NYU Steinhardt News

Study Abroad Participants to South Africa Named Winners of Bobst Film Festival

Brittany HarrisBrittany Harris and Robert Jackson, both from the Masters in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy Program, have been named winners of the Bobst Film Festival for Hidden Gem, a documentary they completed while exploring post-apartheid educational and social reform in South Africa on a study abroad program with Professor Teboho Moja in summer 2018. Moja, who has viewed the students' film, remarked, “these students in the program were highly motivated and took on projects beyond the program expectations.”

Documentary filmmaking was a way to “bring agency to artists in South Africa,” explains Jackson. “Over the course of 6-weeks, [we] co-created a documentary highlighting South African narratives in the arts sector and conducted over 10 interviews in 4 cities.” The film touches on South African culture and the Black diaspora.

“[Robert and I] chose to create a short documentary, on the relationship of the arts and community change with a particular interest in strategies for social inclusion and community wellbeing,” says Harris.

The project helped Harris and Jackson to understand how their creative talents might inspire others to use their gifts toward social change as well. Being creative “helped me to understand my purpose in this world,” shared Harris. “It let me to study how underserved youth can use creative skill building as a tool for economic survival and social reform.”

“Hidden Gem” will be screened at the Bobst Film Festival on Saturday, December 8.