Media Literacy Conf. 2012 – Brussels

I went with Ian Wall, Andrew Burn, Wendy Parker (BFI Deputy Head of Strategic Development, formerly of DCMS), & Caren Willig (co-researcher on Film Literacy Research Project) Nov 16 2012.

Jan Truszczynski (Director Gen of EC Directorate-General for Education and Culture) opened with some directives ref. film projects. Funds would be made available for projects of European dimension – with cross border co-operation, at least 3 countries to be involved. Audience development is key and made mention of their demanding and fragmented nature. Industrial bodies financing festivals and clubs to develop educational activities.

Baroness Beeban Kidron (Film Club co-founder & Director) delivered a rhetorical speech on the benefits of film screenings for young people … A good talk but was preaching to the converted ..She showed quite a long professional promo movie. What does film do?

  • combines art, literacy, music & drama – through these and framing, rhythm, image movement, the medium delivers a story. Nuance, mood and metaphor (vs. Twitter and 140 characters)
  • promotes awe and wonder
  • recorder of cultural identity, place and people
  • promotes new kinds of intelligence, curiosity, discussion and criticism
  • engages people in worlds different from their own
  • autistic kids have fascination with nouvelle vague films
  • starting point for those with difficulty accessing normal curriculum
  • no entry level for watching film
  • exploration of  “otherness” & similarity
  • creating consensus and coallition, finding of political voice & civic engagement
  • subtitles not a problem
  • delivering of opportunity and appetite
  • “ever changing visual present”
  • universality through breadth and depth
  • rewards effort and imagination rather than test scores
  • Film Club delivers scale
  • Eg.s of recommended films: The Class, The Choir, Hotel Rwanda, To Sir with Love

Brian O’Neill – Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, Dublin Institute of Tech, Ireland. Invoked the EU Kids online report and quoted some figures: on average 75% use the internet for communication and interaction / 50% Playing and showing / 23% creative making. NOTES on Eu Kids online report.

He raised the point that connectivity is going to improve massively for many… but what are we going to do with it? Importance of quality CONTENT. Must find flexible solution to piracy and copyright infringement.

Mark Higham – Chief Exec of Film Club – outlined their business model. Interest in EU providing funding for a Translation Fund as mentioned by Andrew in his address ref. Film Lit Survey. Distributors could be more supportive through the provision of standardised educational distribution licenses.

Projects with international dimension:

Sarita Christensen from Cophenhagen Bombay Productions.  She’s come up with a new IP format package whereby the directors and the writers have all the Book/TV/film/mobile/tablet rights. Didn’t quite grasp the whole concept… but they’ve got this international documentary project off the ground involving all the Nordic countries. A video diary format

Sannette Naeyé – Director of Cinekid – Amsterdam. Learning by doing isher mantra. 25 years of experience, film , TV, new media. Deals with kids up to 13. Format = Festival / training for professionals & Education wing (media literacy). Active and reflective learning. Integrated educ. programme that identifies stages of learning @6, 8, 10 & 12. Free online digital tools: Cinekidstudio. This is only for Dutch use. Tools are good but must do capacity building – people and training. Medialab during the festival is a series of interactive media/film workshops and masterclasses.

Margaret Albers – Director of  Goldener Spatz – who co-ordinate Kids Regio. See their aims in precis from their site:

KIDS Regio acts on the principals of the Erfurt declaration that was agreed between 100 film professionals from 17 countries working within different fields of activities in the children’s film industry. Agent for children’s content industries: acts as an agent, research partner, stimulates co-productions, organises conferences, maintains and establishes networks:

  • Offer children access to a wide variety of stories, genres and styles of film
  • greater visibility for children’s films & a natural, self-evident part of European film culture and industry
  • promote public and political awareness of children’s film and an understanding of its value and the issues arising from it
  • film and media literacy to become part of the school curriculum in Europe

Involvement in Young Audience Film Day – European Film Academy – young people get to be the judges and award the prizes. 5 May 2013 London. On the Young Audience Film Day on 10 June, three films nominated by EFA will be screened to a young audience (10 – 13 year-olds) in Amsterdam, Belgrade, Copenhagen, Erfurt, Stockholm and Turin. And it is the young audience that will act as a jury and vote for the winner right after the screenings. The presentation of the award will take place on the same day in Erfurt.

The idea is to have an “educational window” at the end of the main screenings so distributors can test the water with films…. on basis that it’s public money being used so it’s good to include kids in the process of evaluation.

(This to me sounds more like kids being used for instrumental purposes rather than offering any intrinsic educational benefit…. one of the many initiatives deemed educational merely because it’s aimed at children…)

Contacts made: Lithuanian Film Centre: Jurgita Sarnichiene
& a Slovenian ministry guy: Borut Campelj, Ministry of education, science, culture and sport

One comment

  1. Pingback: Record of Research Training & Engagement | Making is Learning

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