Nellie Wong Magic of Movies Essay Contest

NELLIE WONG MAGIC OF MOVIES ESSAY CONTEST

SFFILM Education is pleased to present the ninth annual Schools at the Festival Student Essay Contest at the 60th San Francisco International Festival. This contest is made possible by the generous support of the Nellie Wong Magic of Movies Education Fund, endowed by Tim Kochis and SFFILM board member Penelope Wong to honor the memory of her mother, Nellie Wong (1917-2007), who was an avid filmgoer and cinephile. Developed to support the year-round outreach efforts of the SFFILM Education department, the Fund aims to cultivate students' imaginations, enhance their critical thinking and creative writing skills and instill a greater appreciation for the magic of movies in young audiences of the Bay Area.  

ESSAY CONTENT & QUESTIONS

Winning essays will be determined based on creativity, depth, enthusiasm, clarity, grammar and relevance to the essay questions. Essays must be written in response to the following questions about the selected Schools at the Festival screenings ONLY. Students may choose one film program or submit separate essays for more than one program. Students are not limited to only selecting films in their grade category, but do need to follow the word count guidelines for their grade.

*Children in grades 1-8 who attend the public screenings of Born in China on Sunday, April 9 at 1:00pm and Shorts 5: Family Films at 10:00 am are also eligible to participate. Parents: please be sure to fill in all of the required entry information when submitting.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, GRADES 1-5

Shorts 5: Family Films

Friday, April 14, 10:00 am
Saturday, April 15, 10:00 am (public presentation)
Monday, April 17, 10:00 am
Tuesday, April 18, 10:00 am

Questions: Choose one film you saw in the program. What did you like about that film? Does the main character's life or experiences compare to your own? If so, how? What lessons did you learn from their story? (Note: the character does not have to be human!)

Born in China
Sunday, April 9th, 1:00 pm (public presentation)
Monday, April 10, 10:00 am

Questions: Which animals do you meet in this film? What are their lives like? What are the animal families like? In what ways are the animals like humans and in what ways are they different? Does watching Born in China make you think about human families and human struggles? How are we like animals and how are we different?

Hidden Figures
Wednesday, April 19th, 10:00 am

Questions: Describe the women whose stories this film tells. What are their backgrounds and how did they become "human computers"? What challenges did they face in achieving their professional goals? Besides these characters, which famous women mathematicians and scientists inspire you?

Do these challenges continue to affect women and people of color in STEM careers today? In your own school, do you see differences among girls and boys in their attitudes toward math and science? Do you think your generation can make math and science careers more diverse? How?


MIDDLE SCHOOL, GRADES 6-8

Art & Science of Lucasfilm: Rogue One
Wednesday, April 19th, 12:00pm

Questions: What did you learn about making films from this presentation? How did the different presenters get their started in their careers? Do you think you might want to have a career in film production or animation? If you were to begin working on a film production tomorrow, which job would you take and why?

Hidden Figures
Wednesday, April 19th, 10:00 am

Questions: Describe the women whose stories this film tells. What are their backgrounds and how did they become "human computers"? What challenges did they face in achieving their professional goals? Do these challenges continue to affect women and people of color in STEM careers today? In your own school, do you see differences among girls and boys in their attitudes toward math and science? Do you think your generation can make math and science careers more diverse? How?

Serenade for Haiti
Wednesday, April 12th, 10:00 am

Questions: The film begins with a group of Sainte Trinité students describing music as a refuge and a place of comfort. What does it mean to call music a refuge? How does the act of playing music promote emotional healing? How does the community of the school support students as they work through trauma? What does singing teacher Nicole Saint-Victor mean when she tells her students to leave their problems at the door?  Are there areas in your own life where you use creative practice as a refuge or a sanctuary? How can music be both an escape from pain and a source of healing?

STEP
Monday, April 10th, 12:30 pm

Questions: Who are the Lethal Ladies? What are their goals and challenges? What pressures do these girls face in school and outside of school. How do political and cultural events impact their lives? How do they translate fear, anger and frustration into their step routines? What does step offer for these girls, creatively, athletically and socially? Do you have anything in your life like a step team? What does that outlet give to you?

HIGH SCHOOL, GRADES 9-12

Art & Science of Lucasfilm: Rogue One
Wednesday, April 19th, 12:00pm

Questions: What did you learn about the career trajectory of a film professional? What skill sets are useful in making animated films? What experiences led these presenters toward working for Lucasfilm? Have you had any experiences in your own life that inspire you toward a particular kind of work? Imagine and describe a future in which that experience leads you into an interesting and fulfilling job. Write the essay as a short story.

Dolores
Tuesday, April 11, 10:00 am

Questions: What was the relationship of the farm worker's movements to the other social movements of the 1960s? How did the farm worker's movement overlap with the environmental movement? What is the meaning of environmental justice? How did Huerta and the farmworker's movement engage with the struggle for women's rights? What is the meaning of the term intersectionality? How can these ideas be implemented in social movements today?

Serenade for Haiti
Wednesday, April 12th, 10:00 am

Questions: After the earthquake, Father David called the school orchestra together to play for the displaced survivors. Why does he feel that it's important for the orchestra to play music? Why doesn't he tell the musicians to do something more concrete and practical, like help with cleaning and rebuilding? What can music give to the displaced and grieving survivors of the earthquake?  What does this example show us about the role of the arts in society? Why is it important to value, teach and preserve art and music?

Swagger
Friday, April 7, 10:00 am
Friday, April 7, 12:30pm

Questions: How is personal style important for the characters in this film? What is the relationship between style and being confident in who you are? Are these kids comfortable with themselves? What gives them strength? What elements of your own personal style give you confidence? How does your style remind you of who you are? How does it show that to the outside world?

CONTEST RULES
Grades 2-5: 150-200 words
Grades 6-8: 300-350 words
Grades 9-12: 450-500 words

Deadlines

Essays must be submitted online or postmarked by May 5, 2017.

Submit essays online here.

Submit essays by mail to:


SFFILM
Attn: Nellie Wong Essay Contest
39 Mesa Street, Suite 110
The Presidio
San Francisco, CA, 94129

Required Entry Information

To be eligible for consideration, all essays must include the following information:

¥ Student name
¥ Grade
¥ School
¥ Teacher name
¥ Teacher phone number
¥ Teacher email address

PRIZES

Contest winners will be announced the week of May 30, 2017. Teachers will be notified directly if their students have won. The following prizes will be awarded:

Elementary School, Grades 1-5
Grand Prize: $150 cash prize
Runner-up: $75 cash prize

Middle School Grades 6-8
Grand Prize: $300 cash prize
Runner-up: $150 cash prize

High School Grades 9-12
Grand Prize: $500 cash prize
Runner-up: $250 cash prize

All winning essays will be published on www.sffilm.org. For questions, contact Keith Zwölfer at 415-561-5040 or kzwolfer@sffilm.org.

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