The This is England short-film festival in Rouen has a specific programme of short films for collège classes. This year’s selection takes us back to the First World War and forward to imagined futures in 2053 and 2087 as well as films on the UK today and contemporary issues.
If you sign up for a collège showing, your students will see seven films ranging in length from 3m30 to 18m50 minutes. Three are animations and four live-action fiction stories.
You can make reservations for school groups and download the teaching packs for jeune public, collège and lycée on the schools pages.
The collège teaching pack provides images to work on anticipation about the films, their titles and possible contents, as well as suggestions for each film of themes and vocabulary.
Four of the films in this year’s selection for collège could be regrouped under the theme of difference and trying both to affirm one’s identity and fit in.
Lia IRL: 14m14
This is from the same director as the film Teddy, which was in the collège and lycée sections in 2021. Here, a young boy with learning difficulties befriends a voice-activated AI assistant that unknowingly prepares him the challenges In Real Life. This short is also proposed in the young learners' selection.
Odd One Out: 3m26
In this short animation, an ostracized outsider decides to rebel. Here’s a glimpse of the animation style:
The following two films look at being different from different ethnic-minority perspectives:
You Fit the Description: 12m
The title is a reference to a frequent comment from police officers looking for a “young black male”. Nico, a young black man, wants to protest that the police and justice system are institutionally racist by changing the narrative where young black men are disproportionately stopped and searched by the police.
The protagonist here, Muna, is British Somali and feels constrained by her family’s conservative values. She is already struggling to persuade her parents to let her go on a school trip when her grandfather, who she barely knew, dies, and the family plans to respect a traditional mourning period. Muna is nominated for Best Short Film at the 2023 British Independent Film Awards.
The three other films all take place in the past or future.
Prazinburk Ridge: 10m
This animated film tells the true story of Douglas Clark, an international rugby league player, one of many professional sportsmen to fight in World War I. Despite being badly injured at the Battle of Passchendaele, he resumed his career in both rugby and wrestling after the War.
For more on rugby players participating in WWI, check out our resource on the Irish Cultural Centre’s exhibition on Irish and French rugby (the Great War section).
Fast forward to London in 2053, when the city is half under water. The world hoverboard champion (like a skateboard but it floats) finds herself imprisoned in a luxury high-rise apartment by her manager. With help, she escapes but that’s not the end of her problems. This is a debut film from a special effects specialist and is visually stunning. It’s hard to believe it’s animation.
Natural Service: 12m13
Even further into the future and this film imagines a world where fossil fuels and capitalism have been outlawed. All young people have to do “National Service” working on community farms. The film focuses on two young women working together. Is this utopia or dystopia?
This is England in a Cinema Near You
If you would like to organise a projection of one of the This is England schools programmes for your pupils, and you have a local cinema that is willing to do so, they can download a programme from Cinego for professional cinemas. If you are interested, you can email Christophe Thierry.
This is England
Rouen and throughout Normandy
> No to Bullying
> This is England 2022 lycée films
Tag(s) : "British culture" "collège" "coming-of-age" "difference" "dystopia" "festival" "film" "film festival" "integration" "justice system" "learning difficulties" "neurodivergent" "Normandy" "parent-children relationships" "racism" "Rouen" "rugby" "science-fiction" "short films" "skateboarding" "teaching materials" "utopia" "World War I"