Category Archives: News
From: Chris Farina
It’s been a while since the last newsletter due to work on a new educational documentary film. We just wrapped up the filming on a unique university class which brings together university students with juvenile prison residents as they meet on a weekly basis to discuss classic works of Russian Literature. It is truly a transformative experience for both sets of students.
Here’s a link to the first press article on the film: http://news.virginia.edu/content/celebrated-filmmaker-preparing-documentary-popular-uva-course
Much like our previous film “World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements” about educator John Hunter and his World Peace Game (an update on that work is below), this project features another innovative educator, Professor Andrew Kaufman, whose compassion guides his work to positively change the lives of each of the class’s participants. Our goal is to have the film be a tool for supporting and expanding Kaufman’s work, along with inspiring other educators around the world to consider replicating this type of educational model in their own communities.
We do need financial support to continue this work as we need additional funding to begin the film’s edit. For more information about the project, please visit
Other good news – Our short film “The Holistic Life Foundation: breathing love into a community”, about the wonderful work of the three founders of HLF in their hometown of west Baltimore, bringing the benefits of mindfulness into a poor urban neighborhood will be featured in the Illuminate Film Festival http://illuminatefilmfestival.com, on Friday June 2nd. This film has already been screened at the Richmond International Film Festival, the Baltimore International Black Film Festival, the Say it Loud Film Festival, and the In a Perfect World Social Change Film Festival (where it won the Audience Award). Here’s a link to the 4-minute trailer. http://www.rosaliafilms.com/holistic-life-foundation-breathing-love-into-a-community/
Click below to find out more about Illuminate.
World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements – The work of John Hunter and the World Peace Game Foundation continues to expand internationally. In April, John taught the Game to children while concurrently leading a Masterclass of teachers in Austria (a return visit), Croatia, and Denmark (co-hosted by the US Embassy in Copenhagen). This past year new World Peace Games have been conducted by teachers taught by John throughout the US, as well as in Europe, Mali, Japan and Mexico. Future Masterclasses for children and teachers in 2016 will be held in Charlottesville, Virginia, Corvallis, Oregon and Prague, Czech Republic, with planning in the work for other locations. Here’s a link to John’s presentation by the TED Radio Hour http://www.npr.org/2016/05/06/476588150/how-can-we-teach-children-to-create-a-hopeful-future
For more information about the World Peace Game and John Hunter, please visit www.worldpeacegame.org. If you’d like to watch World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements, you can purchase a dvd through http://www.theconnextion.com/rosaliafilms/rosaliafilms_index.cfm, or stream or download through https://vimeo.com/ondemand/60062
Thanks you for your interest and support in our films as we attempt to affect true positive change.
ATLFF 2011: World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements
Published on May 6, 2011 by El Hey Hey
It was somewhat ironic to me that I saw the screening of World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements on the same day, May 1st 2011, that President Obama announced to the world that Osama Bin Laden was dead. As I watched the film, which followed John Hunter’s 4th grade global studies class as they grappled with The World Peace Game – a political role-playing game of his creation, I couldn’t help but imagine our former and current world leaders gathering in the corners of offices and meeting rooms, whispering at each other in frenzied states, as the weight of the world balances precariously on their shoulders. Yes, this sunny little documentary took me there.
SXSW Film [original Article]
Daily reviews and interviews
World Peace … and Other 4th-Grade Achievements
Documentary Feature, Emerging Visions
D: Chris Farina
It might be unusual for fourth-graders to study the philosophy of Sun Tzu, but it’s routine in the classroom of Charlottesville, Va., teacher John Hunter, who regularly quotes passages from The Art of War – a book about “how to avoid war,” he says often. Its lessons help the children navigate Hunter’s World Peace Game, an elaborate, eight-week adventure in critical thinking and conflict resolution that challenges kids to tackle war, natural disasters, and climate change while loftily inhabiting such roles as prime ministers, World Bank representatives, and arms dealers. This film follows the dramas of one particular classroom but also explores Hunter’s background, particularly as an African-American student during integration in the Sixties. Between Hunter’s guru demeanor (one of his students calls him a “brain-stretcher”) and the unavoidable exhilaration of watching kids – much less anyone – pushed past the perceived brink of their abilities, this story is tailor-made for the kind of nuts-and-bolts documentary-making that truly educates and inspires, with no small thanks to the straightforward style of director Chris Farina (who, incidentally, makes a second appearance at this year’s SXSW, as the owner of the titular lot in documentary The Parking Lot Movie).
World Peace and Other 4th-grade Achievements has enjoyed a very successful public run—one that’s included 19 worldwide festival appearances and a broadcast calendar that’s covering in 23 of the United States’ 25 largest markets representing 85% of the U.S. market. But now, at long last, we’re pleased to announce the film’s home video release!
American Public Television Broadcast of the Movie Begins this Week!
We could not be more pleased to announce the absolutely wonderful news regarding the broadcast of World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements on public television stations across the country.
The stations will air the film on different days at different times beginning on May 6. American Public Television, our distributor, provides a national feed of the program that day, and then the stations decide if and when they will fit the program into their schedule.
Our initial reports are very favorable in that we expect a good 85-90% of the country to have access to the film, and more importantly, to John’s wonderful work with children, with just about every top-market included.
Highlights for May include airings in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and the entire states of South Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho, Alabama and Montana. There are other broadcasts in May as well, so please do check our website to see if it is scheduled for your own community.
As the scheduling decisions are still incomplete, we will be updating this schedule as these decisions are made available to us, so please do check in periodically. We will also be posting our weekly schedule on our Facebook page.
