A film company in Bristol, England figured out a way to offer some relief to children in Haiti with what it knows best films. The company is organizing open-air movie screening for kids in Haiti’s quake zone. Anchor Marco Werman speaks with David Fiztsimons and Marko Wilkinson, volunteers with Bristol’s Cube Cinema.
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MARCO WERMAN: I’m Marco Werman and this is The World. Haiti is still reeling from the earthquake in January. More than a million people were left homeless by the quake. Most of them are still living in makeshift tent camps in desperate need of basics like food, water and shelter. But for the past couple of weeks some Haitian children have gotten a different kind of relief, movies courtesy of a non-profit arts organization in Bristol, England. Marco Wilkinson is a volunteer with Bristol’s Cube Cinema which has been organizing open air movie screening for kids in Haiti’s quake zone. Marco, what kind of films have you been showing?
MARCO WILKINSON: We’ve went to quite a lot of effort to choose really international children’s films, so they are films like – - and the Sorcerer, which is a French animation based on an African fairy tale. We’ve got another one called Balandor, about a little boy who wants to become the greatest footballer in Africa. We’ve got a lot of sort of laugh out loud comedies. A couple of Disneys like Wall-E and the Jungle Book. A lot of them deal with heroic kids trying to overcome difficult circumstances.
WERMAN: So this project is called Haiti Kids Keeno and you’ve been doing these outdoor screenings. What other places have you gone to to show movies?
WILKINSON: The places we’ve gone to has ranged from an encampment to a car park. Tonight we’re doing a screening at a children’s amputee hospital.
WERMAN: The bottom line I think is that there are still many basic needs not being met for these earthquake survivors, food, clean water, shelter. Does it bother you that after the projector turns off and the movie is over, these kids are thrown back into this sad reality.
WILKINSON: Yeah. Obviously it’s difficult walking away from these places at the end of the night. But we’re a cinema in Bristol and what we can do is bring some really good kids films here and just create a night or two or three nights of fun and help in some very small way.
WERMAN: And you’ve also brought messages of support from British children, right?
WILKINSON: Yeah, that’s right. We want this to be a cultural exchange so we’ve got some kinds in Bristol to make video place cards saying hi to kids in Haiti and we’re starting to do little video workshops with Haitian kids and we hope that they can tell their stories and communicate with other children in Bristol and around the world.
WERMAN: Now I understand that a lot of the children really responded to Ardman Animation short called Shaun the Sheep. What happened there?
WILKINSON: Yeah, that’s right. Shaun the Sheep. It’s kind of – - slapstick. They have some really bouncy music in it and the first night we screened we were really surprised, the whole crowd was clapping along and singing along to the music. That’s something we found, that music has a really powerful effect. People actually love it here. We’re really trying to concentrate on showing kids films with musical content.
WERMAN: Marco Wilkinson a volunteer with Bristol’s Cube Cinema working on the Haiti Kids Keeno project, best of luck with this. Thank you very much for speaking with us.
WILKINSON: Thanks a lot Marco.
WERMAN: A little toe tapping from Shaun the Sheep.
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