The 360 Filmmakers Challenge inspires the next generation of virtual reality creators by encouraging high school students to produce 360° films that make an impact. This is a story about “Borderline: Crossing the Border, Reaching the Dream,” winner of the Tell 360° Award.
In response to their teacher’s charge to “tell me a story,” five high school students shared the experience of being a first-generation American in their 360° film “Borderline: Crossing the Border, Reaching the Dream.”
Each student had a unique story to tell about their lives as daughters of immigrant parents. However, it was the narration of one group member’s story that earned the film the Tell 360° Award. The student narrator shares how she took on the responsibilities of a parent after her mother was deported. In the film, the audience gets a glimpse of her world as she explains the challenges she had to overcome as a result of her mother’s deportation.
The student filmmakers say they chose this story because it was the most emotionally moving. They had not known what their classmate had endured throughout her adolescence, and discovering her story inspired them to create a 360° film that could help dismantle negative perceptions about immigrant families.
Sharing their stories with each other also helped them acknowledge how much they might not know about their friends and classmates they see everyday in school. One of the group members mentions that through the process of creating and sharing the film, her peers at school have become more compassionate toward her and more understanding of the experiences of other families who have immigrated.
The student filmmakers credit producing the film with growing their confidence as both creators and young women. One of the students says the project helped her shed her fear of speaking up, while another says she feels proud to have shared the film with wide audiences: “I felt acknowledged as a woman, [an] American woman in tech.”
As for the student narrator of the film, telling her story empowered her to use her personal experience to help others. She says, “I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. I also learned that I want to help these families that went through the same thing I did. I want to be that support for everyone, not just immigrant families.”
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