Impact Series

Impact Series

Curated Film Experiences for Grades 6 – 12

Montclair Film’s educators have curated a collection of powerful films designed to spark conversation about relevant social issues in science, civics, and social studies. After screening the film, students can engage in a lively discussion with the filmmaker and/or relevant content experts.

NEW! ’24 – ’25 Impact Films
(Additional films will be announced this summer!)

The Social Dilemma – 11/13/24

Our Top Rated ’23 – ’24 Impact Films Are Still Available:

High School Impact Films
Good Night Oppy
The YouTube Effect

Customized screening dates can be scheduled for groups of 40 or more.

Film Descriptions and Curriculum Connections

The Social Dilemma

Special Screening: 11/13

“The Social Dilemma” is a gripping documentary that explores the profound effects of social media on our society. Through interviews with former employees of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the film reveals the manipulative algorithms driving these platforms. It highlights the significant impact on mental health, democracy, and societal norms, posing critical questions about the role of technology in our lives.

After the screening, students will have the chance to participate in discussions with the filmmakers and/or experts in the field. This interactive element will deepen their understanding and encourage critical thinking and dialogue.

Key Issues Raised:

  • Misinformation and Democracy: The documentary shows how algorithms can spread misinformation, polarize communities, and undermine democratic processes.
  • Ethical Design and Responsibility: It calls for ethical considerations in the design and implementation of technology.
  • Mental Health and Addiction: The film explores how social media platforms are designed to be addictive, leading to increased anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues among users, especially teenagers.
  • Privacy and Surveillance: It reveals the extent of data collection and how personal information is used to influence behavior and decisions.

Curriculum Connections:

  • Science and Technology: “The Social Dilemma” provides a real-world example of the consequences of technological advancements. It aligns with New Jersey State Science standards HS-ETS1-1 (analyzing major global challenges) and HS-ETS1-3 (evaluating a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs). Students can critically analyze the ethical implications of technological innovations.
  • Civics and Social Studies: The film’s exploration of misinformation and its impact on democracy is crucial for students’ understanding of current events and the political landscape. It aligns with the New Jersey Social Studies standards 6.3.12.CivicsPR.7 (evaluate the impact of technology on relationships and societal norms). It offers a practical case study on the importance of media literacy and civic responsibility.
  • Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): By highlighting the mental health effects of social media, the film opens up essential conversations about emotional well-being, self-awareness, and responsible use of technology. This aligns with the New Jersey SEL Competencies, including self-awareness and responsible decision-making, helping students develop resilience and healthy digital habits.
  • Media Literacy: The documentary emphasizes the importance of understanding and critically evaluating the information consumed through media. It fosters awareness necessary to navigate and interpret the vast amount of information available online, supporting New Jersey’s focus on developing critical thinking skills.

Incorporating “The Social Dilemma” into the curriculum is not just an educational opportunity but a critical step in addressing the well-being of our students and the health of our democracy. Additional educational resources are available to continue the conversation and support further exploration of these vital topics.



Good Night Oppy is an inspiring STEM film that immerses audiences in the thrilling journey to Mars and the bond between the Mars rover Opportunity and NASA engineers. This cinematic experience brings the excitement and challenges of space exploration to students, igniting their interest in STEM careers.

The film not only celebrates scientific achievements but also showcases the human side of STEM. By featuring women in science and engineering, it breaks stereotypes and encourages young girls to pursue their passions in STEM fields. Through Opportunity’s mission, students witness perseverance and problem-solving skills firsthand, motivating them to explore their interests in STEM. They learn about the resilience required to overcome challenges and the innovative technologies enabling exploration on distant planets.

After the screening, students engage in a conversation with a NASA engineer, providing a direct connection to real-life STEM professionals. This interaction allows students to ask questions, gain deeper insights into space exploration intricacies, and learn about cutting-edge technologies involved in missions like the Mars rover program. It bridges the gap between the classroom and the real world, inspiring students to consider STEM pathways and envision themselves as future scientists and engineers.

Themes: STEM, Robotics, Space Exploration, Engineering

Rated: PG. Recommended for Grades 6 – 12.



YouTube’s story is a compelling mix of inspiration and caution. Emerging in 2005, it rapidly became a dominant global media platform, reshaping access to news, entertainment, and information. While it has enriched our lives, it has also raised concerns about the propagation of dangerous media and right-wing propaganda. This dilemma reflects the challenges of our technology-driven era.

A 2021 Pew Research Center survey confirms YouTube’s position as the most popular social media platform among US teens aged 13-17. The documentary The YouTube Effect explores its rise, showcasing its instant access to diverse content while addressing the darker aspects, including media manipulation.

Following the screening, students can engage in a Q&A session with the filmmaker, Alex Winter, or a Media Literacy expert. This offers invaluable insights into the documentary’s themes and the challenges of our modern world.

Themes: Media Literacy, Social Justice, Current Events, Science and Technology

Rating: Not rated. Recommended for Grades 10 – 12. Some strong language.


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind tells the true story of William Kamkwamba; the young Malawian boy who built a windmill entirely via DIY methods to save his family and village from drought and famine. Navigating life’s challenges, Alex’s unique bond with nature becomes a symbol of resilience, friendship, and the limitless human potential. The film, an adaptation of William’s book, is a visually stunning and heartwarming exploration of overcoming adversity, forging connections, and utilizing available resources to create a sustainable, renewable energy source. Audiences will be moved and inspired by this true tale of triumph.

Themes: Social Justice, Alternative Energy, Environmental Studies, Community Resilience, Sustainable Development, Global Citizenship, Empowerment, STEM Education, Innovation, Economic Development, Entrepreneurship

Rated: NR

*Film Field Trips dates can be customized for groups of 40 or more students.

Prices vary depending on film selected, number of students, and related speaker fees. If you are interested in learning more, please fill out the Impact Series Inquiry Form below. New Impact Films will be added periodically throughout the school year.