Since its inception in 2007, Next Gen at the Melbourne International Film Festival has introduced children and adolescents to international cinema. Each year the program offers films that not only entertain a younger audience but also challenge their perspectives of self and others. The films encourage conversations about human experience and the issues that matter to young people.
An excursion to a Next Gen screening at MIFF 2014 provides students with a unique and enriching viewing experience that both defines and redefines their understanding of cinema. The films have been chosen because they have the capacity to engage the imagination and the intellect. The curriculum resources produced by ATOM in association with MIFF allow students to share their personal impressions and develop critical judgments about the Next Gen films.
ATOM believes responding in Media Arts involves students learning to explore, view, analyse and participate in media culture. Also, the development of aesthetic knowledge in Media Arts rewards students’ curiosity and creative exploits. This development increases their engagement with and understanding of how images, sounds and text create experiences that consumers recognise and respond to physically, emotionally and intellectually.
MIFF’s Next Gen films give young people an insight into other cultures and ways of life through cinema. As well as supporting the teaching and learning of a specific language and its culture(s), the films can be powerful tools to develop young peoples’ general intercultural understanding. Study guides written by ATOM are available for selected films.
Intercultural Understanding is now a part of the curriculum in most schools. A class visit to a Next Gen screening provides the ideal opportunity to start students reflecting on their personal relationship with other cultures – in particular, with regard to the strands of ‘Recognising culture and developing respect’ and ‘Reflecting on intercultural experiences and taking responsibility’. For more information, visit the ACARA website.
As highlighted at the recent MLTAV conference, languages teachers can take the lead in working with students and colleagues to develop intercultural understanding under the Australian Curriculum. Please consider booking for a film, even if it’s not in the language(s) you are teaching! Bookings from MLTAV member schools are eligible to send one teacher per ten students at no charge.
MIFF’s Next Gen program reflects the rich diversity of the Victorian school population, and provides students with an excellent opportunity to explore aspects of the human experience. Next Gen films allow students to engage with a range of issues that encourage (and may also challenge) their understanding of other cultures, and expand the scope of their own experiences. VATE members can download the ‘Next Gen in the English classroom’ resource from vate.org.au. These notes complement the Next Gen screening program and the detailed ATOM study guides.
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is proud to be a partner of the Melbourne International Film Festival Next Gen program. The Department is committed to languages education and recognises the many benefits that learning languages brings to students and the community, which is why Victorian schools are being supported to introduce language programs to all Prep classes in 2015. Films in other languages, such as those presented as part of Next Gen, provide students with invaluable language support, cultural insights and authentic learning opportunities beyond the classroom.