Director: Alex H. Rafi

Run Time:  6 mins 57 sec

Collection: DOCUMENTARY 1

Date/Time: MON JUN 22 11:00AM & 5:00PM


Short, Documentary

Description:  A young high school teacher pushes himself and his students to work for their success.

Director Commentary: In On Task, we experience the life of Erick Silva, a twenty-five year old social studies teacher at a charter high school in San Jose, CA. As a former teacher myself, Erick and I bonded around our time as teachers, and he opened up to me about feeling as if he “always had to be on” when he was at work. The film’s style, which emphasizes the highly stimulating nature of working with students on a daily basis, came from this shared feeling of the experience of teaching. As a result, the film eschews many common representative tropes of teachers, schools, and education in documentary. 

Director Bio:  Alex H. Rafi is a documentary filmmaker and former English teacher from Miami, FL. He earned his BA in Communication (with Honors) and Cinema Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. As a student filmmaker, he worked on award winning narrative shorts and directed three short documentaries. After teaching English for three years in the small city of Homestead, FL, he came to Stanford eager for the opportunity to focus on creating works that have utility as teaching tools, as archives of significant people and events in communities, and as films that encourage understanding and empathy.

As a voracious consumer of history, religion, pop culture, the performing arts, and entertainment, he often looks to document individual and community devotions within those contexts and their effects on devotees. He is also invested in foregrounding the stories of people of color, millennials, and Gen Z as a result of his personal experiences, those of former and current colleagues, and those of his hundreds of former students with whom he is alarmingly close in age.

His long term goal is to develop courses and programs in nonfiction filmmaking and media literacy for students and communities.

ON TASK Trailer