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Next Gen International Film Festival
(released 3/30/2005)

Scheduled for April 14 - 18, 2005, over 4,000 Miami-Dade County Public students and the community are invited to enjoy a series of free and reduced-cost screenings of international feature length films at the AMC Cocowalk Theaters in Coconut Grove and various locations on Miami Beach, as part of the 2nd annual Next Gen International Film Festival.

Presented by the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Division of Life Skills in association with the internationally acclaimed Giffoni Film Festival in Italy and the Educational Office of the Italian Consulate, Nex Gen offers a window on the world through images and stories from around the globe, with English sub-titles. Organized into age appropriate sections, there is First Screens for 9 to 11 year olds, Free to Fly for 12 to 14 year olds, and Y Gen for 15 to 19 year olds. Film screenings are complemented with in-theater discussions, study guides, and school-based programs.

Lilia Garcia, Administrative Director for Division of Life Skills at Miami Dade Public Schools, is passionate about the contributions of arts education to the curriculum and strongly believes, "the arts are a powerful tool, and can be used as a way to help kids from different cultures understand each other and become successful, productive and creative citizens".

During the inaugural Next Gen International Film Festival in 2004, over 3,500 Miami-Dade County Public School students and community members enjoyed free films at local theaters. Study guides, school-based programs, in-theater discussions and weekend community screenings accompanied the films.

In addition to the annual festival, the Next Gen Film Clubs present year-round theater-based film screenings, in-school screenings, workshops with filmmakers, membership benefits, and other film related programs. To date, the Next Gen Film Club program has co-presented six feature film screenings with cultural partners like the Miami International Film Festival, the Global Film Initiative, and the ewish Film Festival.

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