The panel discussion Film Literacy in Schools – From Film Literacy to Audience Development: How to Bring Youngsters to Cinemas was held on September 14th in Karlovac, in the newly renovated Edison Cinema as part of the European Film Factory symposium, within the program of the 28th Youth Film Festival and the 16th Four River Film Festival, organized by the Croatian Film Association and Cinema Club Karlovac.
The purpose of the panel discussion was to identify the key roles and state of film literacy in Europe and to emphasize the importance of film education, contributing to audience development across Europe.
The European Film Factory (EFF) programme was initiated in 2019 by the Institut français, ARTE Education, and European Schoolnet, supported by the MEDIA strand of the Creative Europe program. EFF represents an innovative and practical approach to promoting film literacy in Europe and beyond. This programme allows students aged 11 to 25, as well as teachers and cultural mediators working with young audiences from all Creative Europe/MEDIA countries, to access a catalogue of European heritage films spanning the years 1954 to 2014 as well as more recent European short films, along with pedagogical resources.
In collaboration with the Croatian Film Association, EFF organized a symposium that took place in Karlovac, Croatia, from September 13th to 15th, during the 16th Four River Film
Festival, an international Festival dedicated to high school films bringing together young people and teachers from different European countries. This setting makes the Four River Film Festival an exceptionally fitting platform to address the themes of film literacy and young audience in Europe, which are the primary focuses of EFF.
Experts from Croatia participated in the discussion: Maja Vukić, assistant director of the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC), Martina Petrović, head of the Creative Europe Desk – MEDIA Office, and Tatjana Aćimović, Secretary of the Croatian Film Association, as well as respected international panelists who shared their experiences and initiatives related to film education: Clémentine Charlemaine (France), from the association Cinema pour tous and vice-president of the Collectif 50/50 organization; Mikk Granström (Estonia), director of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and program director of the Just Film Children’s Festival, and Marion Czarny (France) from FIPADOC Campus – an international documentary film festival. The panel was moderated by film critic, journalist and assoc. prof. PhD Boško Picula.
It was concluded that the countries of the European Union have very similar problems in introducing film education into the education system and that constructive meetings and dialogues between experts like this should be more frequent. Of course, all the panelists emphasized the importance of enthusiastic teachers who, despite all their obstacles, successfully include film education in their teaching process.
As part of the symposium, we had the honor of holding a masterclass with Florin Șerban, winner of the Silver Bear in Berlin in 2010 for the film “If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle”, which we had the opportunity to watch live at Edison Cinema and online on the European Film Factory platform.
Also, a workshop was held on the topic of Gender diversity and Inclusivity On and Off the Screen, based on the example of the film Water Lilies and Billy Elliot. The aim of the workshop is to show teachers the ways of talking about the representation of diversity and inclusiveness in films, especially through the two mentioned films, and to sharpen our view of gender stereotypes. The workshop was led by Clémentine Charlemaine (France) from the association Cinema pour tous, vice president of the Collectif 50/50 organization, which advocates for the promotion of equality, diversity and gender equality in the film industry.
Then a screening of Young Europeans Take to the Screen was held, a program of European short films from Ireland, France, Holland, Bulgaria, Italy and Poland; an impressive collage of the childhoods of European teenagers which promotes young voices that demand to be heard.
photos: Demjan Rožman