The Magic Lantern is an international cinema club for children aged 6 to 12. This unique club has been in existence for nearly twenty years. Its purpose: to help young audiences to discover the pleasure of cinema and to provide them with tools to understand the images they are seeing, using an age-appropriate concept.
A global concept
On top of their regular monthly activities in the cinema theatres, The Magic Lantern develops numerous educational projects and activities. In accordance with their objectives of visual media literacy, it has a large presence on the Internet, on television, at film festivals and at countless cultural events.
Today, the audiovisual medium is by far the most popular mode of communication. Whether it is via the Internet, cell phones, or video games, information is increasingly being transmitted through visual images. This visual media consumerism has in fact become one of the principal activities of today’s younger generation.
Unfortunately, visual media literacy education is lagging behind other subjects in today’s primary and secondary school system and children tend to be exposed to images without having the proper means to analyse or understand them.
For this reason, The Magic Lantern aims to provide children with the means to «decode» the images they see. It has, therefore, developed a large scale of activities apart from the regular film showings in the cinemas. These activities provide young audiences with the possibility to acquire a cinematographic culture and to develop their own critical viewpoint towards the images they see each and every day.
An international development
Initially from Neuchâtel, The Magic Lantern exists in most cities in French, German and Italian-speaking Switzerland. Regularly cited by international experts as a prime example of visual media education, the club now exists in over twelve countries around the world: Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Senegal, Argentina, Mexico, The United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, Germany and Lebanon. The Lantern Magic Association (ASLM) insures that the concept and ethics of The Lantern Magic are respected everywhere.