Thursday, September 30, 2010

Education programme launched

Autumn’s definitely upon us and that means the start of our schools’ programme here at IFI. Our programme launch was last night, with the now annual tradition of a free film preview and glass of wine - much welcomed by teachers and friends on a recession-laden Wednesday. The programme (which should be landing in some 3000 school pigeon-holes around the country today) includes some great contemporary titles for Transition Year Film – Lebanon, Good Hair, Inception, Nowhere Boy and Banksy’s debut, Exit through the Gift Shop. Touring for French language students we have the great Persepolis (the graphic novel based film) with a studyguide and John Rabe for German. Primary pupils get a chance of a sneak preview of Ramona and Beezus and there’s also a tour of 32A, the new Irish title for Leaving Cert. English Comparative Study. Oh, and we’ve Ken Wardrop too in a one-off showing of His & Hers for schools with a chance for students to grill Ken on his filmmaking. No better person to take on a packed cinema of teens!

The launch night film was Made in Dagenham, starring Sally Hawkins and some of Britain's best actors in a story about a group of women working at Ford in Dagenham who strike for equal pay and conditions. Miranda Richardson is marvellous as feisty red-headed MP Barbara Castle who takes up the striking Ford workers’ demands for equal pay (and there’s some fabulous late 60s fashion from Mary Quant and Biba if you’re not interested in the politics!)

One thing definitely in the air last night was the pressure teachers are working under with budget restrictions and the rest. It’s ever-harder to get out of schools these days, get cover and make space in packed schedules for film. This just makes us all-the-more determined to make our programme as relevant and stimulating as possible. With our research project, Film Focus, entering the third phase of pilot projects, we hope that the outcomes of this next year will go some way to ensuring the place for film, visual literacy and moving image in school curricula. If you teach or know anyone in teaching who’d like more info on our programme, don’t hesitate to call Dee or Baz at IFI Education on 01 679 5744.

Here’s to a great term.

Alicia McGivern
Head of Education

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