The importance of getting young people into the cinema

12 Feb 2018

5 mins
Into Film Club of the Month Feb 2018 - Llanharan Primary School, Wales
Into Film Club of the Month Feb 2018 - Llanharan Primary School, Wales

February 2018's Into Film Club of the Month is Llanharan Primary School in Llanharan, Wales, which is run by Rhys Roberts. Rhys has been involved in the school's Into Film Club since it started in 2013, and took over as club leader in March 2016. We spoke to Rhys to find out a bit more about his club.

The first rule of Llanharan Primary School film club, is if you haven't seen the film, we'll watch it!

Rhys Roberts, Llanharan Primary School Into Film Club leader

What films have gone down well at your club?

Our most popular films seem to have been Japanese animated films, which have taken our members to areas that they have not experienced before. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, in particular, had quite an emotional impact on the members with a fair few tears being shed. We have also enjoyed watching black and white movies and our recent screening of It's A Wonderful Life ended with a spontaneous round of applause.

What do you enjoy about running an Into Film Club?

Giving pupils the opportunity to watch films that they might not have experienced before. Our primary rules for our club are that members can request films only if they themselves have not seen them, or that they believe others haven't either. This allows us to then get a broader range of screenings. I have also enjoyed being able to talk to members about camera angle choices and why they have been used, along with the role of music and sound in the movies we have watched. More than anything, watching films is a leveller for all involved, as there is not the pressure on having to read as the story is played out for them on screen. This is one of the most important elements of all for me about watching films.

Have you attended any Into Film events or Spring screenings?

During the last few years, we have been very lucky to take our children to the local cinema to watch films on many occasions; these include some latest releases to some old classics. We follow the same rule as our club, if you haven't seen the film, then we will watch it!

The children benefit by learning about new cultures, countries and how similar or different their lives are to the characters. It gives us discussion topics for the classroom and homework

The main event we've attended is the Into Film Festival of course. This amazing festival has given us opportunities to broaden the children's horizons in watching and appreciating films from all over the world.

Why do you think other teachers should consider taking their students to such events?

A lot of children don't get the chance to go to the cinema so Into Film's screenings give young people opportunities to fall in love with the cinema and see films as they should be seen. The whole cinematic experience cannot be replicated at club or at home watching on a television or a tablet.

Do you feel there are educational benefits for students who attend?

Again, the cultural experience as a whole - from finding out about how a cinema works to visiting their local cinema or arts centre for the very first time. I like to observe them as they venture to new places, ask questions about how films are projected and talk as groups about the themes and topics within the film. You can see the impact of such events in the way they describe the experience to each other on the bus on the way back to school. It helps confirm the impact of such experiences and how they allow our students to go on an adventure through film.

I've attended many Into Film events over the years and I still gain a lot from these events; from learning about the history of a particular genre to learning about the process of production, from how to storyboard your own film to learning what skills are needed for specific roles, the list is endless.

What advice would you give to someone who is about to embark on running an Into Film Club?

The best place to start is by looking at Into Film's Must See Movies Before You Grow Up list. This gives a good range of movies to select to start off your club. We held a poll and if fewer than 50% of members had seen a film on the list, then we added it to our order list. Also, film club leaders need to remember that it's not just about watching films. Allowing the opportunity to make films is also valuable. Finally I'd say that it is important to make your club an experience. Every now and then, a few cheeky treats and snacks whilst watching the movies makes it a little more of an experience.

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