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01 February 2013

Studio G-dcast Brings Together Community Teens, Artists and Filmmakers

By G-dcast's Allie Wollner

From day one at G-dcast, we’ve been working towards one mission: to raise basic Jewish literacy using new media storytelling. We chose this medium with today’s younger generations in mind—where does one find them? Online, of course.

For the past seven years, we’ve worked hard to make G-dcast films into a teaching tools for all kinds of folks—teachers in Hebrew and day school classrooms, B’nei Mitzvah coaches, parents with young children who want a way to learn together, interfaith families looking to bridge the gap, converts needing foundations in the religion, and Jews of all sorts who want to learn more about their roots.

Now, G-dcast is taking the next step. We’re turning our fans into filmmakers. We’re doing this through a community program debuted last year called Studio G-dcast. Studio G-dcast brings cohorts together to conceptualize and create short animated films about classic Jewish texts, G-dcast style.

In the first year of the program, we’ve made eight Studio G-dcast films. The first was with a group of families in Berkeley, CA. The next was with a cohort of 9th grade campers from Ramah in Wisconsin. The remaining six were with a group of university level animators and storytellers during an artists’ residency at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) in San Francisco last August.

We already have six Studio G-dcast films lined up for 2013. One will be made by a group of young adults in the San Francisco Bay Area and look at food in Judaism. It’s called Studio Pastrami, naturally. The other five films will come out of our 2nd year of the Studio G-dcast residency at the CJM.

Close reading and meticulous text study are built in to Studio G-dcast programs. Kids scour the text to clues about how Miriam, Moses, and Aaron should look. Screenwriters read the dialogue carefully and check their modern adaptations against the original biblical language to make sure they’ve stayed faithful to the story and preserved the original meaning. Contributors on Studio G-dcast productions love the program. They tell us they learn a ton, not only about the texts they’re working with, but about the richness of Jewish study methods, dialogue, and interpretation.

Watch all the Studio G-dcast films at www.g-dcast.com/studioand APPLY for Studio G-dcast CJM 2013 and Studio Pastrami!

*Click here to visit the G-dcast Resource Page on this site!

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