Tuesday, December 7, 2010

IFI Education Winter Blog

As winter abruptly tightens its icy grip upon us, it’s perhaps a good time to reflect on IFI Education’s Autumn/Winter programme for schools as it reaches its midpoint.

Launched to teachers on 29th September with a special preview screening of Made in Dagenham, this term our schools programme has hosted some great events and welcomed many full houses already, despite the snow related disruptions. Here are some of the highlights:


Transition Year
  • His & Hers - Ken Wardrop’s unmissable treatise on Midlands women discussing the men in their lives. Ken kindly attended for a Q&A and his film clearly made an impression on the students as a lively conversation ensued which was hard to stop!
  • Inception - A full house for Christopher Nolan’s divisive arthouse blockbuster (read Peter Walsh’s previous blog entry). In the post-screening workshop, students examined the various cinematic techniques and tropes used to represent dream worlds and alternative realities. Was it all just a dream?! Unanimous verdict from the students: no. 
  • Nowhere Boy - Despite being set in the '50s, students of today found plenty to relate to as a teenage John Lennon negotiates adolescence and escapes into a world of art and rock n roll. 
  • Lebanon - Samuel Moaz's Golden Lion winner about his unforgettable experiences during the opening salvos of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. This film is highly effective in conveying the horrifying sensory experience of war, and the students concurred; not the action-packed war film they expected, but a powerful and affecting insight into conflict nonetheless.


Senior English
  • 32A - Marian Quinn’s excellent coming-of-age story set in 1970s Raheny; a new addition for the Leaving Certificate Comparative Study for 2012. Teachers and students were also able to take away copies of a comprehensive studyguide on 32A, a perfect classroom resource for follow-up work. Download it here.
  • Also showing for Senior English: The Constant Gardener


Modern Languages
  • Persepolis - the sixth year of our French Film Project, Persepolis will tour over twenty venues nationwide. It’s been a hit so far, with many sell out shows in Dublin and beyond to date. A new French language film studyguide accompanies Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s award winning animation – download it here.
  • John Rabe - Florian Gallenberger’s dramatised biopic of a wealthy German businessman and Nazi party member who saved more than 200,000 Chinese at his factory during the Nanjing massacre in 1937. Despite the tough subject matter, response has been overwhelmingly positive and it has played to big audiences so far this term.


No education programme is complete without the sound of a cinema brimming with excited primary pupils. They came in droves for our free preview of Ramona and Beezus and Miyazaki’s stylistic Ponyo, and our Christmas treat this year is a chance to once again see Woody and the gang in Toy Story 3, with one lucky school winning a free in-school workshop.

The Social Network

IFI Teen Film Club
Finally, our IFI Teen Film Club started up once again this term with a huge turnout for David Fincher’s The Social Network. The club is open to those aged 15 – 18 and each month we select one suitable film from the IFI general programme for members to watch.

And that’s only the half of it – highlights still to come:
Neukolln Unlimited (Dec 9), Good Hair (Dec 14), Fermat’s Room (Jan 12), Home (Jan 18) and Exit Through the Gift Shop (Jan 19).

Our Spring/Summer Education programme will be available from February so keep an eye out for that. For further details on IFI Education activities, please email schools [at] irishfilm.ie, phone Baz or Dee on 01 679 5744 or check www.ifi.ie/education

Baz Al-Rawi
Education Officer