The 8th edition of the “Meetings around the International Education Film Festival” (RFFE, in French), organized by the CÉMÉA Guadeloupe, took place from April 9 to 13 in 9 towns and cities. This year, 25 films from 17 countries were screened free of charge to the various audiences. The guest of honor was Spanish director Julian Quintanilla who presented his film titled “The Whole World”. The general public would benefit from discovering this totally free film festival where the movies are followed by a debate.
Since 2011, there is in Guadeloupe a great film festival that deserves to be better known by the general public. Its name is “Meetings around the International Education Film Festival”. Some interviewees believed that the festival was about bringing teachers and parents together to talk about children’s education themes. If there is discussion, the “Meetings around the International Education Film Festival” are first a real film festival. This cultural event is organized every year by the “Centre d’Entraînement aux Méthodes d’Éducation Active” – CÉMÉA (Training Center for Active Education Methods), a state-approved association that has been established in Guadeloupe since 1961 but was created in France in 1937 and there is a centre in all French and overseas regions. Its headquarters in Guadeloupe is located in Bergevin, Pointe-à-Pitre, and it operates in several fields : cultural activities jobs (BAFA, BAFD etc.), social, culture, young children, media and education. Chaired by Jean-Pierre Picard, the CÉMÉA Guadeloupe have 5 employees and a “network of volunteer activists”.
The “Meetings around the International Education Film Festival” (RFFE, in French) are, in fact, a decentralized edition of the “International Education Film Festival” (FIFE, in French), a very important meeting for the 7th art that has been taking place at the beginning of December in the city of Évreux, Normandy, for 14 years, with guests, awards etc. If in Guadeloupe “Meetings” was added to this name, all other CÉMÉA established in the other regions also added a word or an expression to differentiate themselves.
25 films screened in 9 towns
The festival did not take place in 2018 in Guadeloupe so, the films that have just been screened in this 8th edition of Meetings around the International Education Film Festival” are from the 13th and 14th editions of FIFE. After themes like “Youth, dare to grow” in 2014, “Stereotypes” in 2015, “Society (s)” in 2016 or “All families” in 2017, the theme of the festival in our region, in 2019, was “You, my love, my friend”.
From April 9 to 13, 25 films (short films, medium-length films and feature films) were presented to young and not so young audiences.
The opening ceremony of the Festival was held on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:30 pm at Le Lamentin movie theater with the screening of the film “Heartstone, an Icelandic summer” by director G.A. Gudmundson who had won the “2017 Feature Film Award for Education” at FIFE in Évreux.
About the programming reserved for young audience (elementary schools, secondary schools, high schools, leisure centers and centres for minors in prison), 18 films (fiction and cartoons) produced in Slovenia, Poland, Great Britain, Spain, Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Portugal, Norway, Belgium, Russia and France were screened in 9 towns on the island ie Le Moule, Gourbeyre, Basse-Terre, Les Abymes, Grand-Bourg on the island of Marie-Galante (for the first time), Sainte-Anne, Le Lamentin, Baie-Mahault, Le Gosier…
“This year, we had a request from the island of La Désirade who also wants to receive film screenings. The CÉMÉA in Guadeloupe work in close collaboration with the Education Authority of Guadeloupe. From last November, 1,600 pupils were enrolled to watch the films with their classes. About twenty volunteers were trained in January and March to lead the debates organized before or after the showing of films”, says Étienne Lamoulie, a French teacher in a secondary school in French Guiana who is a “School and Culture” project leader at the CÉMÉA Guadeloupe since September 2018. He is one of the 35 teachers in temporary assignment to this state-approved association on all the French territories with the agreement of the Ministry of Education.
The democratized word
The organization of debates is, indeed, the originality of this film festival. So, these volunteers who are also called “activists” had the opportunity to present the RFFE and lead cultural accompanying workshops in primary schools (creation of posters, reflection on film titles etc.) “At the CÉMÉA, we think that we learn by doing things, one person does not hold all the knowledge but we build the knowledge in the exchange so we give the floor to everyone. This is what we call “active education” and not “passive”. We do not lecture people, we do not tell people how to think, we open the debate. I led a session in Sainte-Anne, pupils aged 8 to 11 asked a lot of questions”, says Étienne Lamoulie.
Before the festival, the students from lower sixth, cinema option, from the Georges Nicolo high school in Basse-Terre also watched films scheduled for the general public sessions and produced reviews which were broadcast during the festival.
On Thursday, April 11, a media and image education day was organized at the Ernest Pépin media library in Le Lamentin in partnership with the Réseau Canopé, the Centre pour l’éducation aux médias et à l’information (CLÉMI) and the Cité des Métiers. So, pupils from secondary schools took part in introductory workshops in cinema, radio and television.
As for the professionals of education (teachers, youth workers and activity leaders) from the École supérieure du Professorat et de l’Éducation (ESPE), on Wednesday, April 10, they watched two films and discussed the following question : “Can occasionally non-mixed learning spaces allow a freer expression of participants and help a better community life in society?”
Meeting with Spanish director, Julian Quintanilla
For the general public, six films were scheduled : 3 French and Dutch documentaries and 2 Icelandic and Italian feature films as well as a Spanish medium-length film. The screening sites were the Ernest Pépin media library in Le Lamentin, the Fort Fleur d’Epée in Le Gosier and the Gilles Floro cultural center in Gourbeyre. The closing session of the 8th edition of the “Meetings around the International Education Film Festival” was held last Saturday, April 13, in the CÉMÉA headquarters car park. Spectators enjoyed a free screening of “Rock’n’rollers” by Dutch director D. Bol which won the FIFE “Grand Jury Special Mention” in 2017 and “Le Monde Entier” in the presence of his Spanish director, Julian Quintanilla; this last screening was followed by a discussion with the director and a cocktail party to close the festival.
In the lastest edition in November 2017, the festival had attracted 1,500 spectators (the great majority of them was schoolchildren). “For this 8th edition of the Festival, we will reach 2,000 spectators but, in the future, we want to focus on the participation of the general public”, says Étienne Lamoulie.
Indeed, film enthusiasts should be more interested in the Meetings around the International Education Film Festival”, the only film festival in Guadeloupe that offer quality films free of charge and debates where each participant can express himself.