The Storytelling Class, the poignant documentary about a group of students at Winnipeg's Gordon Bell High School, has won the Canada Award at the 26th Annual Gemini Awards.
The film focuses on storytelling workshops that were developed by Gordon Bell teacher Marc Kuly. The workshops were inspired by his student's reading of "A Long Way Gone," Ishmael Beah's memoir about being a child soldier in Sierra Leone.
Gordon Bell is Winnipeg's most ethnically diverse school, with over 50 languages spoken by a student body which is often comprised of refugees whose families have fled war-torn countries. While the school is ethnically diverse, the film alludes to a student body that remained segregated as a cultural divide existed between its many nationalities. Kuly set to rectify this issue by creating storytelling workshops where foreign students could share their stories to help foster friendship and understanding from their Canadian peers.
Produced and directed by Winnipeg filmmaker John Paskevich and John Whiteway, The Storytelling Class presents Kuly's mission at the centrally located school while featuring the often touching and harrowing stories of its students.
The film took home the Canada Award at the Geminis -- an award for "excellence in mainstream television broadcasting that reflects the racial and cultural diversity of Canada."
Hear Marc Kuly talk about just one inspirational moment that helped motivate him to create the storytelling workshops.