St. John Film will open its fall 2011 film series, meet the filmmaker screening events, with a free screening of the award-winning documentary “Free Swim,”a 50-minute documentary directed by Jennifer Galvin. This will be the first in a free series that will take place at 7:30 p.m. at St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay. It will be screened on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
The filmis about the paradox of Caribbean coastal people not knowing how to swim. Taking place on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, we follow a group of kids as they overcome their fears and reconnect with their environment by learning to swim in open waters. With fresh memories of a friend drowning and the conflicts of growing tourism, for these kids it’s not just about floating but gaining new skills for their future.
In the U.S. about 60 percent of ethnically diverse children are unable to swim, and African-American children drown at three times the rate of Caucasian children. “Free Swim”uses the topic of learning to swim as a way to explore more complicated aspects of life on Eleuthera, such as influences on community function by the media, drowning, tourism, overfishing and education. The story thread is woven with footage of children learning to swim in their backyard sea. Underwater footage shows the challenges of learning to breathe in a new environment and the powers of discovering a beautiful new world.
The post film discussion will be about St. John programs that teach youth how to swim. Featured guests will include Dean Doeling, “Using Sport for Social Change” and the Just Swim event, and Laurel Brannick, champion of the V.I. National Park Learn to Swim program. The challenges of learning to swim on St. John are similar to those on Eleuthera and of interest to parents, visitors and everyone who enjoys our ocean waters as a playground.
Save these dates for future “Meet the filmmaker screening events:
Tuesday, Nov. 1: “Beatboxing – The Fifth Element of Hip Hop”
Tuesday, Dec. 6: “What’s Organic About Organic?”
All screenings take place at the St. John School of the Arts in Cruz Bay at 7:30 pm.
For more information about upcoming films, St. John Film Society or to become a Film Society member visit: http://www.stjohnfilm.com
This program is supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mid Atlantic Foundation, and the Virgin Island Council of the Arts. St. John Community Foundation is our fiscal sponsor.
The mission of St. John Film is to inspire a positive appreciation for the history, culture and environment of our U.S. Virgin Islands by establishing a free monthly film series open to and for the benefit of our local community. It presents independent films that celebrate the human spirit with a focus on the Caribbean.