Advanced screening provides memorable experience


Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis answer questions via satellite in a Q&A session after the advanced screening of "Lincoln". Photo by Elizabeth Sims

Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis answer questions via satellite in a Q&A session after the advanced screening of "Lincoln". Photo by Elizabeth Sims

By Elizabeth Sims
Staff Writer

Junior Keith Kellenberger dreams of making films and becoming the next Steven Spielberg.

With fellow EMAC Academy and student media students, Kellenberger was able to hear from the iconic director and producer on Wednesday.

“I think for people like me, who are more geared toward feature films and journalism, the best part was that we got to talk to a very successful director and ask real time questions,” Kellenberger said. “It was an insanely great opportunity.”

The lessons learned from this experience were different for every student and teacher in attendance. Kellenberger hopes to use what he learned in the future as well as have something to talk about with his friends.

“I hoped to have something I could brag about to my friends, first of all,” Kellenberger said.  “Second of all, something that I could learn from as I experience opportunities the school has to offer with assistance from the advice of Steven Spielberg.”

With the red velvet seats in the expensive theater filled with teachers and students from the Dallas area, excited chatter stirred in the air as anticipation built for the movie to begin and the chance to ask Steven Spielberg or Daniel Day-Lewis questions. For some students, this screening and conversation was a once in a lifetime opportunity they could not pass up.

“The overall experience was awesome. The movie was great and should definitely get an Oscar, and it taught me a lot about Lincoln that I never knew,” sophomore Braden Creel said. “The Q&A was very informative, and it was interesting to hear about the making of the movie from [Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg].”

Coppell High School students and teachers from the Emerging Media and Communications Academy (EMAC) and publications attended the advanced screening of the new feature film “Lincoln” at AMC North Park in Dallas.

In addition to the screening, those in attendance were able to have a live satellite conversation with the film’s director Steven Spielberg and the Academy Award winning actor, portraying President Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis.

This screening was shown simultaneously in AMC theaters in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C. with audiences made up predominately of high school and college students and teachers. CHS was one of several schools in the region invited to the Dallas screening.

Students and teachers were invited by account executive for Susan Jacobs Inc. Madison Donahue.

“[Susan Jacobs Inc.] has a great relationship with Coppell,” Donahue said. “I was reaching out to different schools in the region and Coppell was on the list.”

EMAC lead Irma Kennedy was originally contacted by Donahue and jumped at the chance to give her students this exciting learning experience.

“It is interesting and eye opening to see that you have access that most people do not,” Kennedy said. “Even better, to be able to be a part of a Q&A session with people as prestigious Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis as students speaks volumes about how important they believe student voices are and how much their opinion matters.”

Kennedy was eager to see her students engage in a personalized conversation with Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis as they texted and tweeted questions to the prestigious speakers. However, the thought of what they would take away from this opportunity excited her even more.

“With the access these students had, I think they cannot help but walk away understanding the importance of the role of the media,” Kennedy said. “As well as understanding the responsibilities [journalists] have to take information and spread the message in a clear, concise, accurate and ethical manner.”

Those who did not attend the screening can share in the experience by going to to view the Q&A session with Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis and watching “Lincoln” when it hits theaters on Nov. 16.