REELKids Film Festival, the educational wing of ReFrame Peterborough International Film Festival, will host a workshop of live storytelling, screenings of short films based on children’s books and interactive story making activities.

The morning will begin with professional storytellers engaging children and their families in the art of storytelling. This will be an interactive process where the storyteller tells a story or two and then has the audience participate in creating an oral story.

Following the live storytelling, we will screen a program of award-winning, international short films that have all been based on children’s books. Each of the films will be selected based on its messages, accessibility (taking into account the wide age-range), and overall appeal. At least one of the authors/filmmakers present at the screening will talk about
their experience in making a film based on a book. Afterwards, all of the children will be given an activity booklet to guide them in creating their own stories, whether it be through writing, drawing, telling it aloud or some other form of expression. The activity booklet will be designed for appropriateness of all ages, and we will be suggesting ways for parents to be involved in the story creation process.

A work area will be set up with crayons, pencils and other media available for the children to create their own stories in the format best suited to them. If there is time at the end, the children will have the opportunity to share their stories with other children and their families at the event.

ReFrame International Film Festival

In 2007 a broad coalition of passionate volunteers from arts, community, and academic organizations came together with the common feeling that elementary students in local schools lacked media literacy opportunities. Starting small, with only 100 students participating, the committee took 2 years to develop a programming mandate for REELKids Film Festival by getting feedback from students and teachers. The response was overwhelmingly positive which gave the committee the impetus to move forward, growing attendance and expanding the festival to include live performances and interactive workshops.

In 2012, REELKids hosted over 4,500 elementary school students during the 4 day festival, offering a diverse selection of film programs incorporating performances by musicians and indigenous dancers, and 2 full-day workshops. Every year the committee develops an educational teacher’s guide, which includes discussion topics and activities that encourage their students to explore the programming themes and develop media literacy.

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