Good Causes

Why watching movies is good for you

You’ve been home-schooling for days on end and have barely left the house. The kids are getting grumpy (again) and you’re fast running out of inspiration (and patience). Solution? Put them in front of a film for a couple of hours.

And fortunately for us, National Lottery-funded project Into Film has come up with loads of ways to make watching a film so much more than just getting the kids out of your hair.

For instance, for the budding writers in the family there’s a great Film Review Writing Guide to help structure critical thinking. Or if style is more their thing, there are hair, make-up and costume design templates to design an alternative look for favourite film characters.

For these and other great ideas go to www.intofilm.org.

And if you’re still not sold on the benefits of film, read on for Zak’s compelling story of how film saved his life.

Zak has ADHD and is on the autism spectrum and as a child he was bullied and ended up getting mixed up with the wrong crowd.

His ADHD and autism meant he found it difficult to communicate with people at secondary school.

Zak said, “Because I’m autistic, I don’t really look at people when I’m speaking to them and I get quite nervous. People used to call me ‘sly’ and that would provoke others to physically harm me. It was really an uphill battle from the first day of Year 7.”

Eventually a miserable and frightened Zak was worried about leaving the house. His parents agreed to educate him at home but he felt isolated.

He said, “At the time I thought there was no future for me. I thought I wasn’t going to do any GCSEs, I’d be at home all the time and I wouldn’t go anywhere in life.”

In an effort to address his isolation, Zak joined Buddy Up, a befriending initiative for young people run by Warrington Youth Club. The project’s coordinator, Nuvvy Sibia, ran a monthly film club and, hearing about Zak’s passion for the medium, she asked him to help run it.

The Buddy Up Film Night is one of 10,000 Into Film clubs in schools aimed at young people aged 5-19. Supported by the BFI, using money from The National Lottery, Into Film provides educational resources and tools to stimulate engagement and discussion, access to a catalogue of 3,000 films as well as a range of education and training opportunities.

Zak has thrived in his new position. He’s turned the film club from an event which started as a projector balanced on a box into something which now runs bi-monthly, and has special, themed events for Halloween and Christmas. They even throw a black-tie Academy Awards evening – with full catering.

With his friend Kyle (above on the left), Zak presents a film quiz before each screening. The pair are a formidable double act who have even been described as the “new Ant and Dec”.

Zak said, “The film club was a turning point for me – without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

27th March 2020

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