ECFA welcomes new member from Australia (!): The Bardic Studio

Chloe Tran (11) & Laura Barley-Tayler (10) receiving the Spectrum Films Award for Best Documentary by a Child (for HEY JACK) at the KidzFlicks Awards 2017. The award was presented by feature film director Megan Riakos

The Bardic Studio is an Australian charity with a mission to provide pathways to participation in all aspects of cinema for all Australians. Executive director Jacqueline Cosgrove: “We work actively towards an Australian cinema that truly reflects the diversity of our community. One of our projects is for people with disability, and the other is for children.”

The KidzFlicks project for children began in 2012 and includes:
– An international festival of films by children aged -12 years, in 6 commercial cinema sites across Sydney in May.
– A live streamed award ceremony (27 awards), sponsored by the Australian film industry.
– The KidzFlicks Creative Laboratorium where gifted young Australian filmmakers are mentored by professionals.
– KidzFlicks Distribution submits Australian child produced films to international film festivals and solicits films for screening in Australia.
– Professional development for pre- and primary school teachers.

Students from Waverley Public School (with teacher) celebrating after receiving the Bardic Studio Directors Award at the KidzFlicks Awards for a film they made in sign language.
Film education in Australia was introduced into the New South Wales high school curriculum in 2000 and the primary school curriculum in 2014. Australia has only one festival, Little Big Shots, bringing quality professional film for children into the country. In surprising contrast to all of this, Australian children are producing in excess of 250,000 films a year at home with their siblings and friends. They are avid media consumers, have strong opinions about what they want to view and are very articulate when discussing their experiences of film.

Australia is going to be a place of enormous opportunity for people who can lead the way in film education. In this multicultural country, children are passionate about cinema and are eager to extend their experience of it.

Jacqueline Cosgrove: “Membership of ECFA offers The Bardic Studio multiple opportunities. It’s a way for us to learn more about innovation and best practise in film education for children from many countries, to extend our networks and to offer a different perspective. We hope to connect with other members and find further opportunities to share. We are open to collaboration with other festivals and are happy to supply and accept films made by children -12 years of age. We’re also interested in exploring new activities and the possibility to participate in the distribution and exhibition of quality international cinema for Australian children. In the future we would like to bring experienced workshop facilitators to Australia for workshops for our children and master classes for our teachers.”