Academy Award Winning Director Ross Kauffman to Host Screening at Gould

January 23, 2014
Ross Kauffman

Ross Kauffman


Academy Award winning director Ross Kauffman is bringing his film “Born Into Brothels” to Gould Academy for a screening on Friday, January 31, 2014.

The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Bingham Auditorium followed by a question and answer session in the Sanborn Family Library in Hanscom Hall at 9:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

“Born Into Brothels” tells the story of Zana Briski and Kids With Cameras, a non profit that is dedicated to teaching the art of photography to children who live in the red light district of Calcutta, India.

The film  was the winner of the 77th annual Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2005.

Kauffman’s visit to Gould is the result of student activism led by senior Madison Hertzog ’14 who has worked to bring the filmmaker to campus for over a year.

Hertzog’s idea came from a project in her AP Composition Class taught by Dave Bean, where the final outcome is “something that could impact Gould,” she said. After reading “Half the Sky” for class, which sheds light on the brutalization of women and  gender inequality in the developing world, Hertzog became interested in bringing the issues of gender equality and education as an economic driver to Gould.

English Teacher Dave Bean and Director of College Counseling Brooke Libby, who are friends with Kauffman, introduced Madison to the idea of bringing the filmmaker to campus to talk about “Born Into Brothels.”

“After Madison connected the ideas in “Half the Sky” and “Born Into Brothels,” she came to ask me about the film and my friendship with Ross,” said Libby. “I knew that Ross would want to help. When Madison and I reached out to him, he said yes immediately and moreover, ‘I like this girl. She has spunk!'”

Said Hertzog, “I thought his film would connect with art students and the art department. I thought it would connect with ninth graders who travel abroad for Four Point, and I thought it would enlighten the Gould community.”

Hertzog has worked to expand this project beyond Gould and into the greater community, posting flyers around Bethel and sending personal letters of invitation to schools around Maine.

“I thought if I could bring Ross here it would help build a global awareness that might lead to action,” she said.

After a year of emails and conflicting schedules, her hard work pays off on January 31.

Kauffman’s latest documentary “E-TEAM,” is a story “driven by the high-stakes investigative work of four intrepid human rights workers, offering a rare look at their lives at home and their dramatic work in the field.”

“E-TEAM” has been selected for the Documentary Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, January 16-26.

“Born Into Brothels” took home the Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award in 2005

View the trailer for “Born Into Brothels.”


One Response

  1. Avatar Sara says:

    What a great example of student activism!

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