Dan Bennett, is the founding director of The Children’s Film Festival Company, a non-profit international youth film festival series – the largest film festival and hands-on creative workshop network in the world – specializing in screening of narrative films, animation and documentaries, and educational workshops, for toddlers through teens and their families. Festivals include the Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Diego International Children’s Film Festival at Comic-Con International and other prestigious venues, the San Francisco Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose; and the New Orleans International Children’s Film Festival at the New Orleans Museum of Contemporary Art. Dan Bennett is a longtime reporter, essayist and arts-culture journalist whose work has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, MTV.com, and Movieline magazine. He was a staff writer and section editor for the North County Times in San Diego for 26 years. He has a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from San Diego State University. Dan is the founder of StoryGrip, a consulting agency that helps non-profits and governments craft stories that boost awareness of their mission, using time-honored storytelling techniques. Dan shares his expertise around at film festivals around the world, including the Varazdin Animation Festival in Croatia, the Helsinki Children’s Film Festival in Finland, the Golden Elephant Film Festival in India, and Children’s Film Festival in Dubai.
On December 14, 2017 participants met with Dan Bennett a longtime reporter, essayist and arts-culture journalist whose work has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, MTV.com, and Movieline magazine. They learned the connection between basic journalism and digital film storytelling, including a look at Pixar as an outstanding storytelling model. Participants learned about evidence-based journalism through traditional storytelling techniques, including the significance of a lead sentence (news, feature and news-feature), “inverted pyramid” story flow, data usage, quotes, and human-interest. Students also learned how to use the American mythologist/philosopher Joseph Campbell’s model of “The Hero’s Journey” as a template. Link to slide presentation can be found at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CfodY__M6whGqPwF0eNQMZpo463Cy58dDDLNCNUbOoo