Documentaries: Inside the Film by James O’Hagan

Greg Hambleton, the director of the Fine & Performing Arts Center, has decided to introduce a new aspect of learning into the Cumberland County College liberal arts community. A new documentary program has opened the doors of learning to documentary filmmaking. 

The addition of the documentary film program, “On Screen/In Person” is a way of introducing students to new avenues of film arts.  Documentary filmmaking allows the viewer to become immersed in something they may know little to nothing about. It also presents a close up; insiders look beyond the screen and into the mind of the director.

Hambleton feels students should have this resource available to them. Hambleton states, “There’s a subject matter to be talked about, [and] discussed to really bring the people here and learn about something different.” 

Two documentaries were recently added to the program: “Beat-Boxing: The Fifth Element of Hip Hop” and “Out in the Silence”.  “Beat-Boxing: The Fifth Element of Hip-Hop” is about the art of making drum beats and rhythms using your mouth. Beatboxing is heavily related to Hip-Hop music.

“Out in the Silence” was viewed on November 19 in the Fine and Performing Arts Center.  Joe Wilson directed this film. It is about a sixteen-year-old student athlete that is attacked after revealing in school that he is gay. It portrays a serious take on bullying in school that occurs because of alternative lifestyles.

Wilson went through similar drama when he announced his same-sex marriage in the small town he resides in. Hambleton believes that students may “glean some new information about something that they don’t quite know anything about, understand, or are confused about in their own   lives.”

Anyone that is interested in learning about these subjects has the opportunity to watch the documentaries, interact with subject matter, and become immersed in a first-hand account of what the director wants to capture and convey to viewers.

The implementation of the film program shows the advancement of the school, the instructors, and students.  The film program takes an out of the box approach to learning and allows students to experience something new and refreshing.

The film program reinvents the learning process and delivers a new spin on learning. With that being said, could this help students to open up and interpret events that may surface in their lives?


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