann.
Boosted by $10,000 raised by Make It Better Foundation’s selfie fundraiser during the festival and an ongoing year-end appeal, CFI Education aims to double its impact in 2022. With both in-person and online programs, the program aims to reach over 20,000 students and expand to more than 100 cities.
Learn more about CFI Education and how to support its work here.