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Our Leader of the Month for February 2017 is Simon Hanks, Head of Lower School at Gwernyfed High School in Powys, Wales. Simon has run the film club since it started five years ago. His club is particularly active, watching a film a week, regularly reviewing films, and engaging with all parts of the Into Film offer, making him a great person to offer up some tips and advice for other prospective film club leaders.
I've been running my film club for over four years now. What's most fulfilling is seeing young people widen their horizons through the media of film, and becoming more literate in the language of film. The film club gives young people the opportunity to develop skills with a freedom not always possible in a classroom setting.
Attending the Berlinale (Berlin's Film Festival) with my club twice has had a huge effect on myself and my appreciation of film. This has impacted on the club, as it has helped me bring the excitement and sheer spectacle of the experience into film discussions. Hopefully I have inspired the current Year 10 pupils to want to visit the Berlinale in 2019 on their Sixth Form Study Tour.
Kirsty Williams was genuinely enthusiastic about our film club and how we use film in the classroom. She wanted to hear about the members' favourite films, asking them how they benefited from attending the screenings and the associated activities. She told us to watch 12 Angry Men, the film that inspired her to enter politics and stand up for what she believed in.
I think the greatest benefit gained from reviewing films is the development of analytical skills. To be able to express and argue an opinion on a film by comparing and contrasting it to other works is an essential life skill. Hopefully this can be expressed through writing, but for some pupils just being able to verbalise their thoughts is great progress.
We move to an ICT suite after screenings whenever we have the time. I wish we were able to run extended sessions and do this every week, but it's not always possible.
The majority of club members travel to school by bus and have to be picked up by parents after each screening. This puts a pressure on some parents and pupils are not always able to attend every week. This is the main impact of being in a rural location, but the commitment of the members (and their parents) is shown in the strong core of pupils who attend week in, week out.
While you'll likely need to show some Hollywood blockbusters, don't be afraid to screen classic black and white movies and foreign language films too. You will be amazed how well young people really can follow films with subtitles!
Based on Mary Shelley's classic Gothic horror novel about a misunderstood monster hounded through Transylvania's foggy graveyards.
Age group11+ years
An extraterrestrial race has been living on earth for 20 years, segregated from humans and living in slum-like conditions in South Africa.
Age group14+ years
Moving and rewarding animation about rabbits on a long journey to safety.
Age group7–14 years
The film follows the adventures of a misfit eleven-year-old who sees and talks to ghosts.
Age group7–16 years
All of the winners from the 2017 Into Film Awards, collected in one place.
Viewing time 2 mins
Paul Scowcroft, our final Leader of the Month for 2016, offers his tips for new clubs and discusses his varied strategies when it comes to review writing.
Reading time 7 mins
Our focus on Language looks at not only English and Modern Foreign Language cinema in relation to the curriculum, but also at the language of film itself.
Viewing 4 of 4 related items.
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