Educational film festival arrives

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A film festival of educational documentaries for young people could become an annual event.
Wanaka Primary School pupils enjoyed two days of films and discussions recently at Paradiso Cinema during the Doc Edge Schools Film Festival.

Doc Edge Schools manager Matthew Donaldson, of Auckland, said the free in­theatre programme included films from around the world covering social and environmental issues, different cultural perspectives and the future of technology.
‘‘We’ve had a lot of good history documentaries as well as forward-looking documentaries.’’

As well as showing the films, teachers were supplied with an education kit that included activities and conversation starters for continued engagement in the classroom, Mr Donaldson said.
‘‘We are really hoping for an interactive classroom environment after the screenings.’’
The festival showed ‘‘high­quality films’’ that ‘‘cut through’’ some of the less reliable ‘‘fake news’’ of some online videos.
‘‘These are established filmmakers that have been involved in journalism for a long time.’’

Pupil question and answer discussions after the films had touched on intelligent robots, the environment, different cultures and the importance of art, Mr Donaldson said.

The initiative ran alongside the Doc Edge Film Festival in Auckland and Wellington to help young people understand the world around them.
This was the first time the festival had come to Wanaka and Mr Donaldson was hoping to bring it back.
‘‘This is a pilot programme,’’ he said.
‘‘We are hoping to develop our reach further into the south as well as the north, basically giving the regions access to the great opportunities that we provide in Auckland and Wellington.’’