First, there’s the rich school of exploring experiences that you can attend just by watching a film, and on top of that, there are hands-on activities for various ages including workshops with cool themes like animation, 3D and virtual reality.
Even the youngest of children--from the tender age of 3--can learn from the experience of going to see a film; even very short animated films that touch on themes like friendship. The festival is a pioneer in offering the “My First Cinema” programme to tiny tots who are already learning how to “read” visuals in a world where they are exposed to everything from emoji on their parent’s phones to video games and iPads designed for their age group.
The festival programmers have also catered specifically to older children in age groups 5 to 9 and 9 to 12. Kids can also help pick out the Coup de Cœur prize winner; and the choice won’t be easy with films like Melusine Productions 3D adventure about an orphan sparrow, Richard, who thinks he’s a stork.
The challenges in the films selected for older teens are even more heart-wrenching and reflect contemporary realities. They tackle, for example, what it’s like to be in love in times of civil war, to be an Afghan refugee forced into marriage and a 16-year-old victim of cyber-bullying...
High school students can vote for their favourite films as members of the Youth Jury. And if that’s not enough of a reel education, there are workshops, literary sessions, concerts, an open screen night (bring your own film!), live cinema and more.