After accepting the Grand Prize for Early Elementary Students at the Google Educator Group Chicagoland Student Film Fest #GEGCHI earlier this year, third-graders Payton Kozlowski, Seneca Mohr, Weston Mui and Kiran Patel of North Barrington Elementary School in Barrington, Illinois, decided to submit a re-edited version of their film, “A Day in Pete’s Shoes,” to another film festival, the Global Student Voice Film Festival #GSVFF.
“The main goal of the festival is to empower student voice and agency… this program gives students around the globe a chance and platform to share their perspectives with the world and embody the mindset that they don’t have to wait until they grow up to make a difference - their ideas can impact people now.”
To produce their winning film about empathy, Weston conceived a storyline and drafted a storyboard wherein a boy discovers that it is better to be himself than to be someone else after spending a day in his shoes. During their two hours of filming, the kids used a lot of improvisation and fleshed out the story with creative dialogue and a sense of humor. Their spirit was contagious.
Weston then had to pare down the two hours of footage to a two-minute film, adding special effects, such as split screen, disappearing people and slow-motion, as well as sound effects and music he created on GarageBand Live Loops. After twenty hours of editing, he was excited to share the final video with his three friends and submit the film to the Global Student Voice Film Festival.
The film, “A Day in Pete’s Shoes” is a film about being yourself and not trying to be somebody else. It premiered at Google Chicago on February 1, along with seven other winning films at the Google Educators Group Chicagoland Student Film Fest, and will be screened at the awards presentation for the Global Student Voice Film Festival on June 25th at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference and Expo at McCormick Place. The audience at this screening could be up to 5,000 people. Student film festivals like the Google Educators Group Chicagoland Student Film Fest #GEGCHI and the Global Student Voice Film Festival #GSVFF are an amazing celebration of our youth, who showcase their talents, insight, creativity, determination and hard work, and these learning experiences will be a highlight of their third grade year for Payton Kozlowski, Seneca Mohr, Weston Mui and Kiran Patel.