Policy & Practice - A Development Education Review



Development Education and Film
Spring 2014

Guest Editorial: Development Education and Film

Stephen McCloskey

Philip French, who retired as film critic for The Observer in 2013 after fifty years of insightful and informative reviews, described cinema as ‘the great art form of the 20th century’ and suggested that ‘this century is continuing the same way’ (4 May 2013).  Cinema continues to enjoy a popular status in our cultural lives despite the multitude of digital and online access points for games, movies and television.  We still enjoy the social activity of cinema-going and the opportunity to view films on the big screen.  Given its capacity as a conveyor of knowledge, images, messages and issues to a large, international audience, film has immense importance to development education practitioners yet according to Lewis at al. remains an ‘under-studied medium for development knowledge’ (2013: 20).  The development education sector has arguably yet to fully explore the potential of film as an educational medium with target audiences or as a mainspring for debate between practitioners.  Moreover, the accessibility of digital technology has potentially brought the filmmaking process itself within the compass of development organisations as evidenced in the article by Michael Brown and Katrina Collins in this issue of Policy and Practice.

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