Salles at Kid Screen 1997
Villa Erba - Cernobbio, October 24,
Speech by Ingrid
cooperation between the local cinema and the staff of the cultural board
in order to make the cinema a meeting place and to increase the interest
in films: the experience of Kungsbacka, Sweden
Ingrid Höglind, cultural
secretary of the city of Kungsbacka and here representing Saga Bio (i.e.
Saga Cinema) in Kungsbacka. The one and only cinema in the town.
Kungsbacka, population 62.000,
is located 30 kilometres south of the second largest town in Sweden, Gothenburg
My reason for working with
film is that film is magic, especially when it's shown and seen together
with children and young people. No other medium can bring out feelings,
explain complexities and focus small and everyday life, as well as the
big sensations. This was very clear for me last night when, after the great
meal we were invited to, I saw Cinema Paradiso as the late
night film on Italian television. That film really is a trip down memory
lane for me, because we had a sneak screening of it to celebrate one of
our first terms of films for schools seven years ago. We also served wine
and an Italian buffet (like yours) that evening. And if you know anything
about Sweden you know that we have great restrictions on alcohol, and teachers
are not used to be offered anything at teachers' seminars. By the way we
started our cooperations with the schools with an evening at the cinema
where we offered the teachers a film combined with a seminar, sandwiches
and coffee; this despite the fact that coffee was withdrawn from teachers'
ordinary meetings. Our approach was to ignore that and tell them that to
us they were ordinary people, and ordinary people need coffee. And so the
ice was broken...
However, from a political
point of view, in Sweden film was not recognized as an independent form
of art until last year. But in my hometown we worked with film long before.
My own background is that I'm a journalist and I also worked as a production
manager at Swedish Television for some years. So when I started on the
cultural board, film was a natural topic for me even if at that time it
wasn't hot on the political agenda. But it soon became so, because of the
need to support the local cinema, Saga Bio, located in a miserable building,
declining with the slumping economy, and even threatened with closure.
It was in this crisis that the collaboration between the cultural board
and the cinema started, in order to ensure the cinema's survival.
We started to reconstruct
the cinema together and then we made efforts to use it throughout the day.
For this we looked at pensioners and children as our target audiences.
And we started screening for them both, with varying degrees of success.
Let's concentrate on the
children here. The screenings became more important and better organised
when, about ten years ago, we were among the first to receive a contribution
from the Svedish Film Institute. We received this for three terms on condition
that the local municipality and the cinema were prepared to take over the
costs and go on with the screenings, once the trial period was completed.
That really helped! We employed a teacher with experience in film, Birgitta
Olsson, and invited schools to participate in the project. We started with
a few schools, and then more and more began to join. Now we are screening
for children from nursery school to upper secondary school. We asked all
the schools to elect a contact person for film and today there is one at
each school. With them we discuss how to work with the screenings, how
to prepare them and how to integrate them into ordinary classwork. We support
them with information about the films and their backgrounds, and we also
give them a subscription to the magazine Zoom from the Swedish Film Institute.
Our concept is that the
contact persons should feel that they belong to the cinema. Therefore we
hold a number of several seminars with guests, directors or other people
within the film industry in a wide sense, combined with sneak previews
of new films. They should feel that we love them and their work, and that
through them we reach the children and young people. The teachers are always
offered a chance to see the films before they start working with a title,
and before they see it together with the children. In the beginning some
of the teachers felt that that they didn't know enough about film and they
often felt that the children actually knew more about moving pictures.
That feeling doesn't make a teacher either safe or strong. And so we tried
to support with education. We try to repair the lack of knowledge that
teachers feel by giving them possibilities to see as many films as possible
at reduced prices. Teachers attending school-cinema have free entrance
to our alternative screenings every Saturday.
Once a year we have a small
festival together with 5 cultural clubs for children in our municipality.
We screen shorts which the children would otherwise meet with only on television,
and we organize a kind of festival around this. We have also developed
screenings for children with mental disabilities and learning difficulties.
We use shorts, preferably from everyday life, and combine it with a pedagogic
dialogue. Then we rescreen the film once or twice. Sometimes we also invite
the parents of these children to the screenings.
We have also arranged meetings
between young people in schools and in our writing club with film and film
directors. And these young people are sometimes also invited to the seminars
we arrange for teachers.
Apart from this we have
workshops for animations and now our film pedagogue is involved in a project
to develop media boxes for schools with books, videos, records and tapes
that together will give different aspects on specific topics. The boxes
will be available in the libraries and information about them will be given
on our website. The boxes will be presented for the first time at the Book
and Library fair in Gothenburg next week.
Next month our cinema will
celebrate its 60th birthday. We will mark this with several screenings
throughout the day for one week. Usually a town like ours is too small
to make that kind of schedule possible. But now we will try. We will be
helped by a school class with children, 12 years of age. In a project they
have studied film in all its aspects this term and they are going to participate
in the anniversary by working in the cinema, helping with everything from
marketing and selling tickets and candies to cleaning the floor between
The money we get from Euro
Kids Network we are going to use for implementing new local projects, based
on ideas from the schools connected to European films, in addition to the
regular screenings we have established.
The politicians are now
on our side. Last year a manifesto for film was established by the cultural
MANIFESTO FOR FILM
in the municipality of Kungsbacka,
In the Swedish national
report SOU 1995:84 film is established as an independent artistic expression.
In Kungsbacka film has been
firmly established in cultural policy since 1978, when the Cultural Board
contributed to solve a temporary crisis of the local cinema in an old and
run-down building. Following this, co-operation began and has gradually
developed over the years. Today there are various forms of screening for
different types of spectators. Besides regular commercial screenings in
the evening, films are also regularly screened for schools, pre-schools,
open day-care centers, children with mental disabilities and learning difficulties,
pensioners. These are complemented by workshops for animations, seminaries,
film clubs and various projects.
The cultural board emphasizes
film is an independent form
film has an active part in the
public debate and also in the aspect of critical observation of society
and to elucidate new connections, issues and prospects.
there is a need of at least
one cinema in the municipality.
the choice of films is to be
wide and varying.
great efforts are to be made
to support screening of quality films in the cinema.
special attention is to be shown
to increase the screening of and interest in documentaries.
local networking between people
interested in films, among institutions as well as individuals, is the
basis of the firm establishment and distribution of films.
an important task is the integration
of film in schools and in the child-care system.
further education in analysis
of the influence which films have on people is necessary in the work to
develop and increase knowledge of film as a language and as a form of art
multimedia workshops and film
education are important requirements for creative film activity.
lending of video recordings
in libraries is a valuable complement to screenings in the cinema, and
videorecordings should also represent a wide choice and variety.
efforts to increase participation
in film activities are important.
Accepted by the Cultural
If we look into the future
we would like the Euro Kids Network to encourage schools with various types
of film projects to make contacts, and we would appreciate it if we within
the Network could develop systems to make it easy for schools to find each
other. Maybe some chatting on the homepage would be one way. Being a member
of the Network has increased our social status at home and it's a great
help in marketing because the newspapers have given a lot of space to it.
So I will finish by thanking you for our membership and we look forward
to the money. Thank you.