Τhe 2nd International Forum of the initiative “Fest of Fests”, hosted by the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, under the scientific auspices of EKOME, has concluded with great success. This year’s forum (10-13 June), was organized as a focus group on the promotion of film literacy in primary and secondary education and the prominent role of Children and Youth Film Festivals in this context.
The initiative has been welcomed and promoted in Europe and worldwide by the European Children’s Film Association (ECFA), the International Center of Films for Children and Young People (CIFEJ) and the American Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).
EKOME contributed significantly to the Forum’s panels, round tables and presentations, while facilitating two film workshops for teachers and educators, based on the film teaching material delivered by the European Programme “Film – A Language Without Borders” (a collaboration between the British Film Institute (BFI), the Danish Film Institute (DFI) and the German NGO Vision Kino.
“EKOME acts as a coordinator of the public discourse for media literacy in Greece, inviting all guest participants of this year’s Forum to discuss and evaluate challenges and opportunities born by the digital era” pointed out Panos Kouanis, President and CEO of EKOME, on the opening day of the Forum. He also emphasized the key role of partnerships in the development of a sustainable audiovisual policy favorable for young professionals in the creative industry.
“Mapping Film Literacy Policies”: the research’s initial results
Irene Andriopoulou (Department of Research, Studies and Educational Programs) presented the initial results of the above-mentioned international research for mapping/registering the existing supporting structures and projects on film literacy, as well as recording the tendencies and challenges worldwide. The participants consisted of public organizations, private companies and institutions, formal and non-formal education representatives, as well as members of the creative industry from Europe (Greece, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Finland, Holland, Sweden, Spain, UK, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Ireland), Latin and Central America (Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela), Africa (South Africa) and North America (USA). According to the research’s initial results more than 86% of the participants consider film education as one of their first priorities in strategic planning and suggest a two-fold approach for implementing it in the classroom, both as a teaching method and as a separate school subject. Most of the film education activities mentioned in the research are appropriate for secondary education. Moreover, the participants emphasized the need for engaging film professionals in the process.
Round Table: Production of Films for Children and Educational Perspectives
EKOME took part in the round table session on Tuesday, 11th June, which focused on producing films for children and their educational potential. The session started with the presentation “Films for Kids in Southeast Europe: State of Play”, which stated the results of a research commissioned by the International Festival of Thessaloniki concerning the audiovisual content and its appeal to younger audiences. Stelios Kraounakis, Head of the Department of Financing Programs Development, Investments and Incentives of EKOME, presented the financing perspectives of EKOME’s cash rebate program, which also applies to films for children and young people, co-produced by European film production companies.
Film Workshops for Teachers/Educators: “A Child in the Big City”
Two film workshops have taken place during the Forum (on Tuesday, 11th June and on Wednesday, 12th June), facilitated by EKOME’s educators Irene Andriopoulou and Kelly Zeppou (Department of Research, Studies and Educational Programs). The educational material provided to the participants was based on the film education guide SHORT FILM PROGRAMME (translated into Greek by EKOME) and each day’s workshop was dedicated to one short film (The Red Ballon (1956) on Tuesday, Jemima & Johny (1966) on Wednesday, both donations of the BFI’s film archive). Approximately 40 teachers and educators participated in the workshops and all seemed eager to take part in similar events in the near future. Moreover, they asked for additional educational material, as well as better networking among teachers sharing a passion for using film in the classroom and engaging in film activities with their students. EKOME saw a possibility to coordinate such a teacher’s network as part of the company’s most ambitious initiative, that is the National Repository of Audiovisual Archives.
Greek Workshop for the incorporation of film education in the school curriculum
At the end of the Forum’s international meetings a Greek workshop for teachers and educators took place, concerning the incorporation of film education in the Greek school curriculum, on Thursday, 13th June (co-organized by the Educational Radiotelevision and the Institute of Educational Policy, which are respectively a department and a scientific agency of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs). Discussions focused on practical approaches, case studies and proposals to the Institute of Educational Policy. According to vice President of the Institute of Educational Policy, Pavlos Charamis’ last panel’s presentation (“Conclusions and Perspectives”), there is a shift from a subject-centered curriculum to an integrated curriculum (multi-sensory learning style), which focuses on multimodal content, in tandem with a shifting from text books to activity folders (activity-centered curriculum), both encouraging film education in schools. On behalf of EKOME it has been pointed out that the process of incorporating film education in the school curriculum will answer the five basic questions by which, according to the media literacy theory, all media messages should be analyzed (What? Who? When? Where? How?). Moreover, the introduction of a Film Education Week during the school year has been proposed by EKOME, during which students and teachers will visit film institutions, film archives and cinemas, participate in film-centered activities and workshops, as well as exchange good practices in the field of film literacy and audiovisual creativity. Finally, among many creative suggestions by other institutions, EKOME declared its intention to coordinate a consortium of film institutions with the aim of submitting a common proposal concerning the incorporation of film education in school curriculum to the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.