"North Putnam" depicts a year in the life of a rural Indiana school district and the community it serves. Crafted with empathy, a hyper-real reporting lens and skillfully lush cinematography, the film aims to reach across divides and to spark action-oriented conversations about the interdependence between public schools and community development.
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How it Came Together
"North Putnam" is a special initiative of The Castle, Beth Benedix's (Producer) Putnam County-based nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing learning experiences for students where they feel seen, heard, valued and empowered, and supporting teachers in their ability to create environments that spill over with joy, creativity, relevance, rigor and authenticity.
In Fall 2019, as Beth was putting together her syllabus for her existentialism course, an advertisement for Joel Fendelman's award-winning film, "Man on Fire," came across her email. She immediately watched the trailer, then contacted Joel, who Zoomed in with her class after they watched the film.
Deeply moved and impressed by Joel's non-intrusive and open-ended approach to storytelling, Beth proposed to him that they make a film that would create a conversation around public education as a vital component of a thriving democracy and that would set out to build bridges across divides.
The film depicts the larger context in which The Castle lives, the "why" behind the programs and partnerships it develops. We hope audiences come away feeling inspired by the administrators, teachers, students and community members of North Putnam and energized to develop strategies that are impactful in their own communities.
We're SO close to completing "North Putnam!" Please help us raise the last bit of funding we need to recoup outstanding costs for editing, sound-mixing and color grading as we explore partnerships to bring this urgent conversation about public education and community development to as wide an audience as possible. Donate by September 10 to be credited in the film!!!! Thank you so much for your support!