CPL, Providence Children’s Film Festival ‘build a better world’ together


Representatives from the Providence Children’s Film Festival held an interactive filmmaking workshop at the Cranston Public Library’s central location last week for the library’s latest “Teen Tuesday” program.

Liz Deslauriers, a representative of the Providence Children’s Film Festival, led the workshop where the young teens got a chance to learn basic film language and work as a team on part of a film project. The Providence Children’s Film Festival is working with libraries all over the state to produce a video that aligns with this year’s summer reading program.

“The American Library Association comes out with a theme every year that applies to all public libraries in the U.S.,” said Youth Services Librarian Elise Petrarca. “This year the theme is ‘Build a Better World.’” The Providence Children’s Film Festival believes that film can be a source of inspiration and a creative tool to educate and effect change.

After a quick lesson the children viewed a few short films, made by teens from around the world. Deslauriers asked the children if they could recognize any thematic or technical elements in these films. One young viewer recognized the theme of self-acceptance and confidence, while another pointed out the stop-motion style one video. Deslauriers then divided nearly 20 children into four groups. Each group was instructed to choose an issue they were concerned with and draw two pictures, one drawing of the issue and another showing how they could resolve the issue.

A few groups chose different environmental topics, such as recycling, deforestation and animal rights, while another chose to discuss body image. Once the children were done illustrating, Deslauriers assigned children within the groups to different roles so they could film their short segments for the Providence Festival’s final product. The “location scout” chose where on the library grounds the group would film their segment while the “actor” would hold their sign and read the issue with the “director” calling the shots from behind the camera.

The children’s film segments can be seen in the Providence Children’s Film Festival’s final product after the summer. “The film festival is really excited to expand out into the community and to doing more programs beyond just our festival,” Deslauriers said. “The kids get exposed to filmmaking and watching some different kinds of film.”


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