Seeing the world from your perspective via Cinema en curs
Cinema en curs: Transmission of film as creation and creation as experience
This article explores the Catalonian project Cinema en curs, an annual, recurring and now international programme of film education that takes place with students aged 10–18 in schools and colleges. Set up in 2005-6 by Núria Aidelman and Laia Collel from the arts association A Bao a Qu, the project now runs across various regions of Spain and internationally. The project is an experience-based form of education based around spectatorship and creation, where students participate in a programme of screenings and workshop activities before making their own short films.
‘There are no single answers in art. Right or wrong cannot be predetermined. Learning to watch and make films is not about assimilating a grammar made up of A=B formulae, but about learning to look at the world, to explore and enjoy the resources and infinite expressive possibilities of cinema.’ Laia Collel and Núria Aidelman (p.61)
Key points to explore
Cinema en curs provides many examples of the enriching learning experiences and outcomes that filmmaking can provide young people, particularly in terms of developing their creative and collaborative skills. The article covers a range of topics including:
The rationale and motivation for the project, which is founded on principles of young people discovering different types of film and where ‘a grounding in reality and lived experience is fundamental.’ (p.60)
A discussion on the types of films and clips shown to participants. These are made by filmmakers from around the world, chosen to help students understand ‘certain essential aspects of cinematic art’ and develop participants’ ideas and creative choices (pp.62-63)
The structure of the workshops, which is based around four major stages, each of which corresponds to a creative practice: the Lumière minute, the photography project or experimental film, the sequence and the final film. (pp.63-67)
A detailed section on how students plan and shoot their final films, with a focus on collaborative teamwork and paying close attention to shot types (pp.65-69)
An example from Cinema en curs 'shots of the world'
Ideas for the classroom:
You can explore the wide variety of film content created by participants on the Cinema en curs website: https://www.cinemaencurs.org/
Try your own version of the ‘Shots of the world’ exercise. Inspired by film-makers such as David Perov, Chantal Akerman and James Benning, students film their surroundings, rediscovering the places in which they live and go to school through cinema. Sometimes students choose to accompany their ‘shots of the world’ with short texts on placards or with voice-over. Some of these films can be seen here: https://vimeopro.com/plansdelmon/shotsoftheworld.
Read more about Le cinéma, cent ans de jeunesse the international filmmaking project that Cinema en curs was inspired by: https://www.cinematheque.fr/cinema100ansdejeunesse/en/