Meet the Filmmaker Q&A Reception
. and are proud to present “A Gift for the Village,” with Directors/Producers Tom Landon and Jenna Swann as part of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers at the Smithgall Arts Center on Friday, March 23, 2012. Ticket price includes the movie and the Meet the Filmmaker Q&A session
following the film screening.
“A Gift for the Village” examines the connections between an American Community and a remote Himalayan region both fighting to heal and deal with different obstacles
In June of 2007, seven friends traveled from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to the village of Jomsom in the Himalayas of Nepal to deliver a painting by American artist Jane Lillian Vance. The painting depicts Tsampa Ngawang, a Tibetan Amchi, or doctor and mind healer.
The film is narrated by Public Radio’s Lisa Mullins. The cross-cultural project has received the blessing of his Holiness the Dalai Lama, and examines the connections between an American community reeling in the face of the killings at Virginia Tech, and a remote Himalayan region fighting to preserve its way of life in the face of encroaching modernization.
Tom Landon Following a screening of their feature film, “A Gift for the Village,” Directors/Producers Tom Landon and Jenna Swann and the audience will engage in a discussion about the film and their work as a filmmakers.
Tom Landon is a certified Social Studies Teacher in grades 6-12 and has almost a decade of classroom teaching experience, and now enjoys the challenge of turning his classroom virtual, teaching advanced placement courses for Virtual Virginia, where he has already earned a reputation for his devotion to shepherding his students through cyberspace.
Landon was also Producer and Education Specialist for Blue Ridge Public Television, where he worked from 2000 until 2007.
Before going into teaching, Tom worked as a producer/videographer for a small production company and has been on location all over the United States and in 1989 circumnavigated the globe, shooting video in England, Russia and Japan for an industrial client. Over the last several years, Tom has become committed to the idea that anyone with dedication and motivation can become a television producer, given training and attention to detail. When Jenna won the McGlothlin Award for Teaching Excellence in 2000, Tom gave her some basic tips on shooting and editing prior to her trip to India and Nepal, which helped make it possible for the program to be produced on an extremely small budget.
In 2000, fifth-grade public school teacher Jenna Swann was the first recipient of the coveted McGlothlin Award for Teaching Excellence, an award designed to bring the world into public school classrooms. Swann traveled to India and Nepal for three months, visiting schools, monasteries, homes, artists, and craftspeople, while she kept in touch with her classroom as well as schools in Ohio, North Carolina, and Kentucky. She answered children‘s questions and helped them with research while she was on the road. Her travels resulted in the production of Into Nepal: A Journey Through the Kathmandu Valley, which she co-wrote and videotaped. This production won NETA‘s (National Educational Telecommunication Association) award for Best Documentary for 2003.
Swann has also participated in a Fulbright-Hayes grant to Malawi, Africa, where she taught in a rural government school. As a result, she co-produced Teacher Travels: The Warm Heart of Africa, distributed nationally as part of the NETA instructional television series, “Teacher Travels”.
Swann is a highly sought-after speaker at educational and technology conferences across Virginia. She has been teaching fifth grade since 1990.
The 2011-2012 Southern Circuit is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and local partner organizations. Special support for Southern Circuit was provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.