Global Citizenship blog

Global Citizenship

All posts tagged with ‘film’

October 1st, 2013

global citizenship and Film

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 : Categories africa, creativity, europe, expressive arts, international, social studies

Film is a very useful tool for teachers planning activity on global citizenship topics, both in terms of viewing and production. Commercial movies from all over the world present different perspectives on topics such as slavery, child labour, natural resources, and sport. Pupils can research the problems underlying big issues, and gain an understanding that complex problems do not have simple soultions but can be reduced by the actions of individuals, organisations and governments. Dramas and documentary films can prompt new discussions and avenues for further action.

This week the ‘Take One Action’ film festival is showing a number of films at Edinburgh and Glasgow venues. Made in developing countries, each of these films helps an audience to consider issues such as the environment, food, refugees, education for girls, and HIV/AIDS. The full programme details are available on their website.

Edinburgh’s Filmhouse will also be hosting its ‘Africa in Motion’ film festival in October and November, with a range of movies made in South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Chad, etc. Two films are offered as special schools events – ‘Aya of Yop City’ is an animated film about young people in the Ivory Coast, and ‘Zambezia’ is an animated story about a bird’s life. Contact the cinema for further details of adult and schools showings.

The first National Youth Film Festival also includes a selection of films from around the world among the many movies offered to young audiences in this UK-wide festival. For example, ‘I am Kalam’ from India, ‘Le Petit Nicolas’ from France, and ‘More than Honey’ from Switzerland/Austria. The website listings include links to education resources if these exist.






January 24th, 2013

Films and learning

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 : Categories africa, citizenship, creativity, expressive arts, international, languages

Many Scottish education professionals make use of cinema films as a resource for learning and teaching, and the experience can assist coverage of both the subject of the movie and the media literacy aspects around its production, marketing, etc.

Teachers who work on global citizenship education have a wealth of films as potential resources: commercial films made for a mass English-language audience; independent movies such as documentaries made by local groups; and movies created in developing countries which offer unique and different perspectives on mainstream issues such as Rights.

The availability of films from developing countries is often very limited, but Scotland’s ‘art house’ independent cinemas and other organisations make the effort to present such films on appropriate occasions and reach new audiences. Often there is special programming for schools audiences, and sometimes the films are presented with accompanying activities or resources for learning.

For example:

Glasgow Film Theatre ‘Youth Film Festival for schools’ (Jan 31st to Feb 8th) offers showings of a wide range of films, including some with a positive value for Global Citizenship. For Secondary students, “China Heavyweight” focuses on the lives and training of young boxers in China; “Otelo burning” is set in the apartheid years in South Africa and tells a story about the lives of young surfers; and “Kaddish for a friend” is about the friendship between an elderly Russian Jew and a Palestinian youth in current day Berlin.

The Take One Action film charity will be taking its roadshow film showings around Scotland during February, bringing some award-winning foreign movies to towns and community venues in remoter parts of the country. Films will include “Five broken cameras”, reviewed here in The Guardian, about aspects of life in a Palestinian village in the West Bank.



May 14th, 2012

Be a part of a sustainable schools documentary

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 : Categories biodiversity, community, creativity, curriculum areas, expressive arts, ICT, outdoor learning, renewables and climate change, sustainable development

With a month to go there is still time to take part in the inaugural documentary entitled “The UK’s Best Sustainable Schools”.

This film is being produced by Cycling4SEEd who will be visiting (by bicycle and other sustainable means of travel) schools from Lands End to John O’Groats and capturing on film the freshest ideas, the best practice, the most exciting plans and hopefully even the most exciting results of sustainability in schools.

Cycling4SEEd cannot visit every school in the country but there are still ways for you and your schools to be part of this very important film to encourage all schools to take up sustainability:

  1. Develop a student-led 6-minute video about sustainability in your school which may be included in the final documentary and premiered in London on July 11th at SEEd’s Sustainable Schools Conference – details at
  2. Enter the student competition to make a 60 second commercial to promote the documentary and encourage other schools and students to become more sustainable. The awards ceremony for the commercial will also be held in London on July 11th and the winning commercial will be shown at the premier of the documentary.


