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Screening & Panel Talk: Spirit Ship, with Filmmaker Kristin Eno & Guests

Spirit Ship reveals a mysterious, poetic journey taken by three "children of earth." Through their discovery of many strange and haunting personal artifacts strewn along the sea shore, the children eventually come to see beyond the living world, into the spirit realm, where three young victims of a shipwreck are also wandering. The story is set against the backdrop of several untouched historic and natural environments along the Red Hook, Brooklyn waterfront.

This fanciful, highly imaginative, and engaging short narrative film (17 minutes) was shot on location in Red Hook with six remarkable children ranging from four to 10 years of age. There was no script, only a treatment written by Kristin B. Eno with Sean Eno and Damaris Cozza. Over two weekends, Kristin and her crew gave the children the opportunity to naturally respond to their surroundings and to a curious range of antique objects they had hidden. As in other films made by Little Creatures, the children later viewed the footage and described their actions, effectively creating insightful voiceover narration. What is revealed in this process is the educational importance of child-led media and child-created, imaginative play, inspired by surroundings, simple objects and questions. Spirit Ship won the prize for Best Fiction Film at the 2011 Red Hook Film Festival, and is a preliminary selection in the Primary division of the 2011 Japan Prize for Educational Media.

Kristin Brenneman Eno, is a Brooklyn-based artist, filmmaker, and teacher. She received her M.A. in Art Education from Teachers College and her B.A. in Studio Art from Dartmouth College. Kristin is Director of Little Creatures, film for and made in collaboration with young children. Her short films include Mysteries in the Woods (2006-09); Mystery Castle with a Lot of Treasures (2006); Ark (2002-2004); and Sophie in the Trees (2001). Kristin has exhibited her paintings and films extensively in NYC and the US, and has received numerous awards, among them the NYSCA School Arts Partnership Grant and Local Capacity Building Arts in Education Grants, and the Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Regrant. She has completed residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Rotunda Gallery/BCAT and I-Park, and her writing has been published in Youth Media Reporter.

Kristin Eno will discuss her film Spirit Ship, particularly how it relates to emergent curriculum/inquiry-based early childhood education; the current dialog about children's need for both more unstructured and more outdoor play; and the educational importance of storytelling. She will discuss the potential of Spirit Ship (and similar films) as new content for the children's media market, with three guests who are experienced in the field:

Renee Cherow-O'Leary serves on the advisory board for Little Creatures Films and is Founder and President of Education for the 21st Century. She develops educational materials for children, parents and teachers in multiple platforms including print, television, web, blogs, gaming and virtual worlds. Her clients include large media organizations such as Disney, PBS, Sprout (Comcast), and HIT Entertainment, Newsweek and The New York Times Newspaper in Education Program, as well as non-profit groups and think tanks, such as the U.S. Institute of Peace, Storahtelling, Little Creatures Films, and the Children's Movement for Creative Education. Recently, Renee was a Supervising Teacher on Channel Thirteen's new Teaching Channel. Videos of those classes are available online. Renee is former Assistant Professor of English Education at Teachers College, and was also the Director of Research in the Magazine Group of the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) for seven years. Renee is a graduate of Barnard College in English and Philosophy. She has a Master's degree in English and Education from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. in Communications and Culture (Media Ecology) from New York University.

Marj Kleinman
is an interactive and documentary producer with more than 18 years of experience creating award-winning children’s content across a variety of media. Currently, Marj is the Senior Interactive Producer of Children’s and Educational Media at Thirteen/WNET where she produces digital media for projects including Cyberchase, Mission US, and Noah Comprende. Previously, she was Director of Digital Media at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Past clients have included PBS, Funny Garbage, Simon & Schuster, Sesame Workshop, Nick, Nick Jr., Noggin, Time for Kids,, and Scholastic Media, where she oversaw online content and marketing for their entertainment group. At Scholastic, she spearheaded the robust animated site, Word Girl for PBS Kids and developed an award-winning game for Clifford the Big Red Dog. Marj holds an M.A. from New York University in Educational Psychology and B.S. from Emerson College in Theater Production and Film.

Russell Miller is Managing Director of the Center for Intentional Media. Russell has been creating educational activities, electronic, print and live, for more than three decades. He has designed media at Disney, Scholastic, the American Museum of Natural History and, for ten years, Sesame Workshop. As founding Director of Education for Nickelodeon's preschool channel, Noggin, Russell pioneered a standards-based TV/online curriculum, supervising its implementation across all programs and branding content. An honors graduate of Harvard College, Russell holds Masters degrees in education, from New York University and journalism, from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He is currently affiliated with the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where he teaches undergraduate child psychology and conducts research on the neuroscience of reading acquisition.

Reviews of Spirit Ship and additional information can be found on Spirit Ship's Kickstarter project page.

This event is sponsored by the FERA (Film and Education Research Academy) and Gottesman Libraries.

Persons wishing to attend may rsvp the library by Monday, November 28th.
Where: 306 Russell
Individuals with disabilities are invited to request reasonable accommodations including, but not limited to sign language interpretation, Braille or large print materials, and a campus map of accessible features. Address these requests to the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities at (212) 678-3689,, or Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at (212) 678-3853 V/TTY,




  • Jennifer Govan
  • 212-678-3022
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