• Photo by Alex Litvin from Unsplash

How can films and videos connect us?

With cinemas closed we invited Glasgow Film Theatre’s Children and Young People Coordinator, Rebecca McSheaffrey, to share her thoughts on the power of film to bring families together.

Take a moment, to consider your favourite films. I say films plural, because for most people choosing a single favourite film is an impossible task and I often think that’s because the films we like are not only a reflection of ourselves, but of the joyful memories of watching them: from your first film in the cinema with your family, or on a first date, to the joy of discovering that someone else likes the same oh-so-obscure-guilty-pleasure film that you do.

A film is a great way to bring the family together during these times. Even if you’re not in the same house, you can still watch the same film and have a chat about it afterwards. It’s a great time for families to share favourite film memories and moments.

Stuck for ideas? Try out these top tips and resources from the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT).

Top Family Film Tips

1. Start a family film jar

A great way to share films and to stop the endless Netflix scrolling at the same time is to create a family film jar. Everyone writes down on a piece of paper two or three of their favourite films they’d like to watch with the family and pop it in the jar. And when movie night comes around each person takes a turn to pick a film out the jar!

2. Film chat

Remember the film experience doesn’t finish at the credits! Take a couple of minutes at the end of the film to chat about it, who was everyone’s favourite character? Was there a twist that you didn’t see coming? Talking about the film is a great way to connect even further and it improves children’s understanding of what they have just watched as well.

3. Let’s go to the movies

Turn family film night into a real treat by creating your own cinema experience. Together you can design tickets with the name of the film and time it’s showing, as well as make your own concession stand with what sweeties you have around. You can even watch some trailers for upcoming films you’d like to see!

Film resources you can enjoy at home

Educational film packs for children of all ages

With so many parents and carers trying to keep young minds active while the schools are closed, we have made all of our educational resources from Glasgow Film Festival Schools Week 2020 available online.

Learning Pack 1 for Primary School children and under includes resources for Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Inside Out, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Ernest and Celestine, 2040, and Horrible Histories: The Rotten Romans.
Find out more on the website.

Learning Pack 2 for Primary School children and under includes resources for Pachamama, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and Missing Link. Find out more on the website.

Learning Pack 3 for Secondary School pupils, and Film and Media students includes resources for Avril et le Monde Truqué, Zipi y Zape y la Isla del Capitán, The Social Network, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Martian, and Prophecy. Find out more on the website.

Watch-at-home film recommendations

The GFT programming team has been curating lists of film recommendations you can enjoy from home. Check out our top picks for family film night here

Or, if you have older children, you might enjoy our favourite documentaries for Secondary School pupils and students that are available online

Dementia-Friendly film recommendations

It’s not just the younger members of the family who are looking for entertainment and escapism right now. At GFT, we run Movie Memories, our dementia-friendly film programme for people affected by dementia, funded by Life Changes Trust. We are desperately missing being in the cinema with our Movie Memories regulars right now and we know that this is a hard and sometimes confusing time for people who are separated from loved ones, so we have curated a selection of the best dementia-friendly film resources that can be enjoyed at home and in care homes. Explore our picks online.

To contact and support Glasgow Film Theatre, please visit their website.

2nd July 2020