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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MODL2115 Film Programming and Exhibition: Curating for Cinemas and Festivals

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Andrew Moore

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the practice and theory of film programming. - What are the decisions that are made and the actions that are taken to bring films to audiences at theatres, film festivals and film archives? - How does the way in which films are presented impact an audience's understanding and appreciation of the material?- In an era when practically any film is available at the click of a button, what is the role of the film curator? How does the curator, in selecting, highlighting and contextualising material add value to the work?The module will encourage students to think about these questions, introducing them to the ways in which these issues have been explored by cultural theorists, film scholars and film professionals. The final part of the module will then challenge the students to apply what they have learnt to the curation of their own hypothetical film programmes, accompanied by programme notes and a critical commentary outlining their rationale.


The aim of this module is to:
- introduce students to the core practical and intellectual issues related to film programming and curating for cinemas and festivals.
- investigate historical and contemporary developments and innovations in film programming and exhibition.
- introduce students to new research and scholarship in film studies related to film festivals and film exhibition.
- teach students how to develop and curate their own stimulating, intellectually and thematically coherent research-based film programmes for cinemas and film festivals.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of the core practical and intellectual issues related to film programming and film exhibition.
- demonstrate an awareness of historical and contemporary innovations in cinema exhibition and an understanding and awareness of recent scholarship on the subject.
- demonstrate their ability to curate a stimulating, intellectually and thematically coherent film programme with a clear rationale informed by research into film history.
- demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the cultural, intellectual, artistic and economic significance of the phenomenon of film programming.

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
- understand the key practical, commercial and creative aspects of film exhibition.
- identify connections between different films and film clusters and clearly articulate these connections.
- conduct individual research.
- curate a film programme with a clear rationale, informed by this research


This module will introduce students to the practice of film programming for cinemas and film festivals with an emphasis on the practical and the theoretical.

The module will begin by defining film programming and encouraging students to think about this phenomenon both as a profession that requires certain skills, knowledge and expertise, and as a creative act with important social, intellectual and cultural implications.

After establishing this understanding of film programming and the role of the film curator we will then move on to a discussion of the network of intermediaries involved in the process, including film producers, distributors, theatres, festivals and archives. This will be followed by a series of case studies, including a discussion of the curation of artists' moving image, archive film, and specialist/independent cinema.

These case studies will focus on exploring the unique challenges curators face when programming different kinds of material. Discussion will also center on the importance of understanding audiences, as well as the role of cinephilia, and research and film historiography in the curation of film programmes.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings102.0020.00
Private study hours160.00
Total Contact hours40.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Additional Film Viewing: 10 x 2 hours = 20 hours
- Preparation per Seminar: 10 x 5 hours = 50 hours
- Essay Preparation: 45 hours
- Project/Assignment Preparation: 45 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students progress will be monitored on a regular basis via classroom participation, group discussions and presentations (formative). Students will also be given formal feedback on their first assignment (1 x 2000 word essay = 50%). This feedback will help them to produce their final project report.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words50.00
Project2,000 word critical commentary on film programme50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 24/04/2018


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