About Viewfinder

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The global education program is proud to host the fourth annual Viewfinder Global Film Series. 

Co-founded by Spencer White and Nance Leonhardt

Films are recommended by faculty and chosen as extensions of curriculum. 

All films start concurrently at 6:30 p.m. in Vollum Humanities Center classrooms and Gerlinger Auditorium.

Some films have been chosen for younger audiences from festivals such as Chicago International Children's Film Festival. Few of these films are rated and some depict "mature" content. Please click the title for descriptions and use your discretion in deciding on films for your children.


Global education helps us better understand people from other cultures and ourselves.

While the language of film is universal, topical approaches, directorial styles, and contextual elements are as diverse as the regions in which they are created. Like works of literature, films allow viewers to access authentic, first-person points of view. We see the world through the eyes of others, and in the process expand our own view.  

Viewfinder coordinator Nance Leonhardt meets with global trip leaders, student groups, classroom teachers and others to select a series of films that will engage students and parents across divisions and give voice to the diversity of people and cultures here at Catlin Gabel. We sincerely hope that the Viewfinder Series inspires teachers to build curriculum around the subject matter of films and look for possible thematic collaborations. If there is a particular film you'd like to have us consider screening, please contact Brendan Gill or Nance.

Choosing films that are inspired by our curriculum, the Viewfinder Global Film Series aims to:

  • Inspire curiosity and ignite conversation about people and places across the globe.
  • Invite an audience representing all constituents of our community.
  • Disrupt and question preconceptions and stereotypes.
  • Broaden our points of view on global issues.
  • Access films that we would not normally encounter in mainstream media. 
  • Deepen our conversations about what global education, diversity, and multiculturalism mean at Catlin Gabel.

While trips are an important aspect of global education, we want both traveling and non-traveling students to gain exposure to the cultures some students have visited.

International students and leave of absence students
By choosing films that relate to our international students' home countries and the destinations of our returning and outbound SYA students, we deepen our international connections to each other.