Maria Garay_Begira Elkartea_ZINETXIKI_we


Two large studies on Film Education were compiled for the European Commission in 2013 (“Screening Literacy: Film Education in Europe”) and in 2015 (“Films in Schools”). They show that there are a lot of field activities in Europe, but there is a lack of recognition of the subject in curricula and as a part of education policies.

In the framework of the upcoming 2nd International Forum Fest of Fests in Athens in June 2019, we talk to María Garay, Education Officer at Begira Elkartea, to find out her views on what has happened in the last years in terms of Film Education as per the experience with Zinetxiki Zinelmaldia – International Film Festival for Children and Youth.


What do you think has changed in the last five years in the field of Film Literacy?   

I’d say that there’s been an increasing open-mindedness in both the education and culture sectors towards film literacy and the relevance of the creation of new audiences, critical thinkers and engaged citizens. The emergence of many new film festivals show the interest that institutions, cultural associations and the general public have in visual arts as a means for international communication, collaborative reflection and learning.

Clearly, the advance of new tecnologies and the access to a diversity of gadgets from an early age, have made easier for young people to explore and adventure in various ways of creativity and self-learning processes. In this sense, film is the perfect discipline for them to practise and create.

From our end, we can certainly say that Zinetxiki Zinemaldia has grown from a film screening platform to a film education hub, where we show contemporary short films that present international stories and realities through educational values, and we gather schools, families and film professionals who work with children and youth to develop their interest in the field, both as audience and future practitioners.      


How would you describe your approach to Film Literacy?

We are convinced that Film Literacy should be part of the education curricula as it is one of the most complete and transversal tools that can facilitate the learning of mainstream subjects from a multiperspective point of view. Film Literacy can help students to better understand the world they live in and provide a big picture for them to also decide where they stand.

In order to promote Film Education in the formal and non formal contexts, we run several educational projects such as Zineskola, ZinegazteLab and Community Art, that we have developped in the past two years. These projects have a strong presence in the Zinetxiki Zinemaldia and the International Zinema School Fest where we make the most of the participation of multidisciplinary professionals who share their expertise and personal experience in motivational and enriching sessions.   


What would you describe as your biggest challenge?

As I said before, we believe the future of Film Literacy looks promising and we’ll definitely work to contribute to its establishment within the Education curricula and institutionalisation. However, from a wider point of view, we feel one of the greatest challenges is to connect with the audience for them to engage in a lifelong project of personal development through film education.