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Three “must see” films from IndieFlix for Education

 

I cannot imagine having to home school a child during this crazy time in our world’s history. My own kids are young adults in their early 20’s. I work with students from 4th – 9th grade in an after school program (back when we had school). It was hard enough getting them to do their daily homework, let alone an entire day’s worth of class work.

I’m impressed by how teachers and schools across the country were able to come up with an online curriculum for students so quickly. From what I have heard from people that work in our school district, the online schooling is working out pretty well.

Many teachers and schools have offered parents a plethora of resources to assist their children with their online classroom learning.

If you are a teacher, or know of one, I’d like to offer another resource – IndieFlix for Education.

IndieFlix for Education offers a film based social emotional learning curriculum that inspires positive action, personal revelation and social change for all ages.

IndieFlix provides social emotional learning experiences that has a long and lasting measurable impact. Their social-impact, film-based programs, and accompanying pre-recorded and live panel discussions, activities, resources, tips and tools provide up to 24 weeks of experiential learning appropriate for ages 10-100. They’ve hosted over ten thousand screening programs in schools, corporations and communities across more than 85 countries.

Some companies that have utilized IndieFlix films include Google, Starbucks, HP, Best Buy, ParentMap, and Microsoft. Some schools that have used their films include Johns Hopkins University, Berkeley, Stanford and the University of Michigan.

I had the opportunity to screen three of their films that are current available – Angst, Like and The Upstanders.

I love documentaries. I always have. I think it’s a wonderful way to learn about things you might not otherwise know about. I also think they help me do well when answering Jeopardy questions (ha ha).

I’m an adult, and I truly enjoyed the three films that I watched. Each one was very “eye opening.” I learned a lot from watching them. I most especially liked the one entitled Like. 

Below are my thoughts about each of the films. I will also include a trailer for each film for your enjoyment.

Angst

 

“Angst” by definition means anxiety or a feeling of dread. I can totally relate to the feeling of anxiety, as I’m sure many people can with what is going on in the world right now (COVID-19).

I suffer from anxiety, but not that bad. It’s more so situational rather than an on going thing. My husband gets anxiety in large crowds. He actually got anxiety so bad once recently that he had a panic attack while grocery shopping (he’s so worried about catching the virus). Our son and daughter also have anxiety. I guess to some degree it could be inherited. Our son’s anxiety used to get so bad he would twist the hair right off of his head.

This film explores what causes people to feel anxiety, what it’s like to feel anxiety, and what can be done to deal with it. Throughout the film you’ll see interviews with children and adults about their anxiety and what they are doing to deal with it.

The film also provides viewers with some tools and resources that can help you if you are dealing with anxiety.

I like that they included people of all ages, and didn’t focus on just one age group. Anxiety knows no age boundaries.

Some people have anxiety that is easily managed, whereas other people suffer from it at a much deeper level.

You don’t have to have anxiety to appreciate this film. Even if you don’t know anyone personally who suffers from anxiety (that you know of), the film provides you great insight into this emotion that could help you better understand someone in the future.

Like

 

Like is the film that I identified the most with. This film was very “eye-opening” to say the least.

In this day and age, most everyone has a smart phone. Let’s face it, a smart phone is an amazing piece of technology. You can use it to help you with directions to your destination. You can instantly connect with family and friends from around the globe. You can watch a movie during your train commute to work in the morning. The benefits of having a smart phone are tremendous…but…there is a downside to technology.

Our daughter is 23 years old and her phone is her lifeline. A few years ago she was grounded, and we took her phone away (we pay for it while she’s in college). SHE HAD A FIT! She was hyperventilating and ranting and raving like a lunatic. It was actually scary how she was acting – over a phone! Since that day, my husband refers to her phone as her life support. Sadly, he’s not far from the truth. That damn phone is stuck to her hand 24/7. She falls asleep with it.

I have to admit that I go on my phone a lot, but I can also put it aside for hours and never glance at it.

I like to use my phone to go on Facebook to connect with my family and friends. I use Instagram and Twitter for my blog, and Pinterest to find craft ideas for my “work kids.” I recently go on Tik Tok because I find some of the videos amusing – basically it’s mindless entertainment.

I use social media for blogging and to connect with people, which is great. It’s a positive thing. But I also know first hand the downside of it all. Here is just one example…

A few years ago I was scrolling on Facebook when I saw photos of my three best friends from my childhood. The three of them went out together to visit a local castle on a small island. They had a fun day together. The problem was I wasn’t with them! They never thought to invite me to go along with them. They were my BEST FRIENDS! One I knew since we were six years old.

That broke my heart. I was so upset and depressed about it for weeks. I unfriended all of them from social media. I figured if they didn’t want to include me, why should I continue to follow them on social media to see more photos of them having fun together?

Sigh…

Another downside is “likes” and comments on social media. It’s hurtful when you post something on Instagram (for example) and get only a few likes, but when I go to other blogger’s accounts, they have hundreds of likes and thousands of more followers than I do.

Social media has a way of making people feel bad about themselves. Smart phones and social media also turn people into mindless zombies that don’t know how to connect with other people in real life. It’s sad to see people on the streets looking at their phones and not each other. Is that the kind of world we should be living in? I don’t think so.

In my family we have a strict no phones at the dinner table policy. Even if we go out to eat, we are not allowed to look at our phones. That is family time.

This documentary takes a look at how this technology and social media has an effect on our lives, as well as the effect is has on our brains. It also makes you aware of the “dark side” to all of it.

The Upstanders 

 

The Upstanders is a film about bullying, especially cyber-bullying. Although a lot is being done is schools to help prevent bullying, cyber-bullying is a whole different beast.

This film features a story about a young man who was being bullied, including cyber-bullied. His family was unaware of how bad it was. It was so bad that the young man saw no other option but to commit suicide.

This film goes into depth about bullying and cyber-bullying among friends, co-workers and others. It also explores the brain science behind it.

The film also discusses programs that are in place to help put an end to this epidemic, and talks about what we/you can do to make a change to stop bullying and cyber-bullying once and for all.

I think this film is important for all students to see in effort to make them aware of how one mean comment can deeply effect another person, and how we all just need to learn to be nice to one another.

Like my mom always said, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

All three of these films are about an hour long.

Screen shot from the film “Like.”

If you are interested in learning more about these films, or other titles by IndieFlix For Education, visit IndieFlix.com. Once on the home page, click on “IndieFlix for Education” on the top right side of the screen.

They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Those links are found on the bottom of their website.

IndieFlix.com offers a variety of films including romance, comedy, thrillers, action and adventure and more. It’s a subscription service ($4.99/mo), but they do offer some free to view titles.

IndieFlix can be viewed in a variety of ways including ROKU, FireTV, iTunes, Android, AppleTV and more.

Right now IndieFlix.com is offering a FREE 7-day trial.

What do you think about these three films? Would you be interested in watching any of them? If so, which one(s)? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received free screeners in order to watch these films. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.