D.C. high school students produce film for IMAX

D.C. students produce films for new IMAX program, Tuesday, June 27, 2017 (Kellye Lynn/ABC7)

It's called "The Air We Breathe;" one of two environmental documentaries produced by students at Wilson High School in Northwest Washington. 18-year-old Kieran Irwin-Leventhal is one of 10 students involved in the filmmaking. "It was super group-oriented from the beginning. Everybody helped out, swapped jobs, tried to get as much experience as possible," he commented.

Wilson was one of four schools from around the country chosen to make the documentaries and received a $5,000 check from IMAX to fund the project. Jackson Fox-Bland, an 11th grader, told ABC7 News, "The whole IMAX name is cool. If you talk to someone about it, they're very impressed."

The new IMAX In Focus program challenges exemplary student film groups to produce an eight and four minute documentary as well as social media content.

The goal, to create films that support the United Nations' priorities for climate action. 17-year-old Alexandra Tomkin edited a video about water pollution called "What's in the Water."

"I actually learned how to interview people correctly," she shared. Wilson Mass Media and Communications teacher Kadesha Bonds added, "I think it just made them a little bit better in their confidence, in their communications, and also being a part of a bigger program of like, 'wow, this is bigger than Wilson and DC.'"

The "Air We Breathe" is now showcased on the IMAX In Focus website. "I wanted people to learn about the environment and to be left with a sense of wanting to do something about it," Fox-Bland expressed. Tomkin continued, "To realize how important this issue is and how it affects the future."

Irwin-Leventhal, who will soon be studying film at the University of Texas at Austin is proud of the completed project which the students worked on from October to June. "We did what we set out to do and I think we did a good job with it," he said.

High schools in Florida, Washington State, California and a non-profit filmmaking workshop in New York also participated in the IMAX In Focus program.

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