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Reasons to skive off to the cinema

Screenings, discussions and education workshops are on offer this year as the Edinburgh International Film Festival embarks on its first schools' programme, aimed at the 5 to 14 curriculum and at Higher secondary students.

The screenings include Princes and Princesses, a silhouette animation by the internationally acclaimed director Michel Ocelot, in which a boy and a girl stage fantastic shows in a theatre, travelling from ancient Egypt to the year 3000 with the aid of a story-making machine. The showing at The Lumi re (Royal Museum, Chambers Street, Edinburgh) next Wednesday, August 23, at 10am will be followed by a one-hour storytelling workshop at which pupils can work on their own story-making machines. The film will also be shown at the Glasgow Film Theatre next Friday, August 25, at 10am.

Films suitable for Primary 5 to Secondary 2, addressing issues of friendship, loyalty, bravery and other cultures, include The Ball, Mr Rice's Secret, a magical adventure story in which David Bowie plays a cameo role, Blinker and Sherdil.

Next Friday, an interactive drama session for P4-P7 at The Lumi re will be led by two actors in roles as a 1940s cinema usherette and a commissionaire. Entertaining the Nation, featuring archive film footage and a resource ack, recreates the days of children's cinema clubs and is particularly useful for history and expressive arts.

For secondary modern studies students, the American documentary Legacy receives its UK premi re at the Edinburgh Filmhouse next Tuesday, August 22, and shows at the Glasgow Film Theatre next Thursday. The film follows five years in the life of an African American family, surrounded by poverty and violence in a Chicago housing project, whose lives are changed dramatically by a high school shooting. Both 10am screenings are followed by discussions and a separate seminar (free with Legacy tickets) on the ethics of documentary will be held on Tuesday at 1pm at the Filmhouse.

The Filmhouse is also holding a series of events for Higher Still media studies students on film critics, pop videos and media profile, and film marketing. A screening for over-14s of George Washington, whose young cast of unknowns was discovered at teenagers' centres, hairdressers' and churches, will be at 10am next Thursday, followed by a discussion on "Reading the movie".

Raymond Ross

The Edinburgh International Film Festival runs until August 27. Further details from Beverly Nicholson, EIFF education co-ordinator, tel 0131 221 8708. www.edfilmfest.org.uk

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