PARK CITY, LOS ANGELES – School Stories, a new multi-channel short film, screenplay and social media festival, will launch this February to highlight the struggles, challenges and triumphs most students keep secret when dealing with modern day academic stresses and the universally challenging written language and standardized test based school system.
The School Stories team is initially reaching out through social media (Facebook/School-Stories: http://on.fb.me/1QwimUH and Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stories2016 to engage participants in the School Stories Film Festival. The content of the festival will also become key elements of the cross-media School Stories television series, also launching in 2016.
Participants can express themselves in many ways: making a smart phone film, posting a slide show or screenplay outline, developing a social media presence through pictures, graphics or words – whatever personal or professional medium they choose.
Participants will submit their concepts to firstname.lastname@example.org
School Stories hopes to inspire stories of surviving to thriving, from middle school to college, from anxiety to PTSD, from coping to doping. Winners will be mentored by a team of leading short filmmakers and provided completion funds to expand and promote their vision. And their stories will be featured on the School Stories television series.
Stephen Polk, School Stories creator and leading indie-film producer (Holiday Baggage, Pirate Camp) explained, “Instead of interviewing people with scripted questions we are inviting to provide us real, uncut personal stories that inspire audiences to answer intimate questions that they chose: Is your school story one of expression or repression? What was your breakthrough moment? How did you find ways to overcome obstacles? We believe participants will see the value in sharing in their own voice, their stories of academic distress, depression, discovery and deliverance.”
Joining Polk is a team of Oscar nominated and award-winning filmmakers including producer Andrew Sugerman, who is also a member of the Motion Picture Academy’s Short Film branch. Sugerman brings decades of film and television expertise to this project.
He said, “School Stories is a very important documentary and short film project, as it sheds light on little known problems and will help change the way we perceive learning in America.”
The concept for the festival and the broader educational change initiative was envisioned by Polk after years of struggling with school himself and meeting other families dealing with Dyslexia. By cultivating some of the innate abilities and attributes recently identified as dyslexic strengths, Polk joins some of Hollywood’s greatest who have sighted their struggles in school as a turning point, including Steven Spielberg, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise and Whoopi Goldberg, among others.
The festival will be an important part of educating and supporting anyone frustrated with traditional education. School Stories will be a lifesaver for many that need a window into the world of learning differences.