BBC Learning announces Make Film - Greatest Generation, an innovative new filmmaking project

The initiative is a great example of how the BBC can work with partners to create a landmark educational moment. This will give children the opportunity to learn new skills and understand the world they live in, as they engage with local history through real-life interviews and remarkable archive films, to create their own unique documentaries.Abigail Appleton, Creative Director, BBC Learning
Date: 22.02.2015     Last updated: 23.02.2015 at 08.15
Category: BBC Two; Learning
UK children are to be given unique access to a treasure trove of British-made archive documentaries from 1930 to 1960 - many covering the Second World War era.

BBC Learning, The British Film Institute (BFI), The British Council, and film education charity Into Film, are joining forces to bring an innovative new filmmaking project to all children age 7-11.

Make Film – Greatest Generation encourages children to explore and commemorate their local history by filming interviews with members of the wartime generation and combining them with specially chosen archive clips, to make their own short documentaries.

The BFI and The British Council are providing children with unique access to a selection of amazing films from 1930 to 1960. The films show real-life experiences of the wartime era in towns and cities across the UK.

The project is inspired by a landmark BBC Two series, Britain’s Greatest Generation, made by Testimony Films, which marks an anniversary of national importance, the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

BBC Learning have produced a special 'how to make' film, working with children from William Hulme Grammar school in Manchester. They interviewed Gladys Parry who told them about her experience leaving school at 14 to make seats for Lancaster Bombers.

Steve Humphries, Executive Producer of the BBC Two series, contributes to the Greatest Generation website, giving his top interviewing tips.

The site also hosts all of the resources educators and pupils need to make their own ‘greatest generation’ documentaries, including creating a timeline, analyzing what makes a good documentary, how to find and interview an eyewitness and a filmmaking toolkit.

Abigail Appleton, Creative Director of BBC Learning, says: "The initiative is a great example of how the BBC can work with partners to create a landmark educational moment. This will give children the opportunity to learn new skills and understand the world they live in, as they engage with local history through real-life interviews and remarkable archive films, to create their own unique documentaries."

Into Film’s Director of Education says: "Film has a great ability to bring past events to life and make them more memorable. This is a hugely exciting collaboration offering a highly engaging learning experience that will highlight and encourage intergenerational communication and understanding."

Testimony Films Executive Producer, Steve Humphries, says: "This is a fantastic opportunity for children to participate in a nationwide oral history project, collecting and commemorating the experiences of Britain’s greatest generation. Now in their 80s, 90s and 100s, these are the generation who lived through WWII and went on to be part of building the welfare state and National Health Service as we know it today."

To find out more and get involved with The Make Film – Greatest Generation project go to intofilm.org/greatest-generation

The educational resource is available from 24 February and the complete collection of archive clips is available from mid April.

Completed films will be showcased on a dedicated section of the site and all those submitted by 20 May will be considered for inclusion in a BBC compilation programme to be broadcast on the BBC Two Learning Zone later in 2015.

In addition, three films will be selected for the BFI National Archive as a lasting legacy.

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