This year, the South African Eco Film Festival includes an exciting new component especially for children: the Eco Kids Film Initiative (EKFI). This will be the first eco film festival dedicated to kids in South Africa and will run from the 26th of March until the 2nd of April at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town.
EKFI offers a unique opportunity to parents and teachers, as well as eco and film clubs to introduce their kids to media on the big screen that is positively educational, entertaining and inspiring.
“The children will be invited to look at our planet’s natural heritage, rich biodiversity, and range of human cultural expression with a new sense of wonder, curiosity and respect,” explains Tarien Roux, the director of EKFI. “We are committed to facilitating the establishment of an educated film viewing culture that is devoted to media that reflects a sustainable culture-nature relationship infused with a respectful curiosity toward the conservation of our rich biodiversity and natural heritage.”
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, one of South Africa’s biggest community fundraising programmes, has come on board as the festival’s headline sponsor. “For the past 18 years MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has been working with schools and charities, helping to raise funds for education and social development. By partnering with the Eco Film Festival we aim to create additional platforms through which to encourage community engagement on crucial issues and also to inspire parents and children to become active citizens,” says Helène Brand, Marketing Manager for MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet.
The EKFI programme includes award-winning content from around the world that speaks positively to children from diverse backgrounds and cultures, featuring films made for – and in some cases even by – children. Each programme consists of a series of short films around a particular theme or issue, including, Be the Change, Green Heroes, Wild World, Eco Films by Kids and Natural Connections. Each programme varies in length from between 60 to 90 minutes, and will be followed by a short discussion with the audience.
This year’s festival also includes a call to all budding environmentalists, storytellers and filmmakers to make their own films for next year’s festival. Tarien will be available before and after screenings to chat to any eager kids to give tips and advice.
The 2015 South African Eco Film Festival runs from Thursday the 26th of March until Thursday the 2nd of April. Tickets cost R45. For each ticket sold, R5 will be donated to Greenpop, the Cape Town based tree-planting organisation. Block bookings (minimum 10 tickets) are available at R30 per ticket, directly at the Labia (021 424 5927).