Screening Literacy Seminar, Derry

We are delighted that Screening Literacy, the report on the EC research project of the same name, will be launched on 4 June at the Nerve Centre, Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in the presence of representatives of the European Commission MEDIA Unit, colleagues from European film organisations, and a sizeable group from Northern Ireland itself.

Derry~Londonderry was chosen because of its status as UK City of Culture this year, but also because the research reports that Northern Ireland is one of the leading film education providers in Europe. We are further delighted therefore that the event will see the first presentation of the results of the 10-year review of A Wider Literacy, Northern Ireland’s strategy for film education.

Throughout the day, delegates from across Europe will meet each other and shape plans for collaborations that might be funded through Creative Europe, which opens its funding streams in January 2014. The event will feature film critic and TV personality, Mark Cousins presenting sneak previews of his film The Story of Children in Film, showing at the Cinemobile outside the City of Culture offices; other work by young people, including from Northern Ireland, will be on display.

For more information please write to mark.reid@bfi.org.uk or download the programme from here: Screening Literacy programmev4

Screening Literacy in Lisbon

Presenting the Screening Literacy research in Lisbon, at the Second Congress on Media Literacy and Citizenship.  Here’s the PPT I used – I had a last minute idea to upload a photograph from each country that submitted an image to the report: 18 or 19 images that together constitute a portrait of film education in Europe.  All portraits are partial, but what does this collection reveal, emphasise, obscure, distort?  It was more interesting, to my eyes and ears, than the 15 slides of text I spoke to subsequently.

Here are the images.  What’s missing, what’s foregrounded, what’s revealed and distorted?

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National Cinema Education Plan for Portugal

Presenting at the Second Congress on Media Literacy and Citizenship, I was on a panel with Graca Lobo, who is overseeing the piloting of a National Cinema Education Plan for Portugal.  Graca led Portugal’s only formal film educaton programme, in the Algarve region  program JCE  – Juventude – Cinema – Escola, and the National Cinema Plan is a proposed extension of this to cover the whole country.

Graca’s presentation covered significant areas of common interest to Screening Literacy, especially in similarity to our ‘strong model of film education‘.

  • It engages with the lack of training for teachers, and has trained teachers from 300 schools already
  • their training is accredited by the National Council for Teacher Training
  • they are creating a film catalogue of recommended films: films you should see before you leave shool
  • they work in the tradition of arts education, not vocational training.  Film education is for everyone, not just would-be directors and other industry professionals
  • they commit to cinema-going as  ‘civic act’: taking children into cultural spaces, outside of school.  A majority of the 3000 children in their initial 50 pilots schools had never been to the cinema..

The updating of the Portuguese picture reminds me of the problem of research surveys: like a snapshot of a moving train, your research subject has already moved on.  Thank goodness!