Film Studies

The image above shows director, producer and writer Kathryn Bigelow on the set of her multi Academy Award-winning film 'The Hurt Locker' 

Students taking A Level Film Studies have a passion for film and, through their studies with us, develop their ability to analyse film and expand their knowledge and understanding of the language and contexts of film.  They learn to interrogate how concepts such as narrative, genre, representation, spectatorship, and aesthetics are used to create meaning, by deconstructing the work of internationally renowned filmmakers.

Film Studies encourages our students to engage with and explore a wide range of film; to develop and sustain confident, personal responses to film in essays; and to enjoy a variety of films across several major genres. These include films from different cultural perspectives, films from the Silent Era to the present day, and different forms of film, including documentary films, short films, and experimental films. In Year 12, students study five films, concentrating on 20th century Hollywood, and the contemporary US/UK Film Industries and cement their understanding of film theory through practical film-making, including coursework that sees students planning, shooting, editing, and evaluating a 4-5 minute short film on a theme of their choice. In Year 13 a further six films are studied in a wider variety of genres, including a foreign language film, a documentary, and three films that are linked by theme.

Beyond the classroom, students develop their understanding of the world of film exhibition, with trips to the BFI IMAX, the Ritzy in Brixton, the East Dulwich Picturehouse, and to a West End multiplex.  They also benefit from the experiences of outside speakers: most recently from the OSCAR-winning documentary filmmaker and AOB, Orlando von Einsiedel (The White Helmets, 2016); the presenter of the BBC’s Inside Science, Dr Adam Rutherford, on the making of the film Ex_Machina (2014), for which he was a script advisor; and the film composer, Harry Escott, who scored Shame (2011) directed by OSCAR winner Steve McQueen. Students are encouraged to extend their experience of film-making beyond school and, in recent years, students have attended prestigious BFI (British Film Institute) Film Academy courses, and entered various film competitions including the Bank of England Film Competition and the SpoKE Art Documentary Competition.

In the Film Studies Department we pride ourselves on offering information and support around careers in film, can advise on the best choice of film courses at university, and push our students to have as wide a variety of contact with the film and creative industries as possible.

At Alleyn's it is our strong desire that A level Film Studies should inspire our students to take their learning beyond the confines of the classroom, and develop the interpersonal skills that will serve them well in Higher Education and the workplace.

We encourage familiarity with film through special talks, most recently with the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker and Alleyn's old boy, Orlando von Einsiedel (The White Helmets, 2016).