CULTURE

Student film festival proves very successful

The great participation in the Fourth Student Film Festival reflects the popularity of the «Let’s Go to the Movies» educational program, but also the students’ need for a fuller school life. The festival will take place on Sunday in Athens, Thessaloniki, Mytilene and New York. Approximately 115 shorts, filmed by high school students of three Greek prefectures and New York, will be screened. The joint program by the ministries of Culture and Education was designed by the Thessaloniki Film Festival. In all four years, 77,200 students have taken part. Deputy Minister of Culture Petros Tatoulis described the «Let’s Go to the Movies» program as an «ingenious institution that embraced the new needs of Greek society,» and added that it should be freed from State influence, clarifying that he was referring to looking for sponsors. Participating are 15,243 pupils from 405 primary schools in Crete and the northern Aegean Islands (Samothrace, Lemnos, Ai Stratis, Psara, Oinousses, Chios, Samos, Icaria and Mytilene), as well as 140 high schools (15,000 students) from the prefectures of Attica, Thessaloniki, the islands of the northern Aegean and, for the first time, students from the Greek community in New York. Screenings will start on Sunday morning at Athens’s Apollon Renault Filmcenter, Thessaloniki’s Olympion Cinema, Mytilene’s Cine Arion and Astoria’s Hiotiko Spiti in New York. The award ceremony has been scheduled for 9 p.m. The four cities will be connected via satellite and the program will be broadcasted live by ERT. Three awards will be given in each region, except for the single award that will be handed out in New York as only seven schools are participating. All schools will compete for the «Let’s Go to the Movies 2004» award. A recent survey into the students’ relationship with cinema, carried out on all participants in the program, from schools in eight of Greece’s prefectures, provided interesting results regarding cinema habits: 19.7 percent answered that they went to the cinema six to 10 times in the past year, 11.2 percent said that they didn’t even go once, while only 2.4 percent went between 31 and 50 times. Statistics varied according to prefecture. In Attica only 3.7 percent of students questioned did not go to the cinema at all, while in Evros the percentage was as high as 55.6 percent. When asked about the reasons they didn’t go to the movies, 81.7 percent answered it was due to the price of tickets, 63 percent said there wasn’t a cinema nearby and 37.8 said they didn’t have the time. In the students’ selection of films, adventures came first with 65.4, then comedies with 62.4 percent and science fiction, at 37.9 percent. Dramas only appealed to 19.2 percent. Cinema is still rated as students’ main form of entertainment (38.7 percent) when compared to videos and DVDs (15.8), television (15.6), video games (15) and the computer (14.9).