175 years of folk high schools

European Film College marks 175 years of folk high schools with bonfire dinner, documentary and coffee for students and local guests.


In November 1944, Rødding Folk High School opened its doors for the first time, and despite a few previous attempts in Slesvig and Sundbylille, Rødding Folk High School has always been considered the first folk high school. Not only in Denmark, but in the whole world.

This was why the folk high schools celebrated 175 years across Denmark on Thursday, November 7th 2019.

Dinner and documentary
At European Film College we celebrated the 175th anniversary by inviting locals to dinner (prepared over huge bonfires), film screening and coffee with the film school’s Danish and international film students.

Principal Ellen Riis says:

”Moving images play an important part in modern culture and life education, and the practical work with film production trains the students in reflection, collaboration and mutual respect. We at European Film College are happy to mark an important day in the history of folk high schools. We feel that there is a place for us, both in history and in the future.”

The folk high school movement inspired US civil rights movement
The documentary screened at the event was called ’Training for Freedom’ (2019) and is directed by European Film College’s documentary teacher, Kathy Conkwright (US).

The film tells the story of how idealistic college students and seasoned civil rights activists joined together to fight against racism and systematic exclusion of Black Americans from the democratic process in the Southern US. Their organization and strategies were partially developed at Highlander Folk High School in Tennessee, which was founded on the Danish folk high school tradition. Training for Freedom is the true story of how Grundtvig’s principles on equality and democracy help inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things to change the course of history.



Below you can see the programme for the evening

18-19:
Dinner with European Film College’s students and employees. The school’s chefs will prepare a lovely meal over open fire.

19-20:
Welcome (in Danish) by Principal Ellen Riis.
Introduction (in English) and film screening by European Film College’s documentary teacher, Kathy Conkwright. The film is in English with Danish subtitles.

20-21:
Coffe and cake with European Film College’s students.

This event was kindly supported financially by Højskolerne (the Danish association of folk high schools)
The celebration of the folk high school’s 175th anniversary was supported by the Danish Ministry of Culture

“We at European Film College are happy to mark an important day in the history of folk high schools. We feel that there is a place for us, both in history and in the future”