Film star Jeremy Irvine visits pupils at Dunraven High School

War Horse star Jeremy Irvine answers questions from pupils at Dunraven School in an event organised by education charity FILMCLUB

War Horse star Jeremy Irvine with members of the Dunraven School film club in an event organised by education charity FILMCLUB

War Horse star Jeremy Irvine meets Dunraven School pupils in an event organised by education charity FILMCLUB

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Schoolchildren in the borough of Lambeth have received a rare insight into the world of film – and a chance to quiz one of Britain’s hottest young actors – when Great Expectations and War Horse star Jeremy Irvine visited Dunraven School in Streatham. The visit was organised by the education charity FILMCLUB to launch a national literacy campaign for World Book Day using film adaptations of books to help young people view literature in a different light.

The 21-year-old actor answered questions from 45 pupils aged 11-17 about his career, working with Steven Spielberg and what its like to work on film sets. He was also invited by the charity to discuss the link between films and books following his recent starring roles in the screen adaptations of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, Dickens’ Great Expectations and Jenny Downham’s Now is Good.

The visit was used to launch FILMCLUB’s latest education initiative to its 220,000 members across the UK, all of whom will have access to a range of ‘films of books’ themed activities, downloadable resources and review writing competitions designed to spark discussion about film adaptations of books and encourage pupils to read the original texts for themselves. (available on www.filmclub.org) Commenting on the visit Jeremy Irvine said: “I think it’s great to come and visit somewhere and be encouraging all these kids’ enthusiasm for film. What’s wonderful about it is that they are all so honest and genuinely enthusiastic. I think film is such an educator and you can learn so much about other cultures and other people through film.

I was always encouraged to read as a kid and reading you are imagining the story. When you see a film you are seeing someone else’s interpretation of it and hopefully you can take something from that as well."

The event is also part of FILMCLUB’s Industry Interaction programme which provides young people from all backgrounds with access to creative professionals while still at school – something which is widely regarded as an important element of youth development in terms of raising aspirations and providing information about potential career opportunities.

The school's Principal, David Boyle, says the scheme is a valuable tool to boost pupils’ literacy: "We're delighted to have welcomed Jeremy Irvine to Dunraven as part of our FILMCLUB programme. We aim to ensure that our students develop their literacy skills in the fullest sense. FILMCLUB provides both the opportunity to develop a greater awareness of media literacy as well as to inspire children to widen their reading habits having watched film adaptations of great literature.”

The schools film club leader Edward Rice said; “Jeremy’s visit to our Film Club was truly inspirational. In particular, I think his emphasis on hard work and artistic integrity made a big impact on the students." Jake, 11, says: "I like FILMCLUB because it gives us a great opportunity to explore the nature of different films and develop our own points of view when writing reviews."

Launched in 2008 by educationalist Lindsay Mackie and filmmaker Beeban Kidron, FILMCLUB now operates in 7000 schools across the UK, where it provides free access to a curated catalogue of films from across the world and over 100 years of cinema. Through weekly screenings, online reviewing, industry events and hands-on support the charity promotes learning in an informal setting while encouraging critical engagement from young people, with proven educational and social benefits.

Joining FILMCLUB is now even easier through free online induction sessions with an expert School Coordinator. To register and for further information visit www.filmclub.org, email schools@filmclub.org or call 0207 288 4520.

- Ends - For further information please contact: beatrix@filmclub.org on 07778 917 322 For more information on FILMCLUB please visit: www.filmclub.org Follow FILMCLUB on Twitter: http://twitter.com/filmclubuk Notes to Editors About FILMCLUB: Education charity FILMCLUB has grown from a 25-school pilot in 2007 to reach 220,000 members across 7,000 schools in the UK. Created by educationalist Lindsay Mackie and filmmaker Beeban Kidron, FILMCLUB helps schools set up clubs providing young people access to a curated catalogue of films from across the world and from over 100 years of cinema, with educational and social impact. Free to state schools, FILMCLUB provides weekly screenings, online reviewing, industry events and hands-on support to engage, challenge and open new avenues for informal learning. Teachers receive the support they need to introduce pupils to the world of film, creating a memorable experience with proven academic benefits.

FILMCLUB patrons include filmmaker Mike Leigh and actors Emma Thompson and Michael Sheen. FILMCLUB is funded by The BFI Lottery Fund, and receives philanthropic support from LOVEFILM. In Wales, FILMCLUB is funded by the Welsh Government. FILMCLUB Cymru partners with the Film Agency for Wales, Literature Wales, Arts Council of Wales, It’s My Shout and the Film Education Network to develop a rich programme tailored to Welsh schools. FILMCLUB is funded in Northern Ireland by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) through Northern Ireland Screen and delivered by Cinemagic and the Nerve Centre.

FILMCLUB is a registered charity (Number: 1136558)

Based on information supplied by Charlie Wainwright.

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