Award Winning Documentary Film ROOM TO BREATHE Now on iTunes

Award Winning Documentary Film ROOM TO BREATHE Now on iTunes

"Room to Breathe" follows four students in the classroom with the highest suspension rates in the San Francisco Unified School District as they are introduced to the practice of mindfulness meditation. Confronted by defiance, contempt for authority figures, poor discipline, and more interest in "social" than learning, their mindfulness teacher, Megan Cowan, of Mindful Schools, runs into unexpected trouble in the classroom. Will she succeed in overcoming the street-hardened defiance to open their minds and hearts?

Room to Breathe has aired nationally on 150 public television stations across the country, and in twenty film festivals in seven countries. Recognized by Edutopia as one of the top films "to get you thinking" about education reform, "Room to Breathe" is the first feature length documentary film to bring national attention to the growing movement of implementing mindfulness programs in classrooms.

Producer/director, Russell Long, Ph.D. says, "The American educational system today is obsessively focused on the acquisition and testing of external knowledge for children. Unfortunately, this has come at a great cost: neglect with regard to the social and emotional education of the whole child.

"However, since the mid-1990s, a variety of very effective social and emotional learning programs have been implemented in classrooms across the country. Backed up by major studies, these programs are shown to reduce anger and acting-out behavior, and improve attention, learning, and grades, as well as happiness and emotional self-regulation in the students involved in them.

"I made 'Room to Breathe' to highlight one such program, based on a practice called 'mindfulness,' implemented in several of the lowest-performing classrooms in the San Francisco Unified School District."

Long has produced several award winning social justice films that have screened at Sundance, Silverdocs (now AFI Docs), Telluride Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival. "Room to Breathe" is his directorial debut.

You can view the trailer on the film's website

Read more about mindfulness and "Room to Breathe" at the website above.