Claire Oliver, Programme Coordinator, Into Film (UK)
Florine Wiebenga, Education Manager, Eye (Netherlands)
- The film clubs facilitate discussions leading to culturally understanding.
- Film screenings, discussions and workshops can improve literacy and attitude to learning.
- Hosting differing events/projects and programmes can help reach the 18-30 year olds.
- Social media is still the best way of spreading awareness and generating an audience.
- Consumption of old films to the younger generation is possible by updating the format and delivery.
Claire opened with background on Into Film which places film in the heart of young people’s learning. Into Film is the partnership of two previous film education charities: First Light and FILMCLUB.
Into Film is made of 4 strands:
- Film Clubs
- Continuing Professional Development
- Into Film Festival
- Youth-led content (interviews with film professionals)
Claire started her presentation with thanks to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which funded the research. The purpose was to discover the film-watching habits of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are classed into the following categories with examples of the films screened to each audience:
- New arrivals to the UK (‘Wadjda’ and ‘The Secret Life of Kells’)
- Those with special educational needs (‘Duck Soup’ and ‘A Cat in Paris’)
- Children and young people living in rural areas of Britain (‘A Town of Runners’ and ‘Life in a Day’)
The researched outcome of the film screenings, film discussions and workshops for these groups, indicated improved literacy and an improved attitude to learning.
Claire made use of Julie Ward‘s point in the keynote speech about the arts increasing empathy. The Film Club’s facilitated discussions led to better cultural understanding.
The research project had some successes but challenges remain.
Florine also began with background to the Eye Film Museum. The EFM advises external companies in promoting film education and aims to stimulate co-operation in film literacy development.
EFM targets film education teachers, pupils, families, young people and young adults, and through projects like Film Gems, which boosts engagement with old films, and Movie Zone, an online and offline platform to encourage filmmaking amongst these audiences. They raise the profile of film education.
Florine is keen to bring back the fun element of film and spoke about the interactive activities at EFM such as the Eye Walk, which brings the museum to life though an interactive and augmented reality learning experience.
They bring together TV and film through the web series, ‘Max and Billy’s Drill Machine Girl‘. Each episode highlights a filmmaking element such as sound or make-up, and the end result is a fully-produced youth-made film, with the chance to screen it at Talent Day, a film festival. Florine mentioned that the target audience of 18-30 year olds was often difficult to reach but through the varied events/projects and programmes, over 450 young people attended and got involved.
An audience member made the point that young people curating was an excellent way to promote and recommend films amongst peers – the question was whether both organisations facilitate this. Claire responded that in their case children and young people can upload film reviews onto the Into Film website, which encourages a generation of film reviewers.
As young people are difficult to communicate with, how is this achieved?
Florine said the high reputation of the EYM institute helps with engagement, but social media is still the best way to achieve optimal communication. She explained the Movie Zone project reached over 2 million young people, illustrating social media was still is at the forefront of spreading awareness.
Old films remain relevant content for all ages. The EFM markets old films in modern ways to ensure they cut through.