Friday 12 June 2015
For the second year running, QMUL Film Studies, Student Services, and Centre for Public Engagement have been supporting an innovative and exciting film education project from the BFI. The project, which is French in origin, is called 'Le Cinema, cent ans de jeunesse', and has been running for 20 years in countries all over the world. Each year groups of young people, teachers, and film-makers collectively explore an aspect of film: moving the camera; using 'long takes' in film; sound; and colour. This year the theme was 'L'Intervalle', or how filmmakers use gaps and spaces in their films to tell stories. The project is supported financially by Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Service, and the participating schools are Morpeth, Mulberry School for Girls, and St. Paul's Way Trust School.
This year 15 young people aged between 13 and 16 came together from three Tower Hamlets schools, together with QMUL film students, every Tuesday after school to explore 'L'Intervalle' - by watching clips from the history of cinema (Chaplin, Keaton, Hitchcock, Vigo, Truffaut, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Lynne Ramsay amongst others), and carrying out practical applications of how spaces are exploited by the camera. The group met every week at various locations on the Mile End campus and latterly edited their final nine minute film, ‘Mind the Gap’ in QMUL’s editing suite. One of the many aims of the project is to 'open up’ QMUL to local teenagers, and give them a flavour of university life.
The final films in this programme are screened in front of an international audience of young people every June, at the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris, and this year, the Tower Hamlets partnership attended with seven students and two QMUL film mentors. Both the mentors and younger students stepped up on stage and introduced and explained their film with great eloquence and confidence.
QMUL film student and mentor for the project, Oliwia Rogala, wrote about the experience:
‘At first I was surprised by the whole project, there was a lot to do and two hours a week didn't seem enough. However after first meeting I noticed how passionate the kids are. And they already had a big knowledge of film. Everyone could see that their minds were full of ideas and ready to learn, it was real pleasure to work with them and help to bring their ideas into real life. The Programme was designed to help them throughout the whole year to polish their ideas into what at the end resulted in a great film: 'Mind the Gap'.
I believe seeing the film you made on a big screen in a cinema is the best award for filmmakers, so when I heard we were going to Paris to screen our film I was not only surprised but also really happy. Not just because we were going to Paris but also because those young filmmakers deserved it. It's a great opportunity to help them with their passion, I really wish I had taken part in something like this when I was younger. I'm sure many of those teenagers will continue making films and their passion for it will grow.
I am really glad and honoured that I could take part in this, meet so many wonderful people and see lots of other young filmmakers in Paris.’
Click here to find out more about the project and watch the final film.