A movie by school children from Scotland and Lapland at the Midnight Sun Film Festival

A movie by school children from Scotland and Lapland at the Midnight Sun Film Festival

The students of St Joseph’s Academy in Kilmarnock, Scotland and Aleksanteri Kena school in Sodankylä (Finnish Lapland) were in video correspondence with each other. A short film was compiled from these clips.

According to Elina Ylitepsa, a teacher at the Aleksanteri Kena school, the audience can expect a fresh perspective.

“The diversity of the students’ life circumstances and milieus are reflected in the film.”

It is already the second year when the students from secondary schools exchange video clips and make a film together based on the correspondence.

“The students have been very excited”, says Ylitepsa.

“There are real people on the other side. Communication with them differs from just following something on media. The interaction is great.”

During the project the students learnt about life in Scotland, learned English and film making skills.

“Even though many teenagers film and send video snippets constantly on their phones, creating a cinematic story line was a new way of telling from them.”

After the screening the students will answer questions related to the project. Afterwards the French animation The Illusionist (2010), based in Edinburgh, will be screened. The film was chosen to be a part of the programme by the St Joseph’s Academy students. Respectively, the students from Sodankylä chose Rare Export (2010), a horror movie about Father Christmas, by Finnish director Jalmari Helander to be screened in Scotland.

“The decision was pretty much unanimous. We watched several Finnish films about Lapland, such as The White Reindeer (1952) [also a Finnish horror film]. It turned out that the students rarely watch few Finnish movies. You could have a separate course based on them”, says Ylitepsa.

The Finnish Institute in London helped to initiate the project and was also one of the main financiers for it.

“In this project pupils learn film-making and build international networks while they make friends and having fun. This is a great way of enhancing internationalisation among young people”, says Emilie Gardberg, director of the Finnish Institute in London.

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Text: Ninni Lehtniemi Photo: Elina Ylitepsa

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