22 October 2009

Essex academics give film talks across the county

Danny Boyle and Bill Nighy at the London launch, picture courtesy of Andy Paradise

Academics from the University of Essex have been taking part in National Schools Film Week events across the county this week.

Lecturers from the Departments of Art History and Theory, and Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies gave introductory talks to more than 200 school and college students at the free screenings in Colchester, Chelmsford and Southend.

Over 440,000 children and young people attended free screenings across the UK as part of the UK-wide week-long celebration of film. The week was launched in London by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and British actor Bill Nighy at a preview screening of Fantastic Mr Fox.

Dr Margherita Sprio, of the Department of Art History and Theory, spoke to more than 90 youngsters at the Odeon cinema in Chelmsford before a screening of Pedro Almodóvar’s 2006 film Volver. In her talk, Dr Sprio explained how his unique vision of the world has led to Almodóvar being widely considered one of the most important living film directors in European cinema history.

Dr Sanja Bahun, of the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, introduced Shane Meadows’ Somers Town (2008) to 70 students from Clacton County High School and Thurstable School. She said: ‘The visual media have become an essential part of our everyday life, and one of the privileged modes of understanding and contemplating reality, history and our relationships with others. It is thus more than ever necessary to attend to film education, to teach pupils and students of all ages how to “read” images and how to interact with them with both enjoyment and edification.’

Shohini Chaudhuri, Director of the University’s Centre for Film Studies, spoke to students at Southend’s South East Essex VI Form College (SEEVIC) about Laurent Cantet’s The Class which received the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

National Schools Film Week is organised by Film Education.

Ends

Notes to editor
For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.

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