2018 NCTE Annual Convention

Houston, TX
November 15-18, 2018

This fall, we’ll come together in Houston to celebrate students’ voices and the impact they make in the world.

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NCTE Screening Room

We are excited to once again host a variety of films that convention attendees can enjoy for free. Many of the filmmakers will be on hand for questions and discussions around how you might use their films in your classrooms.


Be sure to leave time on your Saturday schedule to visit the NCTE Screening Room. For links to film websites, trailers, and additional material on film use in schools please visit the NCTE Screening Room website.

10:30 am–12:00 pm: Rwanda & Juliet (1 hour, 30 minutes)
(Middle School, Secondary, Post-secondary, Rainbow Strand)

Director – Ben Proudfoot
Breakwater Studios

“William Shakespeare wrote the words, ‘All the world’s a stage.’ Andrew Garrod took it literally. Drawing heavily from his own pocket, Dartmouth professor emeritus Garrod takes a group of hopeful American volunteers to Rwanda, where he mounts Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet with a cast of college-aged genocide survivors of both Hutu and Tutsi heritage. The often outlandish Garrod is on a mission to reconcile the wounds sustained in 1994 genocide through the power of theatre. What he gets is anything but.”

12:02–12:12 pm: Nothing But Trailers

This is a new segment to the screening room this year in which we are showing multiple trailers of classroom applicable films that we were unable to fit into our schedule, but that are highly recommended! You can find information for full films on the websites listed below or by going to the Screening Room website.



September Morning (1 minute, 33 seconds trailer)
(Secondary, Postsecondary, Teacher Education)

Director: Ryan Frost
Candy Factory Films

“In the first dark hours of September 12th, 2001, five college freshman stay up all night in a dorm room confronting the promises of youth so they can cross the bridge into adulthood together.”

Salon named September Morning to its list of necessary films about 9/11, writing “if the film doesn’t jerk tears, it’s because it’s designed to initiate a conversation about how youth cope with trauma, which is both admirable and necessary.”


AWAKE: A Dream From Standing Rock (1 minute, 33 seconds trailer)
(Middle, Secondary, Post-Secondary, Rainbow Strand)

Bullfrog Films

 “Moving from summer 2016, when demonstrations of the Dakota Access Pipeline’s demolishing of sacred Native burial grounds began, to the current and disheartening pipeline status, AWAKE: A Dream From Standing Rock is a powerful visual poem in three parts that uncovers complex hidden truths with simplicity. This film is a collaboration between indigenous filmmakers Myron Dewey, Director, and Doug Good Feather, Executive Producer, and Oscar-nominated environmental filmmakers Josh Fox and James Spione.”


Disturbing the Peace (2 minutes, 36  seconds trailer)
(Secondary, Postsecondary, Rainbow Strand)

Directors: Stephen Apkon, Andrew Young
Bullfrog Films

 “Disturbing the Peace follows former enemy combatants—Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison—who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say “enough.” The film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. While based in the Middle East, the film evokes universal themes relevant to us all and inspires us to become active participants in the creation of our world.”


Tyrus (2 minutes, 34  seconds trailer)
(Secondary, Postsecondary)

Director: Pamela Tom
Bullfrog Films

Born in Canton, China, right before the fall of the Chinese Empire, Wong and his father immigrated to America in 1919, never to see their family again. This film shows how he overcame a life of poverty and racism to become a celebrated painter who once exhibited with Picasso and Matisse, a Hollywood sketch artist, and a ‘Disney Legend.’ Previously unseen art and interviews with Wong, movie clips and archival footage illustrate how his unique style—melding Chinese calligraphic and landscape influences with contemporary Western art—is found in everything from Disney animation (Bambi) and live-action Hollywood studio films (Rebel Without a Cause) to Hallmark Christmas cards.”

“Tyrus Wong’s story is a prime example of one of the many gaping holes in our society’s narrative on art, cinema, and Western History” —Pamela Tom, Director


Walden: Life in the Woods* (2 minutes, 4  seconds trailer)
(Secondary, Postsecondary)

Director: Alex Harvey

 “I had three chairs in my cabin. One for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.” —Henry David Thoreau

“Walden: Life in the Woods is a radical, western reimagining of Henry David Thoreau’s classic Walden. Taking place over twenty-four hours, the film interlaces Solitude, Friendship and Society: three contemporary narratives about the trappings of modern life and the unlikely transcendentalists who dream dangerously of escape.”

*Look out for director Alex Harvey’s convention session where he works with classroom teachers to give ideas on how to use this film in class!

12:14–12:35 pm: The Silent Child (20 minutes)
(Elementary, Middle, Secondary, Postsecondary, Teacher Education)

Director: Chris Overton
Slick Films
Oscar Winner Short Film 2017!

“Set in rural England and inspired by real life events. The Silent Child film centres around a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl named Libby who is born into a middle class family and lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication.

When fresh faced social worker, Joanne turns up we see Libby transform. This once withdrawn four-year-old suddenly feels connected to the world and over a short period of time Joanne and Libby’s relationship blossoms.

An insightful short story, inspired by real life events, observing one of the loneliest disabilities and the avoidable struggles that deaf children face.”

