On Wednesday 20 September, around 100 people gathered in Stockholm for the ECFA seminar on ‘Screening for children’. The seminar indulged in a question pertinent for many people working with children’s film: what to do when the screening is over and you start processing the film with the young audience?
Do you open discussions at an academic level? Do you focus on cinematography or on the socio-political content of a film? Do you appeal to the highlights of film history, or opt for an artistic approach? Various experts, including many ECFA members, shared their experiences. A detailed report on the successful event can be found in the upcoming ECFA Journal.
Among the conference’s highlights were:
– Anna Söderberg (Zita Cinema) lined up the multiple options she had in working with SONG OF THE SEA and WADJDA, two films that have been on the programme of many film-educational organisations.
– Heta Mulari (Finnish Youth Research Society) presented a set of questions regarding study guides being embedded in their historical, political and social context, with a focus on the gender-egalitarian perspective in Swedish ‘girl movies’.
– Malena Janson (SFI) spoke about the difficult subject matter for children (sex, violence etc.), based on two colliding visions: the child as competent creature with a capacity to take part in decisions and the child as vulnerable creature that needs our protection, followed by an on-stage interview with Sanna Lenken on her short film NIGHT GIRL (aka NATTBARN).
ECFA members at present on stage were:
– Both Elisa Giovannelli (Cineteca di Bologna) and Petra Slatinšek (Kinodvor) explained about their cinema’s special mission in being a unique and important place for children to awaken a love for film.
– Tessa van Grafhorst & Remke Oosterhuis (De Taartrovers) presented their festival as ‘a playground for the imagination’. Although their approach is wildly based on unlimited artistic freedom given to children, their aim is to inspire them in developing profound appreciation for cinema.
– Marjo Kovanen (Koulokino) confronted the audience with an interesting dilemma about publishing a study guide with a film that is balancing on the edge of patriotic nationalism.
– Julia Jarl (BUFF) & Kim Bruun (DaBuf) rounded up the day in the closing panel.
The ‘Screening for Children’ Conference was organised by the Swedish Federation of Film Societies and coordinated by ECFA Board member Per Eriksson, with support of other Swedish ECFA members: the Swedish Film Institute, Folkets Bio, FilmCentrum, Biografcentralen, and SFF.