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Film Selection

The European Children’s Film Association (ECFA) was responsible for the preliminary selection of films. The final choices were made collectively by the partners in the Rainbow Project, taking account of different sensibilities and discussion approaches, the appropriateness of images in various partners’ countries, and different levels of public debate. We chose the films after some deep – and sometimes heated – debate; undoubtedly thrown up largely by our sensitivity to our different nations’ progress on the path to equality. Approaches to discussing sexual and gender diversity in schools are of course driven by the current mores of the individual state as much as they are by European legislation; and we remain sensitive to the accusation that we are delivering a “one size fits all” package to different nations that have arrived where they are today via very different cultural, historical and political routes. We had to reject a lot of very good films in order to avoid controversy. But, more importantly, we hope that where some images or dialogue may be provocative in some countries, they will raise issues and consequently raise the level of debate at societal level.

An initial database was compiled to capture the quantity, quality and locations of short films that could be relevant to the topic. From the results of this research, short films or abstracts of films were shortlisted, screened and discussed in order to create a toolkit to address a broad range of issues.

The criteria for selection included topics such as:

It was essential that the selection of films demonstrated artistic quality and cultural values; and that the emphasis was not only on content but also on production values and relevance for children and young people. The overall collection of films can be used with a wide range of ages and abilities. The issues can be explored at a basic level, or the materials can be used to expand students’ understanding and enable discovery of more complex and in- depth interpretations both of the film itself and the wider context.