Two nights in Paris

We are back from Paris and I couldn’t be prouder of our children. Not only did they make an outstanding film, they were fantastic company, wonderfully behaved, thankful, respectful, polite, caring and great fun.

On Tuesday 4th June, we arrived in Paris for Le Cinematheque francais. We arrived with time to check into our hotel in the Bercy village and venture into the city for some essential sightseeing. We took the children to the Eiffel Tower and up! The sights across Paris were stunning. The chldren took fantastic panoramic photographs of the city with the shadow of the tower laid across it.

Wednesday was spent in Le Cinematheque building. Huge screening room! Before opening, we took in the Jacques Demy museum downstairs where the children recognised some imprtant film elements that they’d used in their filmmaking.

Viewings commenced. We watched 17 films thatday. We did our best to interpret for the kids and find the synopsis for them before the lights went down, but bless them, there was a lot they didn’t understand.

Our film was shown just before the afternoon break.
The reaction during the film was perfect. Gasps in the right place, laughs in the right place… It seemed to be going well. I hadNt let my accompanying staff see the film before we went so the big screen was their first viewing 🙂

Our film ended. There were claps. These were claps whilst people were stood! The only film that day that received a standing ovation. The claps continued and didn’t faze out until we eventually arrived on stage to talk about our film.

We had prepared the children to talk about their film in French with a prepared script. This received more admiration because the children had had a go! We learn Spanish at our school.

One of the early ‘questions from the audience’ wasnt a question, but a comment. She said: “I have no question, I want to make a comment, I love your movie.” There were more claps!

The questions we were asked were largely technical questions on how it was made, we had one motive/inspiration question and what we are planning to do next… They wanted to know how we achieved what we did. We couldn’t have hopes for a stronger reaction/response. Amazing. I felt so very very proud of the children and their work. I hadn’t heard this reaction for any other film that day. Incredible.

Our film concluded re afternoon and went to a short break, during which, staff at the Cinematheque approached us and told us how much they loved it and how emotional the film was. The children were mobbed in the lobby by other children and adults to tell them how fantastic their film was… This continued right up to the point we left and the day in the Cinematheque had finished. The children felt like celebrities!

I’ll attach photos at another date.

The breadth of films we watched were between ages of 8 and 18, predominately teenagers during our day and a breadth of quality. I was surprised by the quality of some ofthe films (good and bad). Some films were clearly made in a couple of days, others clearly showed a lot of time and commitment. Films clearly reflected the different cultures.

Overall, it was amazing – what an experience for the children involved. It is such a great feeling to have an internationally well-recieved film, of which, objectively, was one of the top three films i saw that day. I realised I’d been working with this film group for 18 months, since of first involvement in London. It has been a pleasure to work with them and it’s a very sad that it has come to an end.

Well done to the children, and thank you for your commitment, enthusiasm, energy and sense of humour!
Thankyou to Brigitte for the many many many translations along the way and during our visit, and for your company this week.
Thankyou to Wendy for accompanying us to Paris – it’s always a pleasure. Thankyou for your support on Thursday – much needed 🙂
Thankyou Jane for the transport and hotel arrangements, the hotel was excellent and we met every train 🙂
Thankyou Sue – I never thought my job would take me travelling. It has been an amazing experience/achievement – thankyou for allowing us to have this special opportunity 🙂
Thankyou parents for allowing the children to be apart of Le Cinematheque. Thankyou mum… Only kidding!

Next steps? How could potentially 280 children experience what we dis this week?

I now want ALL my school children to have such an experience. Not the Paris bit – far too expensive – but the experience inside Le Cinematheque (whether it’s location).

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This entry was posted in Mettre-en-scène 2012-2013 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Two nights in Paris

  1. markreid1895 says:

    Martyn, this is such a wonderful testimony to the quality of the experience of Cinema Cent Ans de Jeunesse. You’re absolutely right about the film, and the responses were incredible! I’ll be putting some pictures up later of the whole three days – I’ve got ones of your group being interviwed outside by the Martinique group.

    How to give everyone his experience.. let’s think on that. See you in London!

  2. This is great news Martin. Can’t wait to see the film. Congratulations to all the young Lincolnshire cinéastes.

  3. Well done Martyn and your film making team at Long Bennington – looking forward to seeing your film in a couple of weeks! It certainly is a unique experience – one of my Y6 summed it up in a thank you card to me the end of last year’s project: ‘This is definitely something I’m going to tell my grandchildren about!’

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