The Free Zone Junior program was established in 2006 with the intention of initiating talks in Serbia and expanding knowledge on current social and political topics from around the world, and to contribute to the development of critical thinking in young people, increasing media literacy through the use of engaged films in education. , tolerance, and breaking down prejudices and stereotypes.
The program has expanded over the years, and today includes activities in primary, secondary and higher education, as well as extracurricular programs for high school students.
Within the sub-program Free Zone in Primary and Secondary Schools, 4 manuals have been published so far, accompanied by compilations of films for the use of film in teaching in primary and secondary education. So far, more than 1,300 primary and secondary school teachers from all over Serbia have passed the seminar within this program, and the program has been accredited by the Institute for the Advancement of Education from cycle to cycle.
After many years of work in primary and secondary education, the methodology of working with film as a teaching tool 2016/2017. school year was also introduced in higher education.
Namely, in the study program of master academic studies of the Center for Teacher Education at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, a new subject "Film in Teaching" has been accredited and is being implemented. As part of this program, we have also published a manual for students, based on the Czech use of film in higher education. This program is part of a project implemented in partnership with People in Need.
Part of the Free Zone Junior project are workshops of engaged documentary film for high school students - Regional Camp of Engaged Film for High School Students and Free Zone Filmmake School for high school students (intended for high school students from the City of Belgrade and its surroundings). The aim of these workshops is to provide high school students with an insight into the scope of social activism, various aspects of creating a socially engaged film, to encourage them to intercultural dialogue, to encourage and support them in developing ideas.
As part of the Free Zone Junior program, the B92 Fund has so far worked with over 60 high school students from Serbia and the region who had the opportunity to learn how to turn their idea into a film story with the help of film professionals.
The Free Zone Junior project and the B92 Fund, as a film producer, received the annual award of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy in 2010 in the category "Best documentary or TV show about sexual and gender-based violence" for the film of then seventeen-year-old Nikola Polić. developed and recorded as part of this project. Also, the documentaries of the participants in this project have won film awards at numerous festivals in the region.
The selection of the Young Audience Award, which was established by the European Film Academy six years ago, has been organized in Serbia since 2017 in cooperation with the Free Zone Junior program. It is a prestigious film event for primary school children aged 12 to 14, which takes place every spring in more than 30 European cities, and aims to interest young people in European stories, people, culture, society, build bridges for the exchange of different views, increase awareness of important social issues, foster a sense of togetherness, understanding and tolerance.
Since 2017, the project Traveling Cinema "Free Zone Junior" was launched with a media literacy workshop and cross media exhibition of student works in which 500 high school students from 10 places in Serbia had the opportunity to participate in two-hour workshops under the supervision of experts from the Free Zone Junior and learns about media literacy.