Film from UNC alumna stresses movement in children

Childhood movement in the early stages of life could contribute to psychological development — meaning parents should favor dance over video games — according to a new collaborative documentary co-written by a recent UNC graduate.

The film is about how children’s movement in the early stages of their life can assist their psychological development, and is almost complete after an influx of funding.

Jacki Huntington, a UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumna, and Anna Kemble, a dance therapist of 15 years, have collaborated on the film, “The Moving Child: Supporting Early Development Through Movement,” since the summer of last year.


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“The essence of this film is to reconnect with our bodies,” Kemble said. “We want people to have an awareness of movement and the ways in which movement shapes children’s development.”

Kemble said she started the project in 2010 in response to interest about dance movement therapy, a psychotherapeutic movement used in development, and the ways in which it helps children.

“I wanted the film to be available to parents as a piece of knowledge,” she said.

Professor Susan Loman, a specialist in dance movement therapy and contributor in the film, said the modern environment is restricting children’s movement.

“Right now there is so much emphasis on technology — children used to play more,” she said.

“Their movement is being restricted, and they aren’t being given the opportunity to let off steam. They need to learn how to digest feeling through movement.”

Both Kemble and Huntington said producing the film, due for release in June, was a challenge.

“I had never made a feature-length film before. However, it’s been a two-woman endeavor,” Huntington said.

“I think my strength was that I didn’t have any base of knowledge in the area. I’m pretty open to applying my skill set to any subject matter.”

The co-writers said they hope parents will realize the importance of movement.

“We’ve been trying to get footage of broadcast-able quality. Filming has mainly been in Vancouver, but we’ve also drawn from interviews arranged in other cities,” Kemble said.

“The film is not only targeted at parents, but also health conscious adults. In the film we look at movement and its relationship to adult culture.”

A fundraising campaign has helped fund the post-production costs.

“The response has been really fantastic,” Kemble said. “We’ve raised $20,000 out of our goal of $32,000, and more people are becoming involved.”

Huntington said the crew is editing the film now. She said she became involved to be a part of Kemble’s dream.

“We made the film to share with the world some of this knowledge about movement therapy and so parents have an overall understanding of the stages that their children are moving through.”

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