Camp Australia’s Rocketeers Film Festival showcases short films by OSHC children
Camp Australia’s Rocketeers Film Festival had its online premiere yesterday, showcasing the ‘best and brightest’ short films by young Australians aged 6–12 years.
In partnership with StarTime and the Children’s International Film Festival, the initiative was spearheaded by Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) provider Camp Australia to create an exciting school holiday period for children across the country, following another year impacted by lockdowns, ongoing restrictions and schooling from home.
During Camp Australia’s Spring holiday program, children were taught how to write, direct and act, and developed their own short films at services around Australia. Children in states impacted by lookdowns also got the opportunity to participate in the activity online, supported by instructional videos and live zoom sessions.
The broader aim of the festival, Camp Australia CEO Warren Jacobson explained, was to provide children with a fun adventure; the power of film giving them the opportunity to express how they feel by getting behind, and in front of, the camera.
“We know children love movies and television, and art is an excellent means of expression for a range of emotions sometimes difficult to express through words alone,” he said.
“By offering children the chance to learn about something they already love, we were able to teach problem solving, social skills and gave them a platform to tap into their creativity as a way to express their emotions. In so doing, we hope we played some small part in helping to ease the anxieties of lockdown and to protect their mental wellbeing.”
A secondary outcome was that the project addressed the conflict many families have felt in relation to screen time for children, by getting them behind the camera writing, directing and acting to create and think critically, rather than to consume on screen.
“An appreciation of film can start at any age, so we are proud to be supporting the Rocketeers Film Festival to showcase the incredibly unique and creative expressions of children who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” said Adam Ross, Chair of the Australian Film Critics Association.
His perspective was shared by Erin Rosenberg, Festival Director from the Children’s International Film Festival (CHIFF), who said “Just as we celebrate our youngest cinephiles at CHIFF, so too are we thrilled to champion this up-and-coming generation of young filmmakers. We’re proud to be a part of the Rocketeers Film Festival this year and looking forward to showcasing the winning works on the big screen at CHIFF 2022.”
The Film Festival has also been supported by the Australian Film Critics Foundation, Australian Writers Guild, and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation to support children with the power of filmmaking to express what can often be confusing and stressful emotions.
Awards were handed out on the big night for Best Original Screenplay, Best Film and Best Actor, and the Best State Films in each participating state/territory under both Junior and Senior age categories were also celebrated.
To learn more about the Rocketeers Film Festival please see here.