Why we do what we do
Hello! My name is Amal Bahloul, and I am president of Lights, Camera, Learn! We are a non-profit organization that aims to revolutionize both the tourism and education industries by traveling the world while teaching languages through the art of filmmaking. Our goal is to connect storytellers from all around the world to collaborate on creating meaningful, inspiring, and educational art that stems from two cultures colliding. We do this by connecting filmmakers with children around the world who wish to learn languages through the cooperative and immersive art of filmmaking.
We know that languages are best taught through active learning. Traditionally, languages are taught in sections: grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking. My father, Dr. Maher Bahloul, realized that this is an unrealistic and inefficient way to teach languages. Rather, they should be taught through cultural understanding, immersion, and creativity. In 2011, he published a book called: "lights, camera, action and the brain: the use of filmmaking in the classroom," in which he highlighted more advantages to this teaching method. Filmmaking, as an innovative teaching technique, provides a way for our “stars”, or learners, to be actively involved in the product their making; thus, language learning almost becomes a secondary tool in the creative process, and the outcome of our sessions have been truly transformational on many levels.
Similarly, we believe that being a tourist in another country does not provide individuals with the most meaningful travel abroad experience; rather, they must take on the personality of a traveller. A traveller is someone that adds value to the society they are in, by sharing their culture and at the same time understanding the culture that they are immersed in. In today’s world of intolerance, cultural immersion with the locals while traveling is key to broadening horizons, and capturing that growth on film is truly spectacular.
This summer alone, in less than two months, we worked with over 135 kids, in three different countries, and made 15 short films. My favorite part about my job, other than the joy it brings the kids to be in a movie for the first time, is truly the cross-cultural richness that stems from our interns traveling to countries they wouldn't typically travel to, as well as the kids collaborating with people from a completely different culture (that they usually only see on TV). Next summer, we have Programs in Nazareth, Seville, Tunis and Sfax. Our internship positions include: Director Of Education, Social Media Manager, behind the scenes photographer, Cinematographer, Director, Editor, Gaffer and Production Sound Mixer.
We would like to continue inspiring and motivating children around the world to be confident and to be passionate about education. Analogously, we want to instill in our interns a desire to continue traveling and serving their global community. If my words, although numerous, have sparked an interest in you, I would love to continue this conversation to see how we can collaborate.