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Sometimes you have the privilege of encountering a person who genuinely changes lives. Not the usual suspect: a doctor, policeman, or firefighter but a teacher.

The Varkey Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children. They wanted us to produce a series of films to tell the stories of the ‘top ten’ teachers contending to win their US$1 million Global Teacher Prize.


The stories had to be told powerfully. These teachers not only change lives but save them too.

Maggie MacDonnell won the Global Teacher Prize. She’s not just a teacher to the children and community in Salluit, Northern Arctic Quebec. She is a mentor, friend and daily inspiration.

There are high levels of unemployment and truancy in Salluit, and there were endemic problems with teenage suicide, alcoholism, and drug use when Maggie arrived. The film about her documents the way she has worked with the community to encourage students back into school and on to higher education. In a geographically hostile environment she has created a holistic programme of youth learning centred around personal wellbeing and physical education. She has also focussed on equipping students with practical life skills. As a consequence, suicide numbers have fallen and substance abuse reduced.

The films also formed part of a global communications campaign for the Global Teacher Prize and Global Skills and Education Forum (GESF) in Dubai. The winner of the prize is selected on a ‘vote for’ basis. The film played a key role in conveying who Maggie is and what she stands for. She even received a personal message of congratulations from the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau!



film crews travelled over 85,000 km & 5 continents


film views on Facebook


twitter impressions


facebook impressions the week of the event