Kids are often described as being inherently creative, and for proof you only have to look as far as the films local school children produce each year for the Film by Pebbly film festival.
From mock David Attenborough docos to stop-motion shorts featuring rebellious school bags and a host of other fun flicks, the annual festival gives students from numerous public schools around the Manning and Great Lakes an outlet to express their creativity.
Importantly, it also helps develop their technical and teamwork skills.
Started by Forster Public School teacher Susan Gonzalez in 2016, Mrs Gonzalez was inspired to introduce the initiative to students in the Great Lakes after her experiences making films for the Film by the Sea festival with her previous classes in Sydney.
"As a teacher I was really passionate about filmmaking and saw how much the students got out of it," she said.
"The children love it."
In its first year, the festival saw all 42 classes at Forster Public School work together to create their own short films.
After a brief hiatus, the festival returned in 2018, this time with students from Pacific Palms, Tuncurry, Bungwahl, Hallidays Point, Wingham Brush and Forster public schools, as well as Great Lakes College, all submitting to it.
Two of the films from 2018 were even selected by Film by the Sea founder Glen Carter to be screened as a part of a best of the best festival he was putting together called Film by Invitation.
With student film festivals becoming increasingly popular around NSW, Mrs Gonzalez said it was great to see more schools from the Manning and Great Lakes taking part in the Film by Pebbly festival.
She has been running professional learning sessions for teachers in the area to help equip them with skills to pass onto their students.
"It's a changing world out there and we're equipping our kids to work in that environment," she said.
"These skills are really going to be necessary."
With the students taking on the lion's share of responsibility with each film, from writing the scripts to filling the crew and cast roles, Mrs Gonzalez said one of the great things about the whole process was that it brought out different talents and skill sets in the children.
Another great thing was just how much enjoyment they got out of seeing their hard work come to life.
"Seeing the kids work collaboratively on such a big project and then seeing the end product - they get so much pride out of it," Mrs Gonzalez said.
The 2019 Film by Pebbly film festival will screen at Club Forster this Wednesday, October 23 at 12pm.
It will feature 14 short films made by students from public schools around the Manning and Great Lakes.
The public is invited and encouraged to make a gold coin donation at the door.
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