Focus: Media Arts for Youth

2017 Adventures in Film Camp mentors and crew at Powell River Digital Film School doing post-production (photo: Paul Galinski)

Our youth programs promote media literacy, skills development, an appreciation of cinema, and an awareness of community issues such as social justice, sustainability and personal responsibility.

The 2015 Powell River Vital Signs report indicated that in 2013-14 only 41% of grade 12 students passed their final English exam – an important gateway into University education. This is a downward trend from the previous year. There is strong evidence that engagement with film can be a vehicle for improving literacy, as well as expanding creativity, and improving vocabulary.

The Festival has a strong partnership with the School District. Rod Perrault, District Principal of Personalized Learning Programs, had this to say: “Over the years, the PRFF has made a series of unique films available to all of our students — from elementary to secondary. Because of the quality of the films, teachers have confidence that bringing their classes to PRFF screenings will be a meaningful learning experience for their students. Powell River is an isolated community and, by presenting these films, our students have had the opportunity to have a valuable window to the broader world made available to them.”

Providing a ‘window’ into the broader world is at the core of our Youth-focused activities. Film is a great story-telling medium, and the films produced by our Adventures in Film Camp participants at the 2017 Festival are a testament to the enabling aspects of film collaboration. The film camp is equally divided between Powell River Digital Film School (PRDFS) students and participants from outside of Powell River.

Tony Papa, director of the PRDFS, on our collaboration: “We have worked together with the Film Festival for the past 10 years and can attest to the value and impact the festival has on our youth, from the Adventures in Film Camp to the inclusive screenings and workshops available to them…”

Film plays an important role not only in student literacy, but also in life learning, and career opportunities. Many of the students involved in the Festival and the PRDFS go on to further education and employment in film.

Participant Michael Stevantoni describes it as a “transformative experience, which not only allowed me to begin thinking of filmmaking as a career but also allowed me to develop life skills which can be applied to almost every aspect of my life.”

The Film Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of School District 47, Brooks Secondary, and the Powell River Rotary Club.