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Film Art for High School Students: A Seminar Introduction to the Formal Elements of Film

Mon-Fri, June 13-17 10:00am-2:00pm

Led by Sarah Childress, Education and Engagement Manager at Nashville Film Festival

General Admission: $200 ($150 for Belcourt members)

PURCHASE SEMINAR TICKETNeed-based scholarships are available. Contact allison@belcourt.org for info.

Designed for high school students (rising 10th-12th grade), this seminar will introduce participants to the fundamental building blocks of film analysis by exploring the elements of film form — mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound, and narration — which work together to communicate story details, share emotions, and develop themes.

Through a series of lectures, clip analyses and guided viewing, students will become more aware of the individual formal elements and how they function within a film. By the end of the seminar, students will be able to use their awareness of these elements, their function and their contributions to analyze any film they watch.

Please note: The seminar is designed to be taken as a whole – no single sessions. A boxed lunch and movie snacks will be provided each day (included in the ticket price). 


Seminar Schedule:

Mon, Jun 13: Mise-en-scène (MISS JUNETEENTH, Dir. Channing Godfrey Peoples, USA, 2020, Rated R for brief strong language)

Tue, Jun 14: Cinematography (MINARI, Dir. Lee Isaac Chung, USA, 2020, Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and a rude gesture)

Wed, Jun 15: Editing (BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER, Dir. Jamie Babbit, USA, 1999, Rated R for strong language and sexual content involving teens)

Thu, Jun 16: Sound (THE BABADOOK, Dir. Jennifer Kent, Australia, 2014, Not Rated but contains violence and profanity)

Fri, Jun 17: Narration (GET OUT, Dir. Jordan Peele, USA, 2017, Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references)


Dr. Sarah Childress has taught film courses at Vanderbilt University, Bowdoin College, and Belmont University and is currently the Education and Engagement Manager for the Nashville Film Festival. She produced a film, MÚSICA CAMPESINA, which screened at internationally renowned film festivals, and her short film “Blue Dragon Mussel Wagon” was exhibited at the Boston Center for the Arts and Berlin‘s Haus der Kulturen der Welt.