School Film Programme for Children and Young People

Whether via the medium of TV, cinema or the Internet, films significantly shape the perceptions of young people as they view society and their role in it. For their part, film festivals specialise in the projection of moving pictures: their staff continually research and evaluate traditional film creations as well as the latest technological and aesthetic developments within the world of media. Festivals also provide a forum for knowledgeable media specialists ready to discuss film content as well as specific film language, genre and production conditions.
For years now, staff at the Dortmund | Cologne International Women’s Film Festival have compiled a special film programme aimed at school students of all ages and teachers from different school forms. As with the festival itself, the schools programme is centred on a given topic _ and this year it’s freedom. Feature films and documentaries approach the topic in varied ways and show the everyday situation or exceptional circumstances affecting children and young adults in various cultures, social contexts and individual constellations. Also, in addition to stories about the personal struggle for freedom, our programme films will be looking at more complex issues such as democracy and the freedom of speech.
The Berlin Wall fell twenty years ago, 1989. A good reason for the Dortmund | Cologne International Women’s Film Festival – in collaboration with doxs! Kino – to include in the Schools Film Programme three documentaries made at the DEFA, the East German film studios: Jugendzeit (Younger Days), Jugendzeit … in der Stadt (Younger Days in the City) and Einmal in der Woche schrein (Yell Once a Week). All three offer intriguing insights into teenage life in the former German Democratic Republic.
After each screening, the school students get the chance to talk about the film or listen to presenters as they go into detail about the background to the film production, about the techniques of image composition or about artistic considerations. Film-makers themselves will be on hand to provide their personal insight into different aspects of film work. And perhaps, in doing so, they will act as something of an inspiration for some of the students pondering their own career choice?

_Barbara Fischer-Rittmeyer