Contact Your Local Station and Ask Them to Show the Film
Another option is for you to contact your own individual station to ask them if and when they might be airing it. If they haven’t yet made the decision please do ask them to consider including “World Peace” in their broadcast schedule. The stations will have a two-year time period to air the program as many times as they want, so we do expect multiple broadcasts on each station. WCVE-Richmond, WHTJ-Charlottesville and WHUT-Washington DC and KOZK-Springfield, Missouri have already scheduled multiple airings for May.
Our conservative estimate is that by the time the initial broadcasts are completed, well over one million households will have watched “World Peace.” And this number will increase significantly over the two-year public television window with the repeated airings.
New Partners and Sponsors Have Made This Possible
This was only made possible through the generous underwriting support provided by the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence and the FedEx Corporation. A special thanks to Brad Martin, the founder of the Martin Institute, Cliff Mims, the executive director, and especially Jamie Baker, whose singular involvement and dedication in making a difference in the education of our children first led to bringing John’s work and the film to the attention of the Martin Institute.
Without our relationship with the Martin Institute, this upcoming national exposure on public television would not have become a reality.
For those of you unfamiliar, the Martin Institute is our project’s true educational partner, bringing John’s work to the attention of educators around the world, ensuring that his work, wisdom and compassion will inspire and teach educators for years to come, fulfilling the ultimate mission of our project.
I would also like to express my true gratitude to Winston Baccus of Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, where the Martin Institute is located. He is our technical wizard and has done such great work creating and merging the websites of John’s World Peace Game Foundation, the Martin Institute’s site and the Rosalia Films’ website. If you have not visited our website in the last three months or so, please do so again and you will see what wonderful work Winston has done.
And finally, I would like to thank Lee Burns, the headmaster of Presbyterian Day School, whose tireless dedication to providing innovative learning not just for his schools’ students, but for students nation-wide, and who has provided such wonderful assistance and inspiration as we have planned and begun to implement the creation of true educational impact through the sharing of John’s work with the educators around the world.
When I consider how far this project has come, I think of the countless number of friends who have helped along the way. Together, creating a small, local film shining light on a masterful teacher who was still pretty much unknown except to his students and their parents in Charlottesville, Virginia, I do believe that we have exceeded all expectations. From the bottom of my heart, thanks to everyone for their love, interest and support.
We are happy to announce and invite you
the New York Premiere of
World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements
World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, an award-winning film by Chris Farina, interweaves the story of John Hunter, a teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his students’ participation in an exercise called the World Peace Game. The game triggers an eight-week transformation of the children from students of a neighborhood public school to citizens of the world. The film reveals how a wise, loving teacher can unleash students’ full potential and lead them to develop critical and creative problem-solving skills and stewardship of world problems.
Day: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Place: IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue at West 3rd Street
check IFC Center website to purchase tickets online
for more info about John Hunter and the film: www.worldpeacegame.org
If John Hunter were to call a Press Conference at the Pentagon to order, of course he would use his bell. As we see in the education documentary about John’s World Peace Game, his bell calls even the most heated negotiations to order, calms, and redirects the game’s participants back to their seats.
On your visit to the Pentagon, John, did you suggest to Mr. Panetta and his press secretary to try the bell in their press conferences?
The Washington Post describes how the Pentagon extended an invitation to John Hunter to bring his current class of World Peace Game player to visit the Pentagon.
From Susan Svrluga’s article, April 19, 2012:
“The Secretary of Defense had to end his 11:30 meeting abruptly when he was called to the White House. His guests didn’t mind — they liked seeing all the men with walkie-talkies swoop in to usher Leon E. Panetta out. Awesome! Besides, they wanted to play with the coins he had given them.
It’s not every 9-year-old who gets invited to talk with some of the world’s most powerful people. But this class of Charlottesville fourth-graders has read Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” learned to avoid battles by outthinking their opponents, and negotiated simulated crises involving arms dealers, oil spills and insurgents.”
World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements screened for a collection of viewers from various desks and departments at the United Nations on April 27th, 2012. John Hunter and filmmaker Chris Farina were joined by Jamie Baker of the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence visited with a group from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to view the film and discuss ways in which it might be used to impact the work of peace around the world.
Filmmaker Chris Farina and John Hunter will present the film World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements, followed by a panel discussion, at the Projecting Change Film Festival in Vancouver. Their film was selected to show on Opening Night at 7pm on April 17. Here are the details.
Vancouver’s Projecting Change Film Festival is forum for film and dialogue about social and environmental issues. The marquee six-day event features inspiring, eye-opening, and often award-winning films from around the globe, each followed by a dynamic speaker and panel discussion. The unique festival format is a platform for audience engagement, with all proceeds donated back to local initiatives.
Founded in 2007 by Brady Dahmer and Lindsay Nahmiache, the festival has proven popular amongst a truly diverse group of innovation-minded people. Co-founder Brady Dahmer attributes this to the festival focus “PCFF is about positive change. Come to our festival hungry for knowledge and we promise you will leave with a head full of inspiration.” Inspiration no doubt in part due to the participation of such luminaries as Dr. David Suzuki, Captain Paul Watson and Mayor Gregor Robertson – all former festival speakers.
- Six days of 20+ films
- 30+ speakers from around the globe
- 2 Gala evenings
- 2 Youth Days
- 50+ volunteers
- 3500+ attendees
- Special events and activities
- Family screening & interactive workshops on Sunday
Reserved tickets and passes can be purchased online on the schedule page.
The festival runs from April 17 to April 22.