Monday, October 6, 2014

Screening Aaron Swartz

So, I happen to be the adviser to a couple of clubs at Fordham University, one of them being the REACTtoFILM club, which is affiliated with a nonprofit organization called React to Film.  Here's how they describe themselves:

Through film, we inspire young people to engage in the real issues of today.

Leveraging the best issue-based filmmaking to promote social responsibility and spark civic engagement, REACT to FILM is a platform of educational programs in high schools and colleges.

Our full-semester, for-credit REACT to FILM elective course is taught in high schools across the country.

The REACT to FILM network of college chapters aims to educate, inspire, and be a call to action for collegiate audiences on a monthly basis during the school year.

Every month, REACT to FILM hosts pre-theatrical screenings of the best issue-based films—at locations such as the Museum of Modern Art, Soho House (West Hollywood, New York and Miami), the Museum of the Moving Image, and Capitol Hill—to start a dialogue to arm the audience with the requisite information to REACT positively to each film/issue, and help encourage them to share REACTions across social networks to drive for broader change on the issue.

They started up last year, and this year's first film screening is one of particular interest to communication scholars and new media mavens: The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. Here's the club's flyer:

What isn't mentioned in the flyer, however, is that the whole point of the REACTtoFILM club is to react, that is, to follow the screening with a discussion. Which is what we'll be doing, with the discussion led by me and my new colleague here in our Department of Communication and Media Studies, Jessica Baldwin-Phillipi. I'm looking forward to it, and I'll report back to you on how it went afterwards.

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