Film: 21st Century Literacy
A strategy for film education across the UK
Film: 21st Century Literacy is a strategy for film education across the UK to build literacy about the moving image for children and young people.
The strategy is based on the belief that in the same way we take for granted society’s responsibility to help children to read and write – to use and enjoy words – we should also help children and young people use, enjoy and understand moving images. And not just to be technically capable, but to be culturally literate too.
The BFI is a member of the leadership group for Film: 21st Century Literacy, alongside Film Club, First Light, Film Education and the UK Film Council and in partnership with the National and Regional Screen Agencies and Skillset.
We believe an understanding of film is essential to literacy in the 21st century. It encourages learning, critical understanding, debate and conversation about film and the moving image across a wide range of issues, and gives young people a vehicle for their own creativity. Yet film education is still on the margins of the national and international policy agenda.
Our vision is to ensure that all young people in the UK have the opportunity to learn about film in all its richness and creative possibilities. The two main aims of the strategy are to enhance current activity and to initiate new, innovative activities including:
- investing in learning resources to accompany publicly funded films
- establishing a comprehensive training and development programme for those involved in film education
- developing online resources to provide access to the UK’s film archives
- using new learning routes, such as the Creative & Media Diploma and the Arts Award.
In addition to the £12 million which is currently spent on film education activities across the UK, a further £750,000 of National Lottery funding from the UK Film Council will be made available over the next three years. This seed funding will help to pilot regional partnerships – starting with Wales, East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North-East - which will explore how best to plug gaps in film education provision and spread best practice across the UK.
The Strategy was officially launched on 3 June 2008. An eight-page Focus on Film supplement looking at film education and literacy was simultaneously published in the Guardian newspaper. Over the following 12 months a series of film education activities will be set up throughout the UK as well as further events and opportunities to become involved with film education.
Our ambition to achieve a genuinely UK-wide impact is underpinned by a commitment to prioritise action in rural areas and places that do not have cinemas.
Find out more about the partner organisations in this initiative.
For further information visit the Film 21st Century Literacy website at 21stcenturyliteracy.org.uk