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President Obama opened the first White House Film Festival Feb. 28

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President Obama opened the first-ever White House Film Festival Feb. 28, with 16 selected short movies by K-12 students about the importance of technology in classrooms.

"They're not just really impressive films – together, they tell the story of exactly why it's so important that we make sure more classrooms have the kind of cutting-edge technology the films promote," the White House said.

Watch live at 2:30 P.M. The White House Student Film Festival's cast included Kal Penn, Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Conan O’Brien.

The White House noted that "only around 30 percent of our students have the high-speed Internet access they need for digital learning."

President Obama's ConnectED initiative aims to connect 99 percent of students to next-generation, high-speed broadband within five years.

The President made his first movie in February to celebrate progress on ConnectED.

"The Filmmaker-in-Chief" went to Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland to announce that "some of America’s largest companies answered the President’s call to action towards that goal by pledging more than $750 million in commitments to deliver cutting-edge technologies to classrooms..." the White House continued.

"Building on the President’s eagerness to connect students to technology, and his newfound interest in filmmaking, we’re excited to host the first-ever White House Student Film Festival," the White House said.

"In November, we called for K-12 students around the country to create short films on the role of technology in their classroom, and students responded with more than 2,500 entries.

The American Film Institute (AFI) collaborated on the project. "Tomorrow's storytellers have shown here that film and technology will help lead the nation forward -- an enduring reminder that movies matter," AFI President & CEO Bob Gazzale said in a statement.

In 2012, AFI celebrated the 50th anniversary of "To Kill A Mockingbird" with President Obama, who introduced the film both at the White House and before a national televised screening of the classic film.



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