Thanks to a Filmmaking Award from the Sundance Insititute and TED, I’m about to start making a film about the work of 2013 TED Prize winner, Sugata Mitra. Since the mid 1990s, Sugata has pioneered the development of ‘self-organised learning environments’ (SOLEs) with children. He began with an experiment installing a computer into a wall of a slum adjoining his workplace (an idea which became the inspiration for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’). Check out his TED talk for the story of how that work developed into his current project, The School In The Cloud, in which children teach themselves via cloud-based computing overseen by a global network of mediators.
Mitra is a fantastic subject for a documentary – articulate, funny and provocative. I proposed a film which explores his work from the bottom up, focusing on the stories of those whose lives it is changing, in rural India and north east England. We’ve provisionally titled the film ‘Like Whirlwinds’ – after a comment made by one of Sugata’s e-mediators describing the group of Indian children she mentors.
The film will be produced by Al Morrow and Dan Demissie at Met Film Production, my hard-working partners on Town Of Runners. We’ve hit the ground running and start filming in the Ganges Delta at the end of July. I’ll keep you posted.