Students at South High in Minneapolis explored the world with the medium of documentary video through a long collaboration between their school and the Minneapolis Television Network (MTN).
MTN is the community television station in Minneapolis. The documentaries that the students produced through the Video Voices program this year are now available on-line and on MTN’s public access channel 17.
Seventy-four students were in the Video Voices class this year. The class is taught at South High by teachers Neil Anderson and Carol Kantar. Anderson and Kantar worked with MTN Instructor John Akre to encorporate media literacy and media production in the class.
In their classroom work with Anderson and Kantar, students explored politics and social issues. From Akre, who was helped by MTN instructor Hamil Griffin-Cassidy, students critiqued different types of media and developed media production skills by attending camera and edit training sessions at MTN.
In February, students completed Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on a number of issues, including the importance of voting, exercise, safe sex, smoking, and traffic safety.
Then they began work on their documentary projects, planning their projects, setting up and filming interviews, getting other needed shots and images, and doing the painstaking work of editing their filmed material into a coherent whole.
The finished documentaries address themes like homelessness, transit and bicycling, immigration and citizenship, teen driving and domestic abuse, addiction and pollution. These videos will be shown during the summer on the Video Voices program, on Mondays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. on MTN 17, available to cable subscribers in Minneapolis. They can also be viewed on-line by visiting mtn.org.
Here are some favorites from 2008: