Facing History Shadow Awards

Posted by Mary Hendra on January 22, 2015

In LA it's all about the movies right now. Academy Award nominations are out. Golden Globes, DGA, ... everybody is talking about films. We'd like to hear YOUR thoughts!

Who or what would YOU nominate in a shadow, Facing History -related list of categories? We've started the list, but this is a 100% totally democratic, all-inclusive process. Nominate more films in the comments below. Vote with an opportunity for write-ins. We aren't even strict about "this year" - if you saw or used it this year, that's good enough for us! Not everybody has enough time to see new films as soon as they release.

Theatre or film festival movies we saw this year that made us think of Facing History:


  • Tom Bradley's Impossible Dream. We shared the educational version of "Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race" with teachers at our seminars this summer.
  • Evolution of a Criminal. Showing at the LA Film Festival, this was a fascinating autobiographical exploration of the experiences which led to the filmmaker becoming a criminal.
  • Documented. Another biographical piece, about the journalist Jose Antonio Vargas coming out as undocumented, and a personal exploration of immigration. Featured at the National Conference for Social Studies educators this November.
  • Powerbroker. This piece focuses on civil rights worker Whitney Young, and in doing so shows the complexity of the Civil Rights Movement with individuals working in their sphere of influence. Young's work in the business community is not as visible as marches, but clearly had significant impact.


  • Aftermath. Seen by a number of us in Poland this year (though it technically came out last year), this Polish film explores issues of memory and legacy in post-Holocaust Poland.
  • Selma. There was talk about Selma getting snubbed by the Academy, but it has to be on our list since there is definitely a Facing History connection. (See my previous post on using the song, "Glory" from the film with students.)

Facing History produced films

Facing History and Ourselves has been producing more and more short films ourselves. Have any favorites yet? (Explore the collection here.) Here are a few of ours:

And, what about a category that doesn't even TRY to limit it to films produced this year, but USED this year. What film provides the best whole-school experience to shape or reinforce positive school culture? Here are three we've used with our partnership schools.

Best whole school focus

We'll give a couple weeks for you to add to our unscientific list, and then post a ballot for voting. SHARE your additional nominations below.

Topics: Film

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