Teaching Tools

Filmmakers in the Classroom

Filmmakers in the Classroom

Posted by: San Francisco Film Society

The San Francisco Film Society's Filmmakers in the Classroom (FITC) program was launched in 2010, connecting Bay Area classrooms with local filmmakers in order to provide students and their teachers with greater access to and better understanding of media literacy, film production, new technology and storytelling tools. This curriculum is designed to enhance the local work being done through the program as well as to make media arts education—and the tools to create a successful classroom-based filmmaking workshop—more widely available. 

The FITC program is designed to help filmmakers embed into partnering classrooms and tailor a project that supports the learning already taking place in those classrooms. FITC aims to help classroom teachers work collaboratively with filmmaker instructors to promote media literacy and critical thinking and to teach students to create introductory media-based projects that enhance existing classroom study. 

Over the course of a semester, the FITC program allows for 30 classroom hours (with 1-2 hours of classroom time per session) and recommends up to 10 hours of planning time (this breakdown can be modified as needed). Note: 2-hour class periods, or double sessions, are encouraged whenever possible to allow for production and program continuity. 

Each FITC program is intended to yield the following: 

• At least 2-3 viewing experiences, which can be selected by the filmmaker instructor and/or classroom teacher from the list of Recommended Films to Watch in the Classroom in the Appendices section of this site or grade-appropriate selections you can make on your own. We encourage diversity in films screened so that students are exposed to fiction and non-fiction work, as well as relevant media that can be found online (e.g., CNN.com, YouTube, etc.) 

• At least 2-3 formative projects that develop skills needed for the final project (i.e. storyboards, writing assignments, scripts, etc.). 

Cumulative and collaborative production-based video projects. These projects should be 2-5 minutes in length and be composed of three discrete segments: pre-production, production and post-production. Most FITC programs have produced 1-3 projects per classroom, with students working in manageably sized groups. 

The FilmEd. Curriculum Guide is an online version of the full Filmmakers in the Classroom curriculum. To download a pdf version of the guide, visit the Lesson Exchange section of this site. 

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