On October 18, students in advanced Italian classes attended a field trip to the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C. The trip consisted of students watching the Italian film Italo and observing an award ceremony for winners in an Italian video contest among middle and high schoolers in the D.C. area.
After a brief introduction at the embassy, the students watched the film, which depicts a stray dog named Italo who becomes friends with a boy named Meno. Meno struggled with bullying, but gained confidence from his companionship with Italo and eventually goes on to become friends with a group of kids. The movie has a tragic ending in which Italo dies after getting hit by a car. The movie was very important for the students to watch as it was based off of a true story. Italo allowed the students to understand life in southern Italy, especially Sicily where the movie takes place.
After the movie, students from WJ and a DC middle school stayed to watch the award ceremony of a student-centered Italian film contest. In the high school category, senior Clara Freitas won the award for her video about her family’s immigration.
“Initially I didn’t think I won,” Freitas said. “I really like making videos. It’s something I do as a hobby and it just felt really good to be recognized.”
Freitas worked hard to make sure that every part of the video was in place before submitting it.
“I went to Mrs. Cavallini’s room to make sure all of my Italian was good,” Freitas said. “On Saturday, I filmed everything.”
Freitas took home a medal and the school was awarded a plaque, but more importantly, Freitas was immortalized in the Italian embassy as her video will appear on the embassy’s website. The trip was not only a victory for Freitas but also a victory for all the Italian students who attended and learned so much about Italian culture.