12:36–1:36 pm: Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Healing Heart (1 hour – excerpt)
(Middle, Secondary, Postsecondary, Rainbow Strand)

California Newsreel

“One cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know or react to the miseries which affect this world” —Lorraine Hansberry

Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart is the first-ever documentary about Lorraine Hansberry, the visionary playwright who authored the groundbreaking A Raisin in the Sun. An overnight sensation, the play transformed the American theater and has long been considered a classic, yet the remarkable story of the playwright faded from view. With this documentary, filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain resurrects the Lorraine Hansberry we have forgotten—a passionate artist, committed activist and sought-after public intellectual who waged an outspoken and defiant battle against injustice in 20th-century America. The film reveals Hansberry’s prescient works tackling race, human rights, women’s equality, and sexuality that anticipated social and political movements on the horizon.”

1:38–2:50 pm: East of Salinas  (1 hour, 12 minutes)
(Elementary, Middle, Secondary, Postsecondary, Teacher Education, Rainbow Strand)

Directors:  Laura Pacheco, Jackie Mow
Bullfrog Films

“East of Salinas begins with 3rd grader Jose telling us what he wants to be when he grows up. His parents work from sun up to sun down in the heart of California’s “Steinbeck Country,” the Salinas Valley. With little support available at home, Jose often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, once a migrant farm kid himself. In fourth grade his teacher told him if he worked hard he could have a different life. Jose is Oscar’s most gifted student. But how do you teach students like Jose who have no place to do their homework? How do you teach a kid who moves every few months? This is what Oscar is up against every day. Oscar not only teaches his students reading, math, and science, he gives them access to a world beyond their reach.

But Jose was born in Mexico—and he’s on the cusp of understanding the implications of that. As we watch this play out over three years, we begin to understand the cruelty of circumstance—for Jose and the many millions of undocumented kids like him.”

2:52–4:02pm:  Screenagers: Growing Up in a Digital Age (1 hour, 10 minutes)
(Middle, Secondary, Postsecondary, Teacher Education)

Director: Delaney Ruston

“In SCREENAGERS, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics, and Internet addiction. Through poignant and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.”

4:04–4:49pm: Raising Bertie (45 minutes – excerpt)
(Secondary, Post-secondary, Rainbow Strand)

Director: Margaret Byrne
Kartemquin Films

“Set in Bertie County, a rural African American-led community in Eastern North Carolina, Raising Bertie takes audiences deep into the emotional lives of three boys— Reginald “Junior” Askew, David “Bud” Perry, and Davonte “Dada” Harrell—over six-years as they come of age. Raising Bertie movingly weaves the young men’s stories together as they try to define their identities, interconnecting narratives of family, youthful innocence, first love, systemic racism, educational inequity, poverty and unemployment, and the will to succeed in the face of formidable odds.

Rural minorities like the youth in Bertie represent some of the nation’s most vulnerable and least visible individuals, existing at that critical juncture of rural disenfranchisement and the achievement gap for young people of color. Raising Bertie is an experience that asks us to see this world through their eyes, inciting recognition of lives and communities too often ignored.”

4:50–5:35 pm: 44 Pages (45 minutes – excerpt)
(Elementary, Middle, Teacher Education, General)

Director – Tony Shaff

“A portrait of Highlights magazine, following the creation of the cultural phenomenon’s 70th anniversary issue, from the first editorial meeting to its arrival in homes, and introducing the people who passionately produce the monthly publication for ‘the world’s most important people’—children.

Along the way, a rich and tragic history is revealed, the state of childhood, technology, and education is explored, and the future of print media is questioned. Family owned since its inception in 1946 and never containing a single advertisement, Highlights stands alone in the magazine publishing world.

From the baby boom generation to the tech savvy kids of today, Highlights has been a staple in American society, with over a billion issues delivered to children around the world.”

5:37–6:30 pm: Shakespeare Uncovered: Julius Caesar with Brian Cox*  (52 minutes)
(Secondary, Postsecondary, General)

Produced by Blakeway Productions, 116 Films, THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET in association with PBS and Shakespeare’s Globe.

“Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a play that upholds liberty against tyranny. But what is tyranny? And who decides? Shakespeare doesn’t make it simple. In order to preserve the freedom of the Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, an ‘over-mighty’ leader, is assassinated by Roman Senators led by Caesar’s friend Brutus. Caesar wanted to become an emperor. Is Brutus a traitor or a great hero and defender of liberty? Brian Cox explores how Julius Caesar is Shakespeare’s “American” play, showing how easy it is for a “free” republic to fall into corruption. More than that, the play challenges us to think about who or what to trust and what values we want to live by—and to look inside and wonder how well we even know ourselves.”

*Join Kristina Kirtley at her session on Saturday from 11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m. where she will be focusing on how to use this specific episode of Shakespeare Uncovered in class!


Stephanie Fleck, Barrington High School, Barrington, IL



Sarah Heldt, Barrington High School, Barrington, IL



Frank Baker, Media Literacy Clearinghouse, Columbia, SC

Mary Christel, Indian Trails Public Library, Wheeling, IL

William Kist, Kent State University, OH

Jane Nickerson, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC

Laura Brown, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL



Jolene Heinemann, Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park, IL

Jennifer Walsh, Barrington High School, Barrington IL