A couple of weeks ago here at IFI, 14 young keen film enthusiasts came together to participate in a discussion entitled, ‘What does film mean to you’?
Participants were recruited through our monthly IFI Teen Film Club, which is aimed at teenagers, aged 15-18, from all over Dublin. The Film Club aims to provide participants with greater access to alternative films and world cinema through various screenings and discussion groups.
The basis of this discussion grew from our current Film Focus research project, which is now in its second year. Film Focus is a project initiated by the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in conjunction with the Irish Film Board (IFB) to develop a national strategy for film and moving image education in Ireland.
One of the main aims of this research is to provide a range of opportunities for young people to access cultural cinema and aspects of film education. It is therefore essential that young people are involved in our research and given a platform to speak openly and share their thoughts about film and film education.
The Culture Box kindly provided the space for the discussion and its location within Temple Bar was ideal for those attending the selected film club screening, Submarine, later on that day.
The event was facilitated by Alan King (NAYD) and participants ranged from our regular club attendees to first timers. Various activities were used as a stimulus for discussion and participants openly contributed their thoughts and opinions throughout the session. Examples of films that we currently have on our schools programme, Billy Elliot, Inception and Persepolis, were screened and used as a tool to encourage further discussion around media literacy and their place in education. Provocative statements, such as, ‘Watching a film on a topic is as useful as reading a book’ and ‘Film is a very relevant art form for young people’ were strongly debated amongst the participants and as the session came to an end we found it difficult to tear them away from their ‘platform’!
Interestingly, all of the group participants stressed the importance of the social aspect and educational value of watching films. "…it helps people learn and it brings people together...","... it’s a way to escape from reality, a social event, a way to express who you are...". It was at this point that the conversation came to an end and participants left for the IFI to join other teen film club members who were making their way into cinema 1 to watch Submarine.
‘What does film mean to you’? is a complex question for anyone to answer. The participants approached it with great enthusiasm and worked together to deliver their opinions, which are invaluable to our research.
IFI Education Officer
For more information about the IFI Teen Film Club please contact Dee by phone on (01) 679 5744 or email.
For more information about Film Focus please contact Alicia McGivern by phone on (01) 6755744 or email.