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Norman Lear Center to Expand Film Project

Norman Lear Center to Expand Film Project
Journeys in Film teaches students about the culture and history of countries around the world.

Journeys in Film, which since 2003 has provided foreign film-based curricula and training to U.S. teachers of 500,000 American middle and high school students, is the newest project of the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

Journeys in Film selects age-appropriate movies that feature young people and tell compelling stories; offers entry points for lessons on science, mathematics, social studies, language and art; teaches the history and culture of the films’ countries of origin; and prepares students to live and work in the global economy.

Movies selected and taught to date include The Way Home (South Korea), Like Stars on Earth (India), The Cup (Tibet), Children of Heaven (Iran), Beat the Drum (South Africa) and Whale Rider (New Zealand).

“Journeys in Film is a perfect fit for the Norman Lear Center,” said USC Annenberg professor and Lear Center founding director Martin Kaplan. “It uses the power of entertainment to captivate students’ attention and to increase their understanding of the world. Our plan is to dramatically strengthen Journeys in Film – to expand its catalog of films and countries, boost the number of schools and students that its curricular guides reach, increase its teacher training programs and sponsor solid research to evaluate its impact.”

Joanne Strahl Ashe, founder and executive director of Journeys in Film, said: “Becoming part of the Lear Center is an exciting step for us. We’re adding the resources of a great university, a top-ranked school and a nationally known center of innovation in the world’s film capital. We look forward to designing more programs to help foster globally literate citizens and to helping the film industry expand into education through teacher workshops focused on using film as an effective teaching tool in the classroom.”

Actor and national spokesperson Liam Neeson said: “I can’t help but consider how wonderful it would be, if through our efforts at Journeys in Film, we help change attitudes about people who are different from us.”

For more information about Journeys in Film, visit

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