Notebook’s documentary on trauma a finalist for national EWA award

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Glen’s Village, the Notebook‘s 30-minute documentary film and multimedia reporting project on childhood trauma and Philadelphia’s public school system, was named a finalist for an Education Writers Association award for education reporting in the single-topic news or feature category for small newsrooms.

The film, directed by journalists Dorian Geiger and Paul Jablow, follows the journey of Glen Casey, a resilient young Philadelphian who overcame violence, drugs, and family turmoil as a teen to attend the University of Pennsylvania and become an active community member. Glen’s Village was produced as part of the Notebook‘s coverage of the impact of childhood trauma.

Also named finalists in the small newsroom category are The Marshall Project and The Hechinger Report for their respective stories on an innovative American-Indian math program and the sometimes questionable and often brutal disciplinary practices of Southern schools.

These prestigious awards "honor the best education journalism in the country," said Dale Mezzacappa, the Notebook‘s contributing editor and a former EWA president.

EWA is the largest journalistic organization of its kind dedicated to coverage of the country’s education system on all levels.

Glen’s Village has screened at film festivals across the United States and has received a handful of awards and nominations at those festivals. But the EWA award is the first journalism award for which the film has received recognition.

"The competition is stiff," said Mezzacappa. "Glen’s Village deserves the recognition. It’s a prime example of bringing attention to an important issue by telling a compelling story about an individual. It represents an important step into multimedia journalism by the Notebook."

"When we began production of Glen’s Village just over a year ago, I never had any idea the film would go this far," said the film’s director Dorian Geiger.

"The EWA nomination is a new milestone," said Geiger. "Glen Casey, the film’s main character, has a powerful message that clearly resonates with mothers, teens, teachers, and education advocates across America."

EWA will announce this year’s winners at its 69th annual national conference May 1-3 in Boston.

The next local screening of Glen’s Village will take place May 22 during the Philadelphia Independent Film Awards, where the film is nominated for best documentary. The film last played at the Durango Film Festival in Colorado, where it screened to a sold-out crowd.

While on the festival circuit, Glen’s Village cannot be made available in its full-length form online, but can be viewed in three parts.

To discover coming screenings of Glen’s Village and other news surrounding the Notebook’s documentary, please follow the Facebook page for Glen’s Village.