Shake Me Up Virtual Film Festival: 1st and 2nd Place Winners in Round One

“Two muhallas, both alike in dignity, in fair Bukhara, where we lay our scene….”

On May 17th, TIS students in Grade 9 Language and Literature were awarded 1st and 2nd place rankings in round one of the Prague Shakespeare Company’s virtual film festival for international students. Fifty-five schools from all over the world collaborated in an effort to produce original and innovative films that feature various aspects of Shakespeare’s work. Global connections were made through a variety of online platforms, and the results were creative reinventions and interpretations of Shakespeare’s most notable plays and poems. Our award winning films can be viewed on the TIS YouTube channel!

This project began with two primary goals: to integrate the creative features of filmmaking into an existing unit of study in English Language and Literature, and to conduct a quantitative study on the impact of language and modern contextual translation on students’ understanding of complex texts, specifically, Shakespeare’s plays. Connecting with other students, teachers, and experts from around the globe made this project all the more meaningful and engaging.

Throughout the unit, which focused on a study of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the two Grade 9 classes wrote script adaptations of key scenes from the play. These scripts became the starting points for producing two separate films – one which represented a modern take on the play, and another which situated the drama within a traditional Uzbek village, mirroring the distinct and conflicting social groups present in our region.  

It is also noteworthy that in September, TIS had the pleasure of hosting Chloe and Will, a pair of visiting documentary film makers from Whalebone Films (which does amazing work). The filmmakers were on a bike tour through Central Asia and Mrs. Becker and her family (also avid cyclists) provided them with room and board during their stop in Tashkent.  The pair generously offered to conduct a filmmaking workshop for our students, which proved to be absolutely invaluable during the process of producing our films.

This experience was arduous, but well worth the effort. Mrs. Becker and Mrs. Kingry may have learned as much as the students – about filmmaking, pedagogy, and taking on enormous projects in general. However, it was rewarding and the TIS community can be proud of this group of students for their dedication and perseverance.

Kimberly Kingry

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