Pairc School pupils attend the Edinburgh International Film Festival

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Pairc School Primary 4-7 Pupils recently travelled to Edinburgh to attend the Edinburgh International Film Festival to present their film ‘The Rise of The Grass Monsters’.

The film, made in Gaelic with English subtitles, was showcased at the prestigious Film House, Lothian Road.

The children began working on this project in January, assisted by local filmmaker Sandra Kennedy.

The project was an ‘Understanding Cinema’ project organised by the Centre for Moving Images in Edinburgh.

‘Understanding Cinema’ is the Scottish film education programme and involves pupils engaging with the practical side of filmmaking (scripting, shooting and editing) but also reflecting on already existing films, before producing a film centred around a specific theme.

The programme consisted of a series of practical and theoretical activities delivered over a fourteen week period, culminating in the production of a ten minute film.

Also in attendance at the film Premiere were children from six other primary schools who had also taken part in the project. Pupils from each school answered questions from the audience concerning their film.

Murdo Angus Kennedy, of P6, said: “It finally came to our film, ‘The Rise of the Grass Monsters’. We watched our film then some of us went on the stage to answer some questions from the audience. I liked the experience of talking in front of maybe a hundred people. I think they liked our film. It was good that a film we just made in school was getting shown in the Edinburgh Film House”.

Rachel McIntyre, also of P6, continued: “Some of us had to go on the stage to answer some questions. I didn’t go on the stage because it looked a bit scary. When some people went on the stage they showed our posters and the pitches we had written about our film. I liked doing the project of Understanding Cinema, it was very good and lots of fun. We learned how to use a camera and about all the camera shots like Long shots, Close ups and Extreme close ups.”

While in Edinburgh pupils availed themselves of the opportunity to visit The Scottish Parliament building. They were given a tour of the building before meeting MSPs Jamie McGrigor and Dr Alasdair Allan and put some tough questions to them.

Ashley Gray, P7, said: “It was very interesting visiting the Scottish Parliament and finding out about what they do there because not many people get to visit it. I think everyone learnt something new and enjoyed visiting the Scottish Parliament.”

To complete their trip to Edinburgh pupils visited ‘Our Dynamic Earth’ and took a journey through our planet’s past, present and future with the help of interactive exhibits and state of the art technology.

Austin Stokes, P5, said: “At the Show Dome we watched a video called ‘Back to the Moon for Good’ which was about the ‘Google Lunar X’ competition to get people to go back to the moon and build a civilisation on it so people can live there in the future. I think Dynamic Earth is amazing and I would like to go there again.”

On the return trip pupils paid a visit to Culloden Battlefield where they took part in a workshop which involved investigating and attempting to identify various artefacts from that period which had been found on the battlefield, before taking part in a mini re-enactment of the battle.

Murdo Angus Kennedy, P6, said: “Bha sinn ann an clasrum a’ deanamh ‘detectives’. Bha rudan aca a chaidh a’ lorg a-muigh air blàr Chùil Lodair mar am pìos claidheamh a bhitheas a’ dol timcheall air do làmh. Bha pìos fliont ann airson teine dheanamh agus ‘curlers’! Rinn sinne battle charge mar a rinn na Seumasaich agus bha sinn a’ sabaid mar a bha na saighdearan le gunnaichean, ann an trì loidhnaichean mar a bha na Redcoats. Bha e uabhasach math.”

Pupils and Staff of Pairc School would like to acknowledge the generous grant funding provided by The Muaitheabhal Wind Farm Trust, the Ward Fund donation awarded by Councillor Philip McLean, funding made available by Mr Bernard Chisholm and The Ross and Cromarty Fund all of which enabled the pupils to attend the Film Festival in Edinburgh.