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Film festival will help educate South Tyneside schoolchildren through movies

Pupils ready for action with the national Film Festival.
Pupils ready for action with the national Film Festival.

Schoolchildren in South Tyneside have the chance of free cinema trips as the biggest film festival in the country returns.

Cineworld Boldon and the Customs House in South Shields are taking part in the festival, which is being backed by many celebrities, including actor Jamie Bell, from Billingham, and taking place throughout November.

Jamie Bell, who is supporting the educational Film Festival.

Jamie Bell, who is supporting the educational Film Festival.

The Festival is hosted by film education charity, Into Film, which is supported by Cinema First and the BFI through National Lottery funding, and engages with over half of UK schools.

It is free to all students, supporting education through a carefully curated programme of films and events for schools with topical themes, resources, debates, special events and careers activity.

Jamie Bell, who found fame in the Easington-based film, Billy Elliot, said: “Film creates this sense of community. I always appreciated the use of it in school because I respond to things on screen. I respond to stories and performances told in that medium.”

Now in its sixth year, the project has been phenomenally successful, having welcomed nearly half a million primary and secondary students and their teachers in 2017, of which almost 23,000 were from the North East.

Film creates this sense of community

Jamie Bell

This year, there will be over 60 events throughout the North East and Cineworld Boldon will be showing Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdon, The Greatest Showman, Luis & The Aliens, Mary And The Witch’s Flower, Darkest Hour, Captain Underpants and a Preview: Nativity Rocks.

The Customs House will be showing Mr Bean’s Holiday, Paddington 2, Downsizing and Freak Show.

All of the events are curated to engage young minds in a broad range of topics with many of the screenings supported by actors, directors and producers.

The Into Film Festival welcomed 487,000 young people from all backgrounds and corners of the UK last year and engages youngsters in all aspects of filmmaking from the popular annual Review Writing Competition, which keeps the Festival experience alive and encourages literacy and critical thinking, to learning about careers in the film industry.

Industry experts lift the lid on a vast range of topics including VFX, directing, screenwriting, foley artistry, sound design, prop making, costume design, audio describing, copywriting, film classification and acting.

The programme supports educator and student needs and interests and has been curated in six strands, which are; Mental Wellbeing, Moving Minds, Year of the Woman, Empowered Voices, Visions of Europe, Saving the World, Eco Warriors, Superheroes and Revolutionaries, Anim 18 Connections: An Animated World and Comedy Genius: Slapstick to Subversive.

Accessibility and inclusivity are key aims of the festival with over half of the programme offered as audio-described, subtitled or autism-friendly.

For programme information, to book tickets and download resources educators should visit www.intofilm.org/festival.