Novice producer has a huge hit on her busy hands

 

Abbotsford Times

 Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

 

Worldwide interest in documentary

Marcia Downham

Friday, September 26, 2008

Valerie Lowe of Abbotsford is at the tail end of finishing her first independent educational documentary, and it is already garnering interest from universities around the world.

Lowe, who holds a Bachelor Degree in Adult Education from the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, took it upon herself five years ago to solely fund and produce her own documentary on the life and theory of Lev Vygotsky.

“I wanted to create this so professors could have an extensive and intriguing educational tool,” said Lowe, who used to work in staff training and management for the B.C. government and has had a hand in producing other adult education videos.

Valerie Lowe of Abbotsford is almost finished production on her first educational documentary on the life and theory of Lev Vygotsky, a 20th century developmental psychologist who helped establish the branch of cultural and historical psychology.

Valerie Lowe of Abbotsford is almost finished production on her first educational documentary on the life and theory of Lev Vygotsky, a 20th century developmental psychologist who helped establish the branch of cultural and historical psychology.

Recently, Lowe presented a few clips of her documentary at the University of California in San Diego and it received great response, she said.

Since then many orders having been coming her way, her first being from Australia. She has also been invited to show her documentary at the Performing the World ’08 conference and festival in New York City Oct. 2 to 5, which is expected to attract more than 500 grassroots practitioners, scholars and researchers.

Lowe’s documentary explores almost every aspect of Vygotsky, a 20th century Russian developmental psychologist, who was the founder of cultural-historical psychology.

Vygotsky was a highly prolific author who’s theories – around the disadvantaged, blind and mentally handicapped – are still, to this day, taught in classrooms worldwide.

“I talked to a lot of professors to see if this product was wanted and I couldn’t believe the interest,” she said. “Most of them were really excited about it and the support to do it was phenomenal.”

To properly portray who Vygotsky was and what he was trying to teach, Lowe spoke to almost every educator and practitioner familiar with Vygotsky’s theories.

She set up film crews in Jerusalem, Moscow, Florence, San Diego, New York, Vancouver and St. Louis, interviewed Vygotsky’s remaining family members and even gathered original archived photos and film footage, such as the original footage from the Russian Revolution.

She found many talented people from the Fraser Valley to help her in her venture including a music composer, an editor, a graphic animator, a narrator and a Russian translator who just so happens to be the head of the UFV language department.

Lowes documentary is expected to be finished Oct. 15.

For more information about the video and its content go to www.vygotskydocumentary.ca.

© Abbotsford Times 2008

 

 

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