|LAURIER MACDONALD TO LAUNCH FIRST DOCU-DRAMA ON WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 1st AS COMPANION TO BOOK|
MONTREAL, JANUARY 23, 2006- To coincide with the publication of a sixth extraordinary book that uses photographs, artifacts and stories to discover their families’ cultures and histories, the students and faculty of Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard are set to launch an unprecedented companion docu-drama on the subject.
Ripples In Time, a LMAC Media Film Production, will be screened before a By Invitation Only audience on Wed. Feb. 1 (7:30 p.m.) at the beautiful Leonardo Da Vinci Cultural Centre (8730 Lacordaire Boulevard). The book and film is the latest in a series which already includes Faded Memories, Rainbow of Dreams, Memories in Black and White, Once upon a Journey and Whispering Dreams.
Each publication was dedicated to the memories of past generations; each an inspirational collection of stories about love, hope, death, change and above all, dreams. Like its predecessors in this collection, Ripples In Time is a multimedia, cross-curricular project designed to engage students in writing, students in writing, photography, computer technologies and other activities as they researched the history behind selected family photographs and artifacts. Students gathered information about social, historical and geographical contexts to write short vignettes called "Footprints" that relate to the themes of the stories. What was exciting for the students was finding historical information that related to their families and cultural groups. This allowed the authors to easily integrate history.
Principal Pat Buttino says he was absolutely bowled over by the talent and professionalism displayed in the production of the 48 minute film. "If you close your eyes for a minute you’ll swear this is a Hollywood production," he proclaims, noting that the crew of staff and students shot at locations across the island this past year. "From the cinematography to the acting, this is the type of project unheard of at the secondary level."
Through the publication of this book, students have taken the time and effort to listen to their grandparents’ old stories. Laurier Macdonald media education teachers Frank Tiseo, Leon Llewellyn and Audrey Berner headed this project, serving as editors of the book. Mr. Tiseo directed the film, with Michael Penning and Alan Taylor responsible for cinematography.
"What happens when you toss a stone into a pond?" the editors ask. "The stone quickly sinks to the bottom, but leaves behind ripples that reach across the water. Photographs cause ripples as well. Behind each of these photographs is a story of courageous people who put their lives on the line so that future generations could benefit from their sacrifices. When they represented their country during World War II, they caused ripples, when they risked it all for love, they caused ripples. When they packed their belongings and moved to a foreign land to give their children a better life, they caused ripples as well. These ripples have had a great influence on us, for we are the products of the ripples that our relatives created."
The glossy 152 page coffee table style book was made possible with the support of La direction de la formation générale des jeunes, English Language Arts Curriculum, through a provincial/federal grant for minority educational resources.
Mr. Buttino hopes to enter the docu-drama in some film festivals.
Michael J. Cohen