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Little People BIG SCREEN News

03 Oct 2022

Chichester Cinema at New Park gets support from international author for their Little People, Big Screen initiative


Chichester Cinema at New Park and the Chichester International Film Festival has partnered with STEM Innovation to create the Little People, Big Screen initiative, which provides young students with a unique opportunity to create and direct their own short films. The films are then showcased at the independent cinema for the children and their families to watch on the big screen.

The films all bring to life stories from the best-selling biography series for children Little People, BIG DREAMS by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara. With more than 7.5 million copies sold worldwide, the series introduces children around the world to artists, trailblazers and dreamers who each made a big impact in the world around them.

The pioneering film project, which is now in its third term, has recently caught the attention of the author herself who comments: “Wow! I am in awe and truly amazed at the work that has gone into Little People, Big Screen. I was not only moved by the movies but inspired myself. I would love to thank each and every child for their amazing work and I hope that everyone who watches these movies are as inspired as I am. I wish the students all the best in their next adventures and hope they continue to make amazing movies.”


Funded by Chichester Cinema through support from the Chichester Interntional Film Festival customers, and led by Ali Khan of STEM Innovation, the outreach programme provides a link between the classroom and the film industry through a series of interactive workshops within schools. Pupils aged 7-10 years old get the chance to explore a range of film-making skills and technologies using professional equipment, including directing and editing, lighting, camera techniques, green-screen effects and stop motion animation.

Alongside developing technical expertise and industry understanding, the students also get the chance to learn about storytelling and teamwork before seeing their finished work presented on the big screen.


STEM Innovation Founder and Director Ali Khan comments: “It’s been a privilege to watch the children grow in confidence as they learn new skills and step out of their comfort zone. I’m so grateful to Chichester Cinema at New Park for supporting the programme and providing the perfect platform to showcase the children’s hard work on the big screen. The premiere is a real highlight for pupils and their families and creates a truly memorable learning experience which I hope will inspire the young people for years to come.”


Director and Programmer of Chichester Cinema at New Park, Walter Francisco comments:

“As a charity one of our core aims is to support young people through education and invest in our surrounding community by making film education and cinema accessible to all. It’s a real honour to be able to welcome local children and families to enjoy the art of film and celebrate the work of the next generation of budding filmmakers, actors and directors, nurturing the talent of tomorrow.”


On Saturday 8 October, Chichester Cinema will invite over 90 local primary school children and their families to an exclusive premiere of their short films. Schools involved include St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, North Mundham Primary School, Parklands Community Primary School and Rumboldswhyke Church of England Primary School.


Following the popularity of ‘Little People, Big Screen’ and the interest from local schools, STEM Innovation and Chichester Cinema at New Park hope to develop the initiative further and are currently exploring opportunities to expand this to other community groups including secondary schools in the coming months.


The Chichester International Film Festival greatly appreciates the support of FilmHub South East and the BFI, who support the Film Festival through Lottery Funding.