Youth City Hall
Official movie page
Official movie page
Youth City Hall shows students and teachers transform the learning process using the WELT approach to citizenship education. Combining all school subjects and working together with civil society organisations they confront one of the most pressing issues of our time. That way they show us not only how education can be improved but also how political apathy and the lack of civic competence could be overcome.
The idea for this particular WELT project came in response to Thunberg’s call to act like we’re in a crisis. It was executed by the teachers and students of the Antwerp Lyceum Waterbaan. During the corona period.
The movie is a production by MaakiProduction and the WELT Center. The filming is by visual artist Ramaz Melashvilli, editing and postproduction by Maaki Nurmeots, directing and project design by Mark Saey.
Music by Cill ‘All You’ve Got’ – audio used with permission from AccountLab Music – Voice2Rep
The short film of 37min. Dutch spoken & English subtitled, was made possible thanks to AP University College, Kruit, the educational system of Antwerp, Koning Boudewijnstichting and deMens.nu – IMD Antwerpen.
International News AP University College. And the award goes to …
These magic words were spoken on November 20th at the Helsinki Educational Film Festival International (better known as ‘HEFFI’). ‘Youth City Hall’, a film that takes a critical look at youth citizenship, was nominated out of a multitude of films in the Best Youth Education Film category (the category for secondary education). As cherry on the cake, this Belgian film project also won the prize! What a release for Mark Saey, lecturer in the Secondary Education teacher training program and director of this wonderful initiative.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT CITIZENSHIP AND YOUNG PEOPLE?
“Some years ago I founded the WELT Center (World Education Learning for Tomorrow) with the aim of supporting the curriculum in secondary education. Through all kinds of WELT projects, we strive to counteract the lack of civic competence and the declining quality of education. Articles in magazines and lectures at conferences rarely move much. So we thought a film about WELT could have more impact.”
WHAT IS THE FILM ABOUT CONCRETELY?
“The film gives an idea of how WELT works through a project about the ecological crisis. The project in the film is carried out by the pupils and teachers of Lyceum Waterbaan. So the film has two sides. We get an analysis of the ecological crisis through the eyes of the students and at the same time we see how you can build a cross-curricular project with a team of teachers.”
WHY THE NAME “YOUTH CITY HALL”?
“The project concludes with a political debate between the students and young politicians of N-VA (right-wing nationalist party) and PVDA (socialist party), about whether we will be able to cope with the crisis within the current system. And this debate takes place in the district hall of Borgerhout: Youth City Hall.”
WHO NEEDS TO SEE THIS MOVIE?
“The film is for anyone who finds critical education important and is concerned about the declining level and the lack of citizenship. It shows a way out: not by shaking up the entire curriculum, but by creating a 10% professional project approach in it. The film was mainly made to give prospective teachers and school teams a good idea of the WELT pedagogy during study days in half an hour.”
YOU WENT ALL THE WAY TO HELSINKI, HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE THE FILM FESTIVAL THERE?
“There are only a few film festivals for education in the world. The Helsinki Film Festival International (HEFFI) is a very special one because it takes place in the education country. To be selected for this was a great honor and a very nice experience.
The whole week was packed with premieres, Q&As with directors and talks with education professionals from all continents. Sunday was the award ceremony. The tension was soaring when we got nominated, so you can imagine what a release it was when we heard that our film had won!”
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
… this film was selected by no less than 11 film festivals in the past year?
… it took three years for the film to be completed?
… AP University has supported this project financially?
… our own Secondary Education students help prepare and support the WELT projects in secondary schools?
NOT YET FINISHED ABOUT WORLD CITIZENSHIP IN EDUCATION?
Read all about how WELT works.
Discover more about Mark Saey and his projects.
You can buy a ticket on the official Youth City Hall movie page to watch the movie.
Photo: Award Ceremony 2022 – Filmmakers Maxwell Lewis, Tiia Grøn, festival director Ricky Carranza and Mark Saey.