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Cinemas help impoverished kids

Deng Zhangyu | Updated: 2017-08-02 07:37

Cinemas help impoverished kids

Huayi Brothers Media Corp founders Wang Zhongjun and Wang Zhonglei (third and fourth from left) appear alongside a primary school student and principals in July in Beijing at the launch of their charity program on film education for kids in poverty-stricken areas. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Film company uses movies to help young students. Deng Zhangyu reports.

After six years of providing free movies for children from impoverished families, a charity of Huayi Brothers Media Corp, China's largest private film production company, has launched a plan in Beijing to train schoolteachers on film education and set up about 100 kindergartens in poverty-stricken areas.

The Huayi Brothers Foundation has invited principals from some 100 elementary schools in impoverished areas across 10 provinces, including the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, to Beijing for one-week training on film education.

The program is part of its Pocket Money Cinema plan, which has opened more than 100 screening venues in Chinese primary schools since 2011.

Speaking about the program, Wang Zhonglei, company co-founder, says: "We believe in the power of films to inspire children's imagination and creativity. To equip these schools with film facilities and provide free films is the first step. Next we want to teach children how to appreciate a film and how to produce one."

He says in the past six years he has visited many schools in impoverished areas.

He says many of the schools have good buildings and playgrounds either supported by local governments or by charity groups but they lack art teachers and related study material.

He says he once invited a child to sing, but the child refused because there was no music teacher to teach the child how to sing.

Under the Pocket Money Cinema plan, people will be encouraged to donate money to help build cinemas in primary schools in rural areas.

Until now, the charity has built cinemas for 150,000 primary students to enjoy free films. The 100 or so venues have toys, computers and books, too.

"What matters is whether students get benefits from the cinemas," says Wang.

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