MONTREAL, MAY 18, 2011 –The halls of the Mackay Centre School (3500 Decarie) in NDG are abuzz with anticipation for the biggest and most sensational motion picture event of the year. Since December 2010, students from pre-kindergarten to Grade 6 have been working tirelessly to complete classroom movies that will make their debut at the first annual Mackay Film Festival on Thursday, May 19.
Mackay Centre School is devoted to students who are deaf, have communication disorders or delays and are physically disabled. The school strives to empower its students by providing opportunities for the children to develop self-reliance, academic success and self-esteem. The film-making project has supported the school’s mission by allowing students to learn in an active and independent way and to develop positive attitudes toward themselves and their school community.
The idea for the school-wide film festival was conceived by Mackay School teachers Jessica Palmer and Gaye McConnell who sought to create an event that would use movie-making as a medium to celebrate the exceptionalities of the student population while teaching the children about new classroom technologies. The assignment outlined that each class produce a short film on a subject of their choice. The films address a variety of subjects ranging from nursery rhymes and performance arts to yoga and bullying. These documentaries, cooking shows and book commentaries allow the students to create media and become agents in disseminating a variety of social messages to their peers.
“The Mackay Film Festival premiere is the culmination of months of writing, filming and editing,” note teachers Palmer and McConnell. “It will be a night where the students at Mackay revel in their moment in the spotlight and let their voices be heard.”