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Schoolchildren learning to love cinema.

LOCAL children are being offered a free ringside seat to enjoy the National Schools Film Week.

The aim of the festival, which this year runs between October 14 and 22, is to provide cinema experiences as a kind of extension of the classroom, supporting teaching by linking into the curriculum.

And it enables those schoolchildren across the UK to visit the cinema free of charge to see a variety of films, including some from around the world, catering for ages from four to 19 and including a selection for those with autism.

Last year, more than 400,000 students and their teachers attended the event and this year, which celebrates the festival's 15th birthday, there'll be 2,800 screenings at 570 cinemas.

In Newcastle, Tyneside Cinema and the Empire, and the Odeon at Silverlink, North Tyneside, will be hosting a range of movies.

They include Kirikou and the Sorceress in French, Fantastic Mr Fox, Hurt Locker, Chicken Little, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Star Trek.

Linked events include Q&A with directors plus talks about film narrative.

The charity arm also produces curriculum-based resources and runs teacher training events.

Nick Walker, the director of National Schools Film Week, said: "We hope that teachers and students feel engaged and realise that attending a NSFW screening is far more than a nice trip to the cinema.

"We do this by giving schools added talks and online resources to contextualise the film, to empower teachers by giving them the opportunity to programme which films they feel tie in with school topics at their local cinema and finally to encourage students to explore new worlds by seeing films they wouldn't ordinarily choose."

The festival has won support from filmmakers.

Danny Boyle, who directed Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, said: "I'm very proud to be a patron of Film Education and National Schools Film Week because I think it's important that people go to the cinema as soon as possible in their lives, and then keep going."

Mark Herman, who made Brassed Off and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, said the film programme helps give students an insight into other cultures, while Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland and Touching the Void) said: It's a great way for schoolchildren to be able to see a wide range of important and interesting films."

For more details on the primary and secondary school programme see www.nsfw.org Also see www.filmeducation.org Barbara Hodgson

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SCREEN TIME Thousands of children will take part in National Schools Film Week
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 28, 2010
Words:424
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