SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 10 -- The Learning Channel (TLC)breaks new ground in documentary filmmaking when it premieres the new series "MY LIFE AS A CHILD" on Monday, February 26 at 7PM (ET /PT). In TLC's first "user-generated" series, 20 children ages 7-12 document their lives on digital video for a first-person perspective on the lives of our youngest generation.
In February 2006 , TLC asked children ages 7-12 to submit videos about their lives. Over 400 children responded, and 20 were selected for the series. Each child was producer, cameraperson and director of his or her segment, taping him or herself for approximately four months each and capturing footage that ultimately formed the six-episode series. Because kids control the cameras while TLC has crafted the series structure, the series marries the raw and spontaneous realm of user-generated content with quality network production values to give it a look, feel and tone that distinguish itfrom any other program on television.
In each one-hour episode, children give their unfiltered views on parents, peers and growing up. Frank, intimate and eye-opening, their perspectives offer powerful insight into the lives of American children in the 21st century. Some rites of passage stand the test of time, such as playing sports, striving in school, arguing with parents, or getting teased or bullied. But present-day kids also face new challenges: finding their way in blended families, growing up with same-sex parents, eschewing public schools for home schooling and more.
"First-person filmmaking by these children gives this series an intimacy unequaled on television," said David Abraham , executive vice president and general manager, TLC. "Furthermore, their perspectives on today's most pressing issues, including race, poverty, bullying and more are deeply insightful and far beyond their years. We are thankful to them for opening up their lives to us in such a powerful, raw and real way."
Just 10 years ago, a series like this wouldn't have been possible, but the digital video revolution has inspired a new era in first-person documentary filmmaking and the YouTube phenomenon, among others. Whereas once parents would operate the family's sole Super8 camera, now children familiar with reality TV and the Internet are taking the reins and directing the action themselves.
The featured stories include 8-year-old writing prodigy Adora who just published her first book and is working on another; 8-year-old Cole, who is challenging perceptions about living with cerebral palsy and taking karate classes; 11-year-old Miashanti who plays linebacker as the only girl in her local football league; 8-year-old Joshua who is growing up without a father in a tough Baltimore neighborhood; 10-year-old African-American Lisetanne whose perspectives on race are shaped by her relationship with her Caucasian adoptive mother, and many more.
The Learning Channel's "MY LIFE AS A CHILD" powerfully explores the world we are creating for future generations as reflected by a single camera lens focused on each child. Their often inspiring and heart-warming stories speak volumes to the ways in which we parent, teach and pass on life's lessons to those just beginning their journeys.
Online at TLC.com, the kids from "MY LIFE AS A CHILD" will discuss their experiences, and offer tips and insights to kids on how to make their very own videos.
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