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From cinema to classroom with the QFT Learning Programme

QFT Learning will launch its Schools and Colleges Programme for 2011-12 today (Tuesday 6th September) before an audience of teachers from all over Northern Ireland.

Supported by Northern Ireland Screen Education, the QFT Learning programme offers a year-round programme of educational screenings designed to support the national curriculum and aims to enable young audiences to engage more deeply and creatively with the best in new and classic world cinema.

The QFT Learning programme supports curriculum subjects across the spectrum, from Moving Image Arts, to English Literature, Drama, Languages and Citizenship.

Launching the programme, Marion Campbell, QFT Education Officer said: “The QFT experience doesn’t finish when young people leave the cinema. QFT Learning screenings are supplemented by introductions, discussions and teaching resources, to enable teachers to continue activity inspired by the films when they return to the classroom.”

For primary schools, QFT Learning has teamed up with the Ulster Museum, Ormeau Baths Gallery, and Belfast Botanic Gardens to offer a range of Victorian Belfast- themed activities. Options include creative workshops, free screenings of The Secret Garden, The Railway Children, or Oliver Twist and a tour of the Victorian Lanyon Building at Queen’s University.

As part of National Schools Film Week, the largest event for schools and cinemas in the world, QFT Learning will be offering a free screening of the highly anticipated new Studio Ghibli film Arrietty on Tuesday 18 October. The film is an enchanting adaptation of Mary Norton’s classic book ‘The Borrowers’, which transposes the story from 1950’s England to modern day Tokyo.

Northern Ireland Screen Head of Education, Bernard McCloskey, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting the QFT Learning Schools and Colleges Programme again this year. The programme presents a rich menu of viewing opportunities for children and young people to sample and enjoy films they don’t normally have an opportunity to see.”

QFT Learning’s post-primary school activities begin by celebrating the 75th birthday of Ken Loach, one of British cinemas most distinguished and controversial directors. QFT will host a special screening of the Palme d’Or wining historical epic The Wind That Shakes the Barley on Tuesday 13 September, introduced by Loach’s producer, Rebecca O’Brien, and followed by a Q&A session for students.

Offering teachers and their students the chance to see a wide range of films at local cinemas for free, National Schools Film Week continues at QFT with a screening of Africa United, a fast-paced road movie about a group of young African kids trying to get to the World Cup in South Africa, on Tuesday 18 October.

The African theme continues during Black History Month on Thursday 20 October with a free screening of director Claire Denis’ powerful film White Material, the story of a coffee farmer in an unnamed African state, which is in meltdown.

As part of the Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People, there will be free screenings of the French New Wave classic 400 Blows on Tuesday 22 November and The Nightmare Before Christmas on Wednesday 23 November, which was programmed by young people from QFT’s Takeover Youth Panel.

The screening of Mickey B, a modern day adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, made with serving prisoners as cast, inside HMP Maghaberry on Tuesday 6 December will also include a workshop and Q&A with the film’s lead actor and director.

Also available throughout the year are free presentations from the Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive which feature archive footage including The Blitz, The Victorians, World War I and II and can be customised to suit individual school groups.

For further information on any QFT Learning events, as well as teaching resources that are available, please contact visit, or Marion Campbell, QFT Learning Officer on tel. 028 90971396, email

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