Children talk about the mango tree in the courtyard of their school, students portray daily life at home, empty classrooms, a teacher talks about loneliness and lack of access to students, a father shows his daughter footage he made of the new educational institution where she will study when face-to-face activities are resumed. This set of scenes is part of what will be presented at the 16th edition of the Ouro Preto Film Festival (CineOP). The festival, which starts today (23) and runs until next Monday (28), will offer a space for reflection on the educational role that the audiovisual has been playing in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.
Parallel to the exhibition of films, there will be moments for sharing projects and experiences of methodologies that use image and sound as tools. Some of them were developed during remote classes during the pandemic, explains filmmaker and educator Clarisse Alvarenga. Professor at the Faculty of Education at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). She is responsible for the curatorship of CineOP’s education axis alongside Adriana Fresquet, researcher and professor at the Faculty of Education at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
“Education is a place for physical encounters, for face-to-face sociability. Face-to-face contact is essential, especially in basic education. But, at this moment in particular, we understand that schools must remain closed until sanitary conditions are safe. Despite this, it is important that the bond between teacher and student happens somehow. The festival brought together works that are samples of this attempt to establish links in this very challenging moment”, says Clarisse.
There are from initiatives where students are encouraged to develop audiovisual works to cine-conversations, that is, the debate about the films and their contents. There are also experiences focused on the development of subjectivities, using cinema not within the informative model, but to foster sensory experiences in children and young people.
“The closing of schools created a big question for the teacher: what do I do and how do I do it? Filmmakers have also gone through this questioning. In both education and film, it sometimes seems that everything that was known needed to be reinvented. And what we have noticed is a transversal presence of image and sound throughout the curriculum, not just in the artistic disciplines. At the moment, there is no way to work on any content without resorting to audiovisual”, observes Clarisse.
A reference in the national cinematographic calendar, CineOP is organized by Universo Produções, which is also responsible for the traditional Tiradentes Film Festival. The event, supported by the Special Secretariat of Culture of the Ministry of Tourism and by the Secretariat of Culture and Tourism of Minas Gerais, emerged in 2006 and has as a differential its structure in three areas: heritage, education and history. For each of them, there is a vast program that mobilizes filmmakers, researchers, restorers, teachers, critics, students and moviegoers in general.
All movies can be watched for free through the site from CineOP, where you can also check the exhibition dates and synopses. As a result of the covid-19 pandemic, this edition will be carried out in a online, just as it had happened last year. It is not an isolated experience. The sector bet on virtual festivals as a way to stimulate the circulation of cinematographic production and to discuss the challenges arising from the global health crisis.
118 films will be screened, including short, medium and feature films from 14 Brazilian states and three other countries. Other activities are planned such as debates, workshops, exhibitions, publication launches, performances and shows. At the opening, which takes place today at 8 pm, actor Chico Diaz will be honored and will receive the Vila Rica Trophy, rewarding a career spanning more than four decades.
Of the 118 films, 27 correspond to the education axis. Most of them were chosen by a team nominated by Rede Kino, which was created in 2009. Its objective is to bring together people and institutions interested in carrying out actions involving cinema and education. A partner of CineOP, Rede Kino also holds its annual forum during the event, which reaches its 13th edition and discusses the initiatives and perspectives for the next period.
There are also eight films linked to the Cero en Conducta and Escuela al Cine projects. These are initiatives developed in Chile, a country that has become a reference in processes involving cinema and education. This has occurred, among other reasons, due to the wide digitization of cinematographic heritage by its Cineteca Nacional, to the curricular reform of basic education, which opened space for new possibilities of audiovisual use, and to the success of projects that were created on the initiative of the company itself. society.
The program will also highlight the work of 89-year-old Chilean Alicia Vega Durán. A film teacher and researcher, she is responsible for several educational inclusion projects. One of them, in the late 1980s, consisted of children’s cinema workshops for children who had never been to the cinema. The initiative was recorded in the documentary Children waiting for a train, by Ignacio Agüero. The film, awarded at the time at festivals in four countries, is part of CineOP’s programming, and its director will participate in a debate table.
Clarisse notes that the experiences that will be presented mostly involve public education. For her, the pandemic leaves even more exposed and noticeable the disparity existing in Brazil between public and private education, which also opens a chance to think about public policies that seek to balance the differences. The pedagogue also defends that the educational potential of cinema must be seen in a broader way, considering training spaces beyond the school. Another concern she raises involves the relationship that new generations who grow up with access to various new technologies have been establishing with image and sound.
“The audiovisual must enter as a sensitive and creative experience. It cannot be just another period of the day when the young person will be subjected to hours of screen. It is important to make this distinction. It is a language that is part of the cultural practices of children and young people, but it is always necessary to keep in mind that it must be taken elsewhere: the place of subjective production, of criticism, of stimulating argumentation. That’s the difference between putting the image inside the school. This relationship must be mediated by teaching”.
The general theme of this edition of CineOP is “memories between different times”. The festival will highlight the 1990s, a period that encompasses the extinction of Embrafilme, the crisis of national cinema, the efforts of the so-called “resumption” after 1995 and the creation of the National Cinema Agency (Ancine) in 2001. The organizers understand that looking at this past allows us to better understand the present. “There are many layers of the country and cinema, now repositioned, which were sown as a kind of genesis since 1990”, registers a letter signed by Cleber Eduardo and Francis Vogner dos Reis, curators of the historical axis.
For Clarisse, the retreat to the 1990s also contributes to the educational debate, as it was in this decade that the interaction between cinema and school began to gain momentum. The dissemination of videocassettes and the arrival of relatively accessible camcorders on the market enabled the development of training proposals involving cinema.
Within the heritage axis, CineOP’s programming includes the National Meeting of Brazilian Audiovisual Archives and Collections. It is a space that discusses the importance of preserving national films. It is currently consolidated as one of the main forums for discussing public policies aimed at safeguarding this cinematographic heritage. The agenda involves themes such as priorities for restoration, digitization processes, population access to films and organization of databases that gather various information about the works, such as location, copyright holder, copy status, among others.
A milestone of this debate occurred at CineOP 2016, when a National Audiovisual Preservation Plan was prepared and delivered to the former Ministry of Culture (MinC). He proposed parameters for public and private institutions to build their collections policy, including management, acquisition, conservation, restoration, digitization, disposal, dissemination and access.
The discussion proposed by the event concerns not only works by filmmakers with consolidated careers, but also films that were produced for art galleries, which are restricted to personal collections, or even by directors who have died and left relevant materials with their heirs who are unaware of the value of the work. Researchers believe that productions whose existence is not yet publicly known could open up new fields for study.
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