If You Build It FIlm Screening

If You Build It Film Image

We welcome documentary producer Christine O'Malley, whose films include Wordplay, I.O.U.S.A., These Amazing Shadows, to PhillyCAM on Saturday, April 12 at 4:00 to screen and discuss her most recent project If You Build It as part of Film Forward.   Ths is a free event.  Reps from the Sundance Institute will also be present to provide a brief overview of their programs for independent filmmakers. 

A captivating look at a radically innovative approach to education, If You Build It spends a year in the life of one of America's most innovative classrooms.  In it, we follow designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to Bertie County, North Carolina, the poorest county in the state, where they work with high school students to transform their community and their lives.  

The curriculum Emily and Matt create is called "Studio H", and is built around the principles of 'design-thinking'.  A shop class for the 21st century, "Studio H" empowers young people to become creative problem solvers and at the same time encourages them to become more active citizens. In response to several major challenges facing Bertie County -- widespread poverty, high obesity levels, lack of access to healthy foods, dominance of industrialized farming, and a hollowed-out downtown area -- the class decides to design and build a farmer’s market in their hometown.

If You Build It reveals both the failings of our broken education system and the hope for a new kind of classroom where students become the architects of their own futures.


Film Forward is an international touring program designed to enhance greater cultural understanding, collaboration and dialogue around the globe by engaging audiences through the exhibition of films, workshops and conversations with filmmakers. Film Forward is an initiative of the Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Service.

For more information, please visit the website: http://www.sundance.org/filmforward/destination/pennsylvania-2014/