by Theresa Soares
Ankur Singh is an 18 year old college freshman at The University of Missouri – Columbia who is planning to take off his second semester of school to create a documentary film about standardized testing in America. The film is tentatively titled "Listen," and focuses on what students themselves have to say about testing culture in the United States.
"But, it's also so much more than that." Says Ankur, "It's about how magnificent our generation is and the amazing incredible things we do every single day that go unrecognized by our education."
The inspiration for the project comes from his personal story which was featured in Valerie Strauss's Answer Sheet for the Washington post this past November. A complete version of the story can be found on the film's website, and is titled: "Who am I and why should you care about this silly documentary?"
Since the publishing of his personal story the film has attracted quite a bit of attention. Singh has plans to interview and film a variety of school districts, student groups, and parent groups from around the country, including Colorado, Texas, Florida, New York, and California. In a recent interview Singh explained that he is looking to feature a diverse group of voices, "For example, a student who's been subjected to institutionalized racism perpetuated by the tests and our education system, a student whose true passions and talents are being ignored, a student whose learning style is different, or maybe a student who lives in poverty." In a recent phone interview, Singh mentioned that his focus for the film isn't "political, it's human."
The filming will take place between January-May 2013, with a projected release date of fall 2013 or winter 2014. He has plans to also submit the film to a variety of different film festivals. There are less than 9 days left for the funding campaign held on Kickstarter. With a goal of just $2,000 the project is a little over a quarter of the way there. Funding generated from the film's Kickstarter campaign will go towards travel expenses.
For more information about the film, or if you would like to get involved with the project: Email: [email protected] or call 309-838-4265. For the latest film updates follow the project on Facebook and Twitter.
The official Film Website can be found at: http://listenthefilm.wordpress.com/. To support the film on Kickstarter, please visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ankursingh/listen-0
Theresa Soares is a maturing journalist, narrator, storyteller, and dyslexic. She entered her professional career as one of the youngest women ever to be hired by the United States Department of the Navy. After two years at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California, she joined The Harry Singer Foundation in Carmel California where she provides support for philanthropic research and development. Theresa is a student at Mills College in California where she is studying journalism and intermedia arts. Currently, she is covering organic public interest radio reporting in the Oakland Unified School District. Her interests range from dyslexia and neurodiversity advocacy to empowering student and minority voices within education. Follow her on twitter @Theresa_Soares.