On 30 January in Rotterdam’s De Doelen, IFFR will host an all-day conference in association with the Dutch Institute for Film Education, under the title 'How to Stimulate Film Sense(s)'. The aim of the conference is to assess the role of the filmmaker within media education and his importance in determining future media education policies.
‘Media education is a topic that has been discussed a lot in most countries among policy-makers and within educational institutions, but these talks have never included the filmmakers themselves,’ claims Ulrike Söbbeke, conference organizer and IFFR’s educational manager. ‘Somehow filmmakers have been left out of the debate. In other disciplines, such as within the teaching of literature in schools or theatre education, the “maker” is always involved in the whole educational process. But not so within the field of media education, so the filmmaker’s absence is something we want to try to address, to get them involved, to get them to speak out about the subjects that are really important.’
The conference will address three main themes, firstly the effects of digital democratization on media education and filmmakers. Then it will move on to assess filmmakers’ influence on media education and the effect of education on the practice of filmmaking. Finally, panellists will look at ways of involving new generations through filmmaking initiatives, film schools and talent development. Keynote speakers will include Gregory Paulger, director of the Directorate-General Information Society and Media who will present the EC communication on Media Literacy, and Anna van Someren, creative manager for the New Media Literacies project at MIT's Comparative Media Studies (US), who will address the question of how best to explore new media literacy.
Söbbeke hopes that the diverse audience of filmmakers, educational professionals, film school personnel and representatives from foreign film institutes will not only drive an enriching debate but at its end produce ‘a statement about the involvement and cooperation of film makers, the media industry and educational organizations in the reshaping and further development of media education around the world.’
‘IFFR is obviously a festival for filmmakers,’ she stresses, ‘and it is a wonderful opportunity to introduce them to the media industries in order to shape an ideal future for media education.’ NC