Your browser is unsupported and may have security vulnerabilities! Upgrade to a newer browser to experience this site in all it's glory.
Skip to main content

FILM STUDIES

Course leader: Ms C Vitoria

Aims of the course

The aim of the A level learners is to introduce students to a wide variety of films in order to broaden their knowledge and understanding of film and the range of responses films can generate. There will be opportunities to study mainstream and independent American and British films from the past and the present as well as more recent global films, both non-English language and English language. The historical range of film represented in those films is extended by the study of silent film and significant film movements (such as European avant-garde and new wave cinemas in Europe and Asia) so that students can gain a sense of the development of film from its early years to its still emerging digital future. Studies in documentary, experimental and short films add to the breadth of the learning experience.

Students will also undertake production work is a crucial part of this specification and is integral to studying films. Studying a diverse range of films from several different contexts is designed to give learners the opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding of how films are constructed to their own filmmaking. This is intended to enable learners to create high quality film.


How students will be assessed

Component 1: American and British film Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes 35% of qualification

This component assesses knowledge and understanding of six feature length films.

Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990 (comparative study)

  • One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two Hollywood films,
    one from the Classical Hollywood period (1930-1960) and the other from the New Hollywood period (1961-1990).

Section B: American film since 2005 (two-film study)

  • One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two American films, one mainstream film and one contemporary independent film.

Section C: British film since 1995 (two-film study)

  • One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two British films.


Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes 35% of qualification

This component assesses knowledge and understanding of five feature-length films (or their equivalent).

Section A: Global film (two-film study)

  • One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two global films: one European and one produced outside Europe.

Section B: Documentary film

  • One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one documentary film.

Section C: Film movements – Silent cinema

  • One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one silent film or
    group of films.

Section D: Film movements – Experimental film (1960-2000)

  • One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one film option.


Component 3: Production Non – exam assessment 30% of qualification

This component assesses one production and its evaluative analysis. Learners produce:

Either a short film (4-5 minutes) or a screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words) and a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay

  • an evaluative analysis (1250-1500 words)


The specification is designed to introduce A level learners to a wide variety of films in order to broaden their knowledge and understanding of film and the range of responses films can generate. This specification therefore offers opportunities to study mainstream and independent American and British films from the past and the present as well as more recent global films, both non-English language and English language. The historical range of film represented in those films is extended by the study of silent film and significant film movements (such as European avant- garde and new wave cinemas in Europe and Asia) so that learners can gain a sense of the development of film from its early years to its still emerging digital future. Studies in documentary, experimental and short films add to the breadth of the learning experience.


A level in Film Studies aims to enable learners to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • a diverse range of film, including documentary, film from the silent era, experimental film and short film
  • the significance of film and film practice in national, global and historical contexts
  • film and its key contexts (including social, cultural, political, historical and technological contexts)
  • how films generate meanings and responses
  • film as an aesthetic medium
  • the different ways in which spectators respond to film.


Below are some of the films you may study?

Section A: Classical Hollywood

  • Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942), U
  • The Lady from Shanghai (Welles, 1947), PG
  • Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958), PG
  • Some Like It Hot (Wilder, 1959), U.

Section B: Hollywood since the 1960s (two-film study)

  • Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 1967), 15
  • One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (Forman, 1975), 15
  • Blade Runner (Scott, 1982), 15
  • Do the Right Thing (Lee, 1989), 15
  • No Country for Old Men (Coen Brothers, 2007), 15
  • Inception (Nolan, 2010), 12A
  • Django Unchained (Tarantino, 2012), 18

Section C: Contemporary American independent film (produced after 2010)

  • Winter's Bone (Granik, 2010), 15
  • Frances Ha! (Baumbach, 2012), 15
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild (Zeitlin, 2012), 12A
  • Boyhood (Linklater, 2015), 15

Section D: British film

  • This is England, (Shane Meadows 2006), 18
  • Fish tank (Andrea Arnold 2009). 15