Well, this is tangentially related to politics… I’m putting together a screening for kids and families tomorrow at Portland’s Kennedy School. I’m posting here because kid film making is inherently a political act. At its most basic, it’s an empowering emancipation proclamation, children are taking the media into their own hands as active producers, not passive consumers. By giving children a venue and the respect normally shown to adult artists we are validating their experience and opinions, challenging them to create work worthy of examination and exhibition. A large proportion of the funding which goes to young film makers comes from non-profit groups who have a mandate to teach either media literacy or other public service messages like AIDS prevention or anti-smoking PSAs. Often times young people are given cameras and instruction with the expectation that they will use these tools to create films which are political or educational. It’s a pretty remarkable phenomenon when we realize that very rarely are these criteria established for adult film makers looking for funding. As a result there is an amazing oeuvre of films which have been produced by young people in the last twenty years and a number of great resources to support them. What has been missing is a tangible system of distribution where the work is being seen by large audiences outside the schools or classes where the work was produced. There are a few big US festivals including the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, which are amazing, but on the whole, these kid made works don’t get much screen time.
Kid films are predominately short and would never get picked up by a big studio and almost never seen on TV, even internet distribution is slim though there are some great channels hosted by PBS for young adult work. I started putting together traveling festivals for kids four years ago, when I realized the films in the theaters which were targeted to my kids really sucked. I’ve a background in film making and festival work and I knew there was great work out there, it was just a matter of rounding it up. By showing my kids work made by young people on the other side of the planet, I’m teaching them empathy, and tolerance. My kids relate to the people they see, and statistics and headlines have suddenly been humanized.
PNCA + INDIEKID Films Screening & Show
MAY 31st, 2008
Kennedy School Theater
This event for all ages features 2D, 3D and time-based art created by youth artists this spring at PNCA, as well as an outstanding selection of independent global cinema for kids. Featured in this screening are films from a Video Production class for 10 to 13-year-olds at PNCA.
Hosted by PNCA Continuing Education and Indiekid Films, the screening begins 10 am with free popcorn.
Admission — Adults: $3; Children under 11: $1; Children under 3: free; Filmmakers: free.
+About Indiekid Films:
Founded in 2002, Indiekid Films presents award winning international films created by children and adults for a young audience featuring a mix of live action and animation. Their workshops empower young people to create their own films, participating in a cinematic dialog.
+About PNCA Youth Program:
The philosophy of Anna Belle Crocker, who founded the program in 1910, put art at the center of a truly fulfilled life. Today, the PNCA Youth Program continues her legacy. Practicing artists teach artistic skills and creative thinking to youth, ages 4 to 18, in a nurturing and supportive environment.
Continuing Education offers a year-round program of art and design courses for children and teens (ages 4-18) as well as a comprehensive Pre-College program for high school students interested in a college education and career in the arts and design.
Contact Sara Kaltwasser at 503.821.8967 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the PNCA Youth Program.