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 Students to Participate in Dynamic Film Screenings

San Diego County students will have a chance to experience two powerful documentaries and interact with the filmmakers this month as part of the San Diego International Film Festival FOCUS on Impact Film Tour.

The films We Rise Up and Soufra will be shown this week and next at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and two local high schools. SDCOE employees with iTV Cable 16 will also work to stream the presentations to classrooms across the county. The showings will feature question-and-answer sessions with the filmmakers.

"The San Diego County Office of Education is proud to partner with the San Diego International Film Festival to make the FOCUS On Impact Film Tour available to all high schools across the 42 school districts in San Diego County," said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools. "With SDCOE's focus on equity, it was a no-brainer to use our ability to live stream the films and the filmmakers into local schools to provide a unique and valuable experience for all of our students."

We Rise Up is a culture-shifting documentary to articulate new emergent models around the concepts of prosperity, success, and contribution. Soufra follows the unlikely and wildly inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur Mariam Shaar, a generational refugee who has spent her entire life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon.

We Rise Up will be shown April 17 at SDCOE and April 18 at Mission Bay High School. Soufra will be shown April 23 at SDCOE and April 24 at San Diego High School.

The San Diego Film Foundation is dedicated to creating empathy through the experience of film. The foundation organizes high school film tours each spring and fall. The FOCUS on Impact Film program works to enhance academic engagement with dynamic film screenings, in-person discussions with working filmmakers, and opportunities for students to participate at the San Diego International Film Festival.

"I have witnessed first-hand just how powerful the FOCUS On Impact Film program can play in the lives of our young people," said Mark Powell, vice president of the San Diego County Board of Education. "These films have the power to engage and motivate students to take on responsibilities and challenges they never thought possible."