FILMS BYKIDS pairs master filmmakers with teenagers from around the world to create short personal documentaries that educate Americans as they encourage international understanding and engagement about globally relevant issues. The young storytellers featured in FILMS BYKIDS grew up experiencing the effects of exile, illiteracy, disease, war, and bigotry.
Learn tips and strategies for teaching with digital media, get the story behind the FILMS BY KIDS series, and find out about ways to enrich and expand student understanding with this free webinar recording from EdWeb.
Extend the learning with PenPal Schools, an organization that connects students from around the world to learn and share perspectives on FILMS BYKIDS.
Learn about the impact of the AIDS crisis on the life of AIDS orphans in Mozambique, Africa, in this video from FILMS BYKIDS: Home is Where You Find It. The video introduces students to sixteen-year-old filmmaker Alcides Soares, an AIDS orphan living in Maputo, Mozambique. Alcides worked with BYkids film mentors to help him tell his courageous story through film.
Visit the FILMS BYKIDS website to see the full film and learn more about Alcides.
Learn about forced labor and the importance of girls' education in India in this video from FILMS BYKIDS: Fire in Our Hearts. The film introduces students to 16-year-old filmmaker Jayshree Janu Kharpade, an advocate for girls’ education. Jayshree worked with a BYkids film mentor to tell the story of her efforts to become educated and to empower her fellow tribal people.
Visit the FILMS BYKIDS website to see the full film and learn more about Jayshree.
Learn about the lives of exiled Tibetan refugees living in India due to China’s claim of sovereignty over Tibetan land, in this video from FILMS BYKIDS: My Country is Tibet. The video introduces students to 17-year-old filmmaker Namgyal Wangchuk Trichen Lhagyari, the exiled King of Tibet. Namgyal worked with a BYkids film mentor to tell the story of his life in exile from his homeland.
Visit the FILMS BYKIDS website to see the full film and learn more about Namgyal.
Learn about the lives of Colombia’s internally displaced people—forced to flee their homes due to a civil war between paramilitary forces, guerrillas, and the ELN—in this video from FILMS BYKIDS: Displaced But Not Defeated. This video introduces students to 16-year-old filmmaker Maria Ceballos Paz, an internally displaced person struggling to rebuild her life. Maria worked with a BYkids film mentor to tell the story of her family's struggle for survival after Maria lost her father to the Colombian conflict.
Visit the FILMS BYKIDS website to see the full film and learn more about Maria and other young filmmakers.
Learn how a young girl who immigrated to New York City from Yemen dealt with Islamophobia in this video from FILMS BYKIDS: Poet against Prejudice. The video introduces students to 17-year-old filmmaker Faiza Almontaser, an anti-bullying activist. Faiza worked with a BYkids film mentor to tell the story of her experience as young Muslim in post-9/11 America.
To learn more about Islam, visit the collection Promoting Understanding: Islam.
Learn how climate change is impacting Edelsin Mendez’s community of coffee farmers in this video from FILMS BYKIDS: “My Beautiful Nicaragua.” Edelsin, a 12-year-old filmmaker, tells the story of how her family and community’s livelihood is threatened by a fungus, roya, that attacks coffee plants. The background essay in the support materials provides further details about the history and life cycle of the fungus and how climate change is creating a roya crisis in Central America. The background essay, discussion questions, and vocabulary terms are available in Spanish in the Support Materials.
Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more environmental education resources, visit the Human Impact on the Environment collection.