Dance of Colours and Play with Stones: Experimental Films for the Little Ones

Do preschool children need identification figures and a narrative-oriented story when they see films? Or are they also open to abstract films? What happens when they are shown Len Lyes’ experimental animated film RAINBOW DANCE (GB 1936), Norman McLaren’s BEGONE DULL CARE (Trübsal Ade, CA 1949) or Jan Švankmajer’s HRA S KAMENY (Spiel mit Steinen, AT 1965)?

In the MiniFilmclub at the DFF, children between the ages of four and six explore the permanent exhibition on the prehistory and early history of film on eight dates and watch short avant-garde, art, and experimental films from the film edition specially developed for the MiniFilmclub in the cinema at the DFF. After the screenings at the DFF, the film edition is given to the day-care centers, where it is placed alongside the picture books on an equal footing so that it can be pulled out and used further at every opportunity.

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In the MiniFilmclub children discover not only the cinema itself (a place that is certainly still unknown to many of them), but they also get a look behind the scenes, such as the projection room with its huge projectors.

Following the film screenings, the children become creative themselves in our workshop rooms: they paint and scratch on transparent film strips, make animated films with the help of stones and find out what happens when you dance in front of coloured lights and project the shadows onto a screen.

The activities are inspired by the films previously shown in the cinema and produce creative results that can be admired by the parents at the end of the course. Parents learn about the project and its goals at parent-teacher conferences prior to the start of the course.

The MiniFilmclub was developed by DFF together with experts from two educational institutions with the aim to emphasize the artistic significance of films and to make film a aesthetic experience for children.

The MiniFilmclub can be booked by groups. In addition, the DFF offers training courses for film enthusiasts and pedagogical specialists, who we support with extensive accompanying material in the preparation and follow-up of the course.

The MiniFilmclub is part of the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s “Art and Games” project.

Susanne Brauer and Hannah Schreier
Phone: +49 69 961 220 – 312

Britta Yook
Phone: +49 69 961 220 – 316

Working sheets in French