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Beyond The Wall

This moving one-hour documentary, about four DC teens in China, is the perfect way to create conversations about the life-transforming impact of study abroad and global education.


About The Film

Beyond The Wall is an independent documentary film, produced by CIB Productions, a Beijing-based production company. It tells the story of four DCPS high school students (from Ballou, Anacostia/McKinley, Roosevelt, and Wilson) who were selected for a six-week Chinese language and culture program in Beijing in summer 2009. This opportunity was offered at no cost to the students through our partnership with Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA), with partial funding from the US State Department. The film follows the students in their homes, schools, and communities before their summer travel; during the six-week trip; and in the years since their return.

Beyond The Wall makes a powerful statement about the value and impact of global exposure and study abroad, particularly for students in underserved schools and communities. Three of the four students featured had never traveled abroad before this China trip (at least one had never been on an airplane before). Remarkably, seven years after filming, three of the four students are on an academic/career path directly related to their 2009 high school trip to China.

View the trailer at www.beyondthewalldoc.com.

The Role of Globalize DC

From the inception of the project, because the focus was on students in our DC China Scholars Program, we served as the US-based partner to CIB Productions during filming, as well as in pre- and post-production. Sally Schwartz, Globalize DC’s Executive Director, served as an associate producer on the film.

In this role, CGEL/Globalize DC organized a series of preview screenings to assess audience reaction and solicit input. This included screenings for students, teachers, parents, and other community members at schools, libraries, and other venues. We also facilitated on the following pre-release screenings:

  • With the George Washington University School of Education: for international education professionals
  • At NAFSA’s Annual Conference in Boston: for study abroad professionals

The US Department of Education premiered Beyond The Wall during International Education Week 2014. This event included a panel discussion, moderated by the Mohamed Abdel-Kader, the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) Office.

In September 2015, Beyond the Wall had its broadcast premiere on WHUT-TV, the PBS affiliate at Howard University.

Organize your own school or community screening

We believe that Beyond The Wall is a great tool for promoting at least two primary messages:

  1. The empowering impact of international travel and intensive language study, especially on students who have traditionally not had access to study abroad programs.
  1. The importance of the US-China relationship and the value of China and Chinese language study.

The 57-minute film is now available for individual or institutional purchase or rental. We highly recommend Beyond The Wall to any organization, school, university, library, or other institution interested in promoting or discussing global education, study abroad, diversity in study abroad, China studies, Chinese language learning, the student achievement gap, experiential learning, or other topics related to urban public education.

Discounted prices now available through Globalize DC

For information on purchase or rental, go to http://beyondthewalldoc.com/film-available-online/.

For digital orders, you can go directly to http://beyondthewall.vhx.tv.

For home use DVD purchase, go to https://www.createspace.com/850015107.

For discounts through Globalize DC (thanks to CIB Productions), use these coupon codes:

  • For (digital) Home Use or Home Use Special Edition:
    Use Coupon Code GLOBALIZEDC (for a 10% discount).
  • For Home Use DVD purchase at Create-A-Space. 
    Use Coupon Code WDHLRR6D (for a 10% discount).
  • For School, Library, Nonprofit, and Institutional Use (with public screening rights):
    Use Coupon Code GLOBALIZEDC30 (for a 30% discount).

If your school, college, university, or organization is interested in collaborating with Globalize DC to organize a screening, please contact Sally Schwartz at sally@globalizedc.org.