by GREG KING
An initiative of the Melbourne International Film Festival, NextGen was created in 2007 to provide a program of entertaining and thought-provoking films aimed at a youth audience. The films are designed to promote discussion, social awareness and also to encourage students to become active viewers who question and challenge the moving image.
The films are selected for their diversity, innovation and high quality. Through a mix of drama, documentary and animation, these films explore key themes such as alienation, bullying, cultural differences, the environment, and coming of age stories.
In partnership with ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) there are curriculum resources available to allow students to further explore the themes of these films and further develop their critical faculties.
Films in the NextGen program include We Are Mari Pepa (above) about a 16-year-old boy and his mates who want to enter their punk band into a Battle Of The Bands competition; The Good Life, a French coming of age drama about two brothers who live a nomadic life with their father, which has been stunningly filmed in the Loire Valley; Clara And The Secret Of The Bears, which is part ghost story and part ecological tale; the animated Aunt Hilda! and the French documentary School Of Babel, which was shot over the course of a year in a multi-cultural secondary school that teaches French language and culture to students from all over the world.
To find out more about this year’s NextGen program, Greg King spoke to programmer Thoams Caldwell for his Movies At Dusk program. To hear the interview, click on the link below: