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Film Festival - The Truman Show

Tuesday - May 20, 2008
Performing Arts Center - 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Truman Show

Hosted by: Dr. Robert Singer, Professor of English
College Now English Course Coordinator
Dr. Mary Ortiz, College Now Science Coordinator

Hosted by: Dr. Robert Singer, Professor of English
College Now Course Coordinator
Professor Sam Taitt, College Now Communications Course Coordinator

About the Movie: The Truman Show
Director, Peter Weir - Rating PG
The Truman Show chronicles the life of a man who does not know that his entire life is a constructed reality soap opera, televised 24-hours-a-day to millioins across the globe.

About the Presenter:
Professor Sam Taitt is a communications specialist who is a faculty member in the Communications and Performing Arts Department at Kingsborough Community Colege and also serves as the Course Coordinator for the College Now Communications course. He has worked as a consultant in several political campaigns in the Caribbean and here in New York advising candidates on TV and radio advertising and its impact, as well as having run for elected office himself. He believes it is important for students to be informed about their country and how the media impacts the world around them.

Standard College Essay

Extra Credit Assignment
Many issues arise from the analysis and discussion of the film, The Truman Show. Some of these issues involve: reality based television productions; who/what controls the media; consumerism and the individual; and, philosophicallly speaking, what do we mean when we say that something (or, someone) is real?

In a full-length essay (approximately 400-500 words), later to be revised for content and correctness, discuss any of the issues raised in the film, The Truman Show that you consider to be of special interest either for yourself or for society. Explain why and how these issues are significant not only in the film but also in relationship to your own life, society, or even both. You may refer to this film or any other, past or recent historical events as presented in any form of media coverage, and other people's opinions.

Sample ACT Essay

The Truman Show (1998) is a film about the medium of television and other big businesses, and the controlling relationship this medium has over the individual. In this film, the medium of television is powerful and seems to be manipulating the flow of information as it shows moments and images in the life of Truman. This is a reality-based show, a live broadcast. Truman lives his scripted life, but then learns about his real life. Truman then selects his own direction in search of himself. One message that the film suggests is the media, especially television is a very powerful and controlling source of information for society and that we cannot accept or believe all that we see.

You have been asked to write a letter to your local congressperson in which you will express your views concerning the funding of a high school project to experiment with a live broadcast in a media production class. This project will follow the life of a selected volunteer from the senior class, either male or female, to serve as a model "Truman" and be videotaped live for a two week project. This project is a class based assignment and money to support the rental of professional and expensive equipment comes from the congressperson's office. Do you believe that either the school or the local government should be involved in supporting research and development of this project? What important personal and professional issues can you see arising from creating such a project? Should this project be produced?

Fully discuss your view; you may refer to past or recent historical or media events, discussions, and other films, including The Truman Show.

Mini-Research Project

(NOTE: This is NOT a research paper - it is a research-oriented, library experience in which students gather and categorize information. They can prepare outlines, note-cards, bibliography, cite references, or practice any combination of these skills associated with preparing a research paper. The use of the Internet is also encouraged.)

Prepare an investigative project that focuses on any one of the following topics associated with or suggested by the film, The Truman Show.

a) Reality based television
b) Parody in film
c) career of Jim Carrey
d) History of cable television

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