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Event feedback

Michele Lambert, ESOL Teacher,
Cambridge Regional College:

Attending Miral give them an experience which they would not have in the UK- many of our students are not confidant English speakers so would not regularly attend. In the past going to a screening has been the very first experience of cinema for some of our students - hard though it may be to believe! The students really enjoy going out as a group with their teachers as it contributes to group bonding. We always make sure that we tie in at least one lesson with the film - a summary of the main points for lower level classes, and then a piece of writing and/or discussion after the screening. We will focus on language aspects or cohesion - plot or character description for Miral.

Some of the students found Miral quite a hard film to watch and were quite upset by the subject, however, what is important is that despite this, they still thought it was a very worthwhile experience and a good film. I feel it is a great privilege to be offered the chance by film education to take young people out to the cinema for a new experience and I am very grateful to be able to do so. I have always found the staff at film education to be extremely helpful!

John Taylor, Senior Lecturer:

We teach international students and thought this film would be interesting because many are from Muslim backgrounds so it would be a good discussion topic for us. The students were all engaged and stayed to the end, though there were some mixed reactions the discussions were interesting and it was a useful challenge for those students who were angry to have to explain why.

It was the first major film that the students would have seen that dealt with these issues adequately and I think it has been very useful and is something I can see us buying on DVD to use in the classroom in the future.

Guy Martin, Education Officer:

We are always keen to be able to do preview screenings at the cinema because we get access to national films and new content. Miral was also a good choice for us in terms of educational screenings because it is a film that will take the students out of their comfort zone. The key thing for us, apart from encouraging young people to come to the cinema is to tie into literacy.

The schools that attended were planning to use the film in the classroom so we always try to place the screening in an educational context by providing work sheets or links to Film Education resources. We hold educational screenings to build audiences, not only for our cinema, but also for alternative content more widely and this film served this purpose very well. Our audiences tend to be older and the younger cinema audiences usually visit the multiplexes to see blockbuster films so these screenings are a way to challenge those habits.

James Coulson, Media and English Teacher, North Walsham High School:

The students were able to engage with the subject matter far more than I thought they would and we had a good discussion about the issues in the film and the conflict itself after the screening. I wanted to students to see this film because we are trying to introduce the students to non-mainstream films but also Norfolk is quite isolated culturally so we feel it is important to expose the students to cultures other than the traditional British culture they are used to, so again this film was perfect for this. Film is such an effective and accessible way to do this that these screenings are a great opportunity to show the students subtitled films, which many have never seen or films that help teach them about other cultures.

Nicki Darrell, Video Production Tutor, Norwich City College:

It was great to see brand new print on a big screen because so much of what the students watch is on television. The film was well out of their comfort zone in terms of what they are used to culturally and politically but the atmosphere of being in a cinema made them engage with the film in a way they would not have if I had shown it to them in the classroom.

We had some really interesting discussions about the film back at college such as the camera work and the effects of using a hand held camera. We also talked about the fact that it was a low budget film so it has helped inform teaching practice. The students can be very insular so it was good to encourage them to see a film set in another country and also to take them to a cinema that was not a multiplex so that the whole experience was something different for them.