For details of how to get involved in any of these activities, please visit the SEED website at You can also follow the story of Cycling4SEEd’s journey along the backbone of the UK as they visit schools, hear stories, see sustainable projects and share ideas.

For all your enquiries, please email

April 24th, 2012

Take One Action Film Festival

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 : Categories citizenship, creativity, curriculum areas, expressive arts, international, social studies, sustainable development

Are you aged between 15 and 21 years? Interested in great films that make a difference in the world? Would you like to organise inspiring film screening events in your local community? If so, here is your chance to take action!

Take One Action – Scotland’s global action cinema project – is organising it’s second Young Action Heroes Project for young people and their educators/youth workers at the Macrobert Centre in Stirling in late August 2012. We are keen to hear from schools and youth groups who want to take part in the residential and then screen a film to inspire action in others!

Application information is available to download from 

THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS FRIDAY 25TH MAY, but if you have questions before then email or phone Andy at 0131 5536335.

September 19th, 2011

Film and Global Citizenship

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 : Categories africa, ICT, international, languages, modern languages, social studies

Global Citizenship teaching and learning within ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ can benefit from the thoughtful, selective and informed use of Film. Many teachers will have their students watch chosen extracts or entire movies, films picked carefully which cover themes or narratives which will add to the knowledge and understanding of their students. Working with films also enables students to acquire and deepen skills in research, critical analysis and media literacy, helping them to handle different sources of information, form and communicate informed viewpoints.

In Scotland we are lucky to have a number of cinema festivals and venues which enable teachers to work with films about global citizenship issues and films from other countries which offer different and diverse viewpoints.

The Take One Action film festival begins today in Edinburgh and Glasgow and runs for the next two weeks. It offers a wide range of movies about global issues such as land, poverty, climate change, food, conflict and much more. There are documentaries and dramas, and many showings are complemented by themed audience discussions, interviews with film-makers and NGOs, etc. I’ve picked out just three of the films on offer, which may have particular use in school: ‘Fezeka’s Voice‘, about an inspirational teacher and musicians from South Africa; ‘Blood in the mobile’, about child labour and mineral extraction in Congo; and ‘There once was an island’, about climate change in Polynesia. For full details of the films show dates and associated activities, check the Take One Action website.

Independent Film venues often host parts of such annual film festivals, but also run their own extensive programmes of film showings which expose teachers and students to alternative perspectives. Glasgow Film Theatre, Edinburgh’s Filmhouse, and Dundee Contemporary Arts are all active in this regard, and teachers should contact their nearest venue for advance programme details which may include special showings for schools (with associated educational elements) or teacher CPD sessions.

These independent venues are also imaginative in working with partners to develop their own festivals and seasons of films which focus on a particular theme. Two examples:

- Filmhouse hosts the ‘Africa in Motion’ festival in early November, running a series of films and events which deal with the lives and issues of young people in Africa. The films include shorts, animations, fiction and documentaries.

- The Discovery Film Festival takes place at DCA in Dundee, and its schools programme runs from 22nd October to 6th November. There are teacher CPD sessions alongside the film programme.

Many venues also take part in National Schools Film Week, which for Scotland in 2011 will be from 27th October to 4th November.

June 14th, 2011

Take One Action Film Festival

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 : Categories citizenship, international, languages

Are you interested in great films that make a difference? Would you like to organise events in your local community?

Take One Action – Scotland’s global action cinema project – is organising its first youth film festival residency for young people aged 16-21 and their educators/youth workers at the MacRobert Centre in Stirling, 2nd and 3rd Sept 2011.

Participants will have the chance to spend 2 days taking part in workshops led by internationally acclaimed film specialists and directors, and organisations such as Oxfam and The Co-operative.

By the end of the residency young people will leave with the knowledge and skills to host a film screening in your local area which will engage community members to “take one action” that might positively change how they live, think and act.

Contact Louisa by email on to register your interest or visit the website at

Download flyer: YouthResidency_Flyer


About This Blog

This blog contains ideas, resources and information to support global citizenship activities in schools - including international, sustainable development and citizenship education and also games legacy.