BIFF puts a focus on educating the young
Sure there’s tons of entertainment, but there’s also an educational part to this year’s Bermuda International Film Festival.
Books to Films is a programme aimed at primary schoolchildren; a second programme called Documentary School Screenings is geared towards high school students.
The programmes start today with two presentations by Bermudian documentary filmmaker Lucinda Spurling aimed at teens: ‘Peer Mediation’ and ‘Poverty in Paradise: The Price We Pay’.
“Beyond the simple sheer enjoyment factor that BIFF delivers to its adult audience, we also recognise the festival week as an opportunity to engage and inspire younger audiences,” said David O’Beirne, BIFF’s programming director.
“It’s our aim to create a supportive environment in which home-grown filmmaking talent can flourish, which means we hope to spark the imaginations of Bermuda’s aspiring directors, actors, writers and film technicians. But, at a wider level we want to actively demonstrate to each and every child that attends BIFF Kids how they can use film as a learning tool. The silver screen is a powerful means of communication, full of messages, morals and metaphors that enable us all to gain knowledge about other people and places without ever leaving a cinema seat.”
The short film ‘Peer Meditation’ uses student actors to show what happens when teenagers approach a school’s peer mediation group for guidance.
‘Poverty in Paradise’ explores the causes and consequences of the widening wealth gap in Bermuda. Ms Spurling and Sheelagh Cooper, founder of the Coalition for the Protection of Children, will introduce the films and answer questions following the screenings.
A second screening on Wednesday features films from overseas. The short film ‘Kei’ is about soccer star Kei Kamara, who became a refugee when Sierra Leone’s civil war ripped apart his family.
‘My So-Called Enemy’, concludes the programme for teens. The 89-minute documentary is the story of 22 teenage Palestinian and Israeli girls who travelled to the US in July 2002 to participate in a women’s leadership programme called Building Bridges for Peace. Director Lisa Gossels has used the film to do extensive youth outreach and will be available via Skype to answer questions following the film.
CedarBridge, Berkeley, Bermuda Institute, Somersfield Academy, Bermuda High School, Warwick Academy, Impact Mentoring Academy and Saltus are the schools invited to participate this year.
Aimed at younger students, Books to Films has books read to children before they watch their film adaptation. The line-up for this year is: ‘Naked Rat Mole Gets Dressed’, ‘Diary of a Fly’ and ‘Martin’s Big Words’.
Film tickets are priced at $5 with free admission for teachers and parents. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 293-3456 or e-mailing info[AT]biff.bm, with payment due on the day. Attendees are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before the screening time.
Useful website: www.biff.bm.
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