Film plays a fundamental part in building our European identities. Audiences need to be able to make free and informed choices in a context of transformation of the whole value-chain of the audio-visual industry. Film literacy is the best instrument in order to develop a sustainable audience for European films in the short, medium and long term.
In EYNCRIN we approach film literacy as a convergence of the interdisciplinary practices of literary and media studies, which both concentrate on the analysis of significance in all manner of texts: visual and written. Ushering young people toward a more open notion of literary discourse and practice, critical media pedagogy begins with the assumption that visual images, songs, advertisements, and film are inherently ideological and political. The media in general (and films in particular) enacts, as John Berger frames it, ways of seeing that can effectively produce and determine the meanings and outcomes of discourse itself and which, therefore, shape our cultural contexts.
EYNCRIN Film Literacy Clubs work on improving:
"An audience with even a vague knowledge of the history and the richness of European cinema would and will be able to choose differently, would and will make other decisions about what it wants to feed on. Taste can be taught!"
EYNCRIN`s Applications to Film and Media Literacy (Theoretical Framework)
1. Representations and images in media catalogue or mirror commonly shared practices, ideologies and experiences. In this sense, media representations play a formative role in reifying and entrenching cultural practices and are seen to be expressions, often, of the collective (or dominant) will. An advertisement, for example, might project gendered, classist, and even racial fears or fantasies; a film might catalogue the beliefs, assumptions, and prejudices of a particular historical moment.
2. To draw from Henry Giroux, one of today`s leading critical pedagogy scholars, The media enacts its own invisible pedagogy.
Media is not neutral terrain but rather contains embedded arguments, points of view, and messages.
3. According to Maurice E. Stevens, in an article on Spike Lee`s Malcolm X, the visual medium is an arbiter of identities. Hence more than merely reflecting shared beliefs, customs and value-systems by which we come to identify ourselves, the media plays a critical role in constructing identities and social ideology, promoting, challenging, and mediating prevailing attitudes toward corporeality, race, gender, class, sexuality, occupation, (etc.) that permeate Western culture and language at their deepest levels.
The EYNCRIN FILM LITERACY CLUBS focus is on supporting the development of youth film clubs in Europe through our member organisations, piloting new models, testing solutions for the delivery of film screenings in youth organizations, adult education centers and schools, and developing strategies for film engagement across Europe.
Topics discussed during the film literacy club sessions:
EYNCRIN also offers a Film literacy pack that provides a range of worksheets for analysing the storyline and characters within any film.
There are also worksheets to help young people to develop their personal analysis and interpretation of the film in addition to a section on filmmaking tasks. The final section contains worksheets to promote extended writing to develop the learning from any film.