Films are so much more than a simple form of entertainment: they are a mirror to, and reflection of, the way languages, cultures, histories, and politics interact. Far too often, subtle historical reference, linguistic nuances, or political satire go unnoticed in films, and this proves especially true for films viewed by intercultural audiences. This project integrates the entertainment of the film industry with historical and educational practices to promote Baltic language and cultures in various educational settings.
This project will bring together teachers from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to create a resource to help teach about the history, culture, and languages of the three Baltic countries through film. The educational resource will include lesson plans for 10-15 movies in Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, and English which can be used in educational environments and by independent learners to understand the languages and cultures more deeply. At the end of the yearlong project to develop the resource, a mini film festival will be organized to introduce three of the films and present the final book of resources. The project will cooperate with local theaters and educational institutes to ensure international copyright rules are strictly followed in creating the resource book and hosting the film festival. The introduction to the resource book will also include guidelines for teachers and facilitators to help them abide by copyright rules while using films as an educational resource.
While the project is primarily focused on providing an easy to use and interactive resource made by and for language and culture teachers, it will be accessible for independent learners as well. This will not only encourage independent language learners, but with the use of films, promote the uniqueness of the Baltic languages and cultures in an audio-visual way. Universities, centers, associations, and other organizations that host conferences or cultural events often show historically relevant films as a form of entertainment or platform for discussion. Being able to provide background material and interactive vocabulary and discussion questions, along with resources for similar movies, will keep participants of these events engaged and allow individuals to share resources through their personal networks as well. The book of resources this project will produce is a valuable and sustainable tool for making the cultural, linguistic, historical, and political aspects of the Baltic countries more accessible through film.