GlobeDocs Black History Month Film Festival Features: CodeSwitching

Via Zoom | February 16, 2021 | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

CodeSwitching: Directed by FC Member, Jonathan Swartz and Produced by Mike Mascoll.

CodeSwitching is a mashup of personal stories from three generations of students enrolled in a groundbreaking voluntary desegregation program. It explores shifting race relations in the suburban-urban axis, teen self-perception, and the role gender plays in fitting-in.

Enlisting a character-based approach, CodeSwitching is a moving look at the upside, and drawbacks, of years of constant code-switching. As students shuttle back and forth between the urban neighborhoods and the suburbs, they swap elements of culture, language, and behavior.

Participants in METCO, or, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, benefit from the venerable Boston/Springfield/Suburban effort in educational enhancement. Most achieve enviable academic success while some find navigating between the two highly-segregated worlds difficult.

Our storyline draws out the predicaments–alienation and it’s side effects–that often face high school and middle school teenage girls in METCO. They can feel estranged from their neighborhood friends and isolated at school. Stresses that their male counterparts may avoid, as teenage boys can reap thicker status and social benefits from athletics.

Employing documentary footage, theatrical sets, animation, and original music, CodeSwitching examines how the growing influence of social media may affect future generations of “Code Switchers.” Are they prepared for what lies ahead?