About the film

How the idea came about

In February 2017 we decided to venture into a trip without a return ticket for 16 months touring Asia and Oceania. Apart from being an extraordinary life experience, we did not miss the opportunity to visit some schools and work with some NGO’s in the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, India and Nepal, interviewing teachers, students and school leaders. That trip was the germ of the documentary project «Searching for Superman», which we are currently carrying out in Europe.

We visit on April 2018 the Door Step School, a «school on wheels» that goes through the poorest neighbourhoods of Bombay (India), bringing the school closer to the children who otherwise could not attend it.

Four months after returning from Asia and Oceania, on October 10, 2018 we took our van and left our home in Bilbao (Basque Country), and started traveling around Europe with the dream of producing a featured-length documentary film with the most interesting and inspiring stories of change we find while on the road.

After 12 months on the road we have already visited 22 projects/schools and film more than 66 interviews and travel trough 6 European countries (Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Croatia).

We have the exceptional support of Ashoka that is guiding us in every country we visit and discovering some key projects, schools and social leaders from their change maker network.

As we move forward we produce short videos as a result of the interviews we do in each school. We are sharing them through this website and our youtube channel. The best ideas from each interview are weaving the puzzle of the documentary «Searching for Superman». Our idea is to start with the postproduction at the end of 2021, once our European adventure ends.

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Crossing Germany and Austria during the winter was the first critical moment of the travel around Europe having to withstand temperatures up to -12 C while living in a not enough isolated van

Is it necessary another documentary about education?

We absolutely think so.

There are so many inspiring movies about successful stories of change, films criticising the State education system and the traditional pedagogical model, such as «La educación prohibida», «School of trust», «Ser y tener», «Une idée folle»…is it necessary one more? We think so.

It has been demonstrated that these movies have had a big impact on audiences all around the world, shifting mindsets and generating already a movement of change in education. We are almost reaching the mainstream, we are at the point of convincing teachers, parents and school leaders from schools all around the world that the change is not only necessary but possible and reachable.

What it is necessary right now is to demonstrate that this change must be achieved together, sharing ideas and knowledge from apparently different pedagogical approaches, through learning ecosystems, this is local communities of social leaders and change makers working together to achieve that change.

Ashoka’s strategy at global, national and regional level is to create a network of networks of social entrepreneurs and change makers in order to have a bigger influence together in the big audience of educational influencers and in the end achieve the change.

This is our goal with Searching for Superman. To show how everybody can get inspiration from any school in any place in Europe and how the people can organise and work together to make innovative education the norm for the good of the planet, for the good of all.

This is not about private elitist schools. This is about creating a quality school for everybody

We firmly believe that public education is a treasure. Quality public education, free for all. It is the most important institution on which a society is built, the one in which we live, the one we love and hate equally. A society that could be better thanks to the school.

We would like to start from a blank page to design a new school, from scratch, but unfortunately in most cases it is not possible. Designing a new school from the base would be relatively easy today with the amount of research, methodologies and studies that exist. But the reality is that each school has a different starting point and its own roadmap towards innovation.

We don’t believe in successful models that can be copied and produced as donuts, what really exist are inspiring stories of change. Each school works in a very specific conditions that make its educational project unique.

Public schools are supposed to have a limited authority because of the National Curriculum. That’s because we are looking for public schools that have understood that the Curriculum can be more an opportunity that a limitation. This schools are recognized as «Change Maker» schools.

In recent times discomfort has become widespread among fathers and mothers who worried about the education of children, have lost confidence in the public education system. Many have taken alternative paths, even choosing to create their own schools: Waldorf, Montessori, free, democratic schools, home schooling, Reggio Emilia … there are quite a few good examples of this lack of confidence in the public education system and the exhaustion caused by the mere fact of thinking about the work involved in evolving it. We believe that all these alternative “educational paths” can be great reference models that motivate the change in public education.

The pedagogical model of Free schools can inspire in many ways the work developed at public schools starting with the idea of «decent communication» between students and teacher to achieve better relationships, reduce conflicts and engagement.

Like other great «problems» of the world nowadays, such as the economic crisis or climate change, the problem of evolving our schools requires an absolute shift of mindset, attitude and functions of all educational «influencers». We have to break down the walls that separate all the members of the educational community, teachers, students, mothers, fathers and educational leaders, and start defining together a culture of innovation and cooperation in our schools.

Do you believe in our mission? In case you feel our story worths an opportunity, you can contribute to make the project happen here: