Following the initial launch of the brainchild of Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins, the 8½ Foundation, during the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the initiative has gone global with the launch of their website.
In a heroic attempt to wean youngsters off a staple diet of Disney and Pixar, the inimitable Tilda Swinton and film critic Mark Cousins have spearheaded a campaign to convert youngsters to world and alternative cinema.
Supported by Creative Scotland’s National Lottery Inspire Fund, the full manifesto of this quirky not-for-profit organisation can be viewed for the first time online. It advocates a special celebration of every child’s 8½ birthday to encourage awareness of the virtues of cinema which, according to the dynamic duo who danced their way into public awareness in June, is the opportunity it gives anyone to see life from another person’s perspective.
The launch was boosted by the announcement that director Jane Campion, actress Sharmila Tagore and recent Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul have joined the Advisory Board of esteemed industry professionals.
The 8½ Foundation’s online headquarters is also an excellent resource for suggestions of brilliant but lesser known films sure to delight children and adults, such as Jacques Tati’s Jour de Fête and Chaplin’s, The Kid. There is also a rather pointed collection of highly recommended films that are currently not available in the UK.
8½ Foundation have already held screenings for refugee children in Ethiopia and Sudan in association with the humanitarian charity, International Medical Corps, and supported a touring cinema in Haiti (and also somewhere called ‘The Highlands’?)
Who knows where they may take the magic of cinema next?