‘CINANIMA Goes to School’ is back!

‘CINANIMA goes to Schools’ returned to present the best of animated cinema to classrooms in Portugal and the CPLP community. One of CINANIMA’s most significant tasks is to promote children’s and young people’s film literacy. ‘CINANIMA goes to Schools’ provides six free short film programmes for each level of education (pre-school, first, second, and third cycle, and secondary), allowing students to watch more than 60 films in the classroom, libraries, or school auditoriums. Teachers can also benefit from Exploration Guides. You can join this initiative by registering here.

Animated film can also be used as an educational tool, inspiring and challenging young minds while also stimulating creativity, imagination, and awareness of the world around us. “CINANIMA Goes to Schools” is an opportunity to extend students’ perspectives and provide a one-of-a-kind educational experience in which many issues can be handled and implemented.

One of the most important components of this project is the selection of films: from the concept to the plot, each film must transmit the appropriate message for each level of education. João Católico, José Rodrigues, and Paulo Fernandes made this pick. We learned more about this difficulty from the words of Joo Católico and José Rodrigues.

How important and valuable do you think this initiative is for the students?

João Católico: This initiative gives students the opportunity to watch quality films and take part in activities related to animation. Students can improve their critical thinking skills by watching and discussing animated films in class. They can study message interpretation, symbolism, and narrative strategies.

José Rodrigues:It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that CINANIMA has constantly brought to schools throughout the years, fostering film literacy and sparking conversation on a variety of topics, filmmaking techniques, and possibly even developing animated cinema. These are programmes that supplement and complete all of the activities of the PNC – National Cinema Plan by providing educational materials to teachers, educators, and schools.

The initiative offers six programmes, each dedicated to a specific school level – pre-school and primary, secondary and secondary. What criteria are used to select the films included in the programmes?

João Católico: Since the programmes are aimed at school audiences in different age groups, the selection panel was made up of three teachers (Paulo Fernandes, José Alberto Rodrigues and João Católico), all of whom are involved in animated images.
In order to stimulate critical thinking and promote discussion of ideas in the classroom, we took into account some common criteria in the selection, such as the age group for which each programme is intended, the diversity of animation techniques, the narrative and theme addressed by each film, and the creativity and visual exploration.

José Rodrigues: The film selection is highly careful and judicious. It’s a decision made by teachers and educators, peer-reviewed and selecting films that are not only the most appropriate for each age group, but also the most relevant in terms of the diversity of themes, stimulating reflection, critical thinking, and, above all, promoting true film literacy in such a specific area as animated cinema, with the particularity of showing animated films by auteurs, which are very difficult to find on the commercial circuit or even on television. The animation techniques employed and the opportunity of analysing the films across the curriculum are critical, but always with the film itself, its language, and its individuality and distinctiveness in mind, as well as instructional potential.
Every year CINANIMA receives a huge number of films and without any exaggeration, there are hundreds of films that can be eligible for this selection and in addition to the quantity, there is always a high quality in a very significant number of films. We always try to choose the best and most appropriate for the various age groups, with a special analysis of their content and the relevance of their approach in an educational context, as well as how they can enhance new learning and educational experiences, without forgetting that we can always have programmes and sessions with a cinematographic weight that is worthwhile in itself, as well as for the cinematographic and animation quality of the works. The task is enormous, and the selection crew spends many hours in front of the screen each year in order to make the greatest and most diverse decision possible.

How can film literacy influence education and pedagogical practices?

João Católico: Film analysis necessitates the capacity to notice details, create connections, and understand messages. This creates critical thinking and analysis abilities that can be transferred to other areas of school and life. Film analysis can also serve as a springboard for important classroom discussions. Films frequently address social, ethical, and political issues, which can spark constructive and in-depth conversations, so enriching the curriculum in a variety of disciplines ranging from literature and history to social sciences and arts education. They can assist students in making issues more accessible and entertaining.To summarise, film literacy plays a key role in education, helping students to become critical thinkers, conscious media consumers and effective communicators. It promotes a deeper understanding of culture and society, as well as the development of essential skills for the 21st century.

José Rodrigues:The Ministry of Education recognised this and established the National Film Plan (PNC) a few years ago, which has continuously increased in terms of the quality of the practises developed and its geographical extent. The Cinemateca Portuguesa’s support, as well as the inclusion of the PNC in the National Arts Plan, adds value and acknowledges the importance of cinema for the integral and full development of children and young people, as well as the importance of the 7th art in schools and the development of film literacy. The teachers have recognised this, and the PNC teams in the schools are now the “spearheads” with all of the teachers for the development of film literacy, and it’s clear from the feedback we get at cinanima that this has been a huge boost for innovation and the renewal of teachers’ pedagogical practises. Furthermore, in the case of CINANIMA and the specific nature of animated cinema, it is critical for young people to identify so strongly with this genre while also having access to the possibility of showing films that are not, for the most part, on the commercial circuit or easily accessible. CINANIMA and CINANIMA Goes to Schools have walked this path of linkage and film literacy development.