Filmmaking at BCH

We are in the midst of the spring session of the Self + Otherness Filmmaking Workshop, a free course that focuses on the production and theory of moving image based work, exploring how time and space are used as materials to create form and inspire content in film and video. These are introductory/intermediate level classes for adults and young adults that have an interest in learning the techniques, history and concepts in film and video using accessible technology as means of expression.

Each quarter a new style of filmmaking is explored, while basic filmmaking techniques are revisited. In the fall we focused on creating short audio works and a cine-roman video project where still images and sound were used to build an expression. The winter session focused on the video essay, a longer work that explored the theme of identity. The last session cycle of the workshop explores the concept of expanded cinema, looking at the neighborhood surrounding Stony Island Arts bank, and choosing a location for projecting the final video projects outside onto an existing structure in early June.


The class size has grown since the fall and a core group of students have contributed greatly to its success. The students range from working professionals in fields such as administration, health care, and education, to MFA students and aspiring filmmakers. Many have never had prior film experience while others are artists who are interested in exploring new approaches in their work. It has been a wonderful journey where we have studied different types of cinema and have then been able to put ideas and feelings into practice. On April 10th the presentation of the winter session student projects were screened at Black Cinema House to a full house. I was truly impressed by the level of commitment, imagination and craft that the students brought to their projects. You can see these videos on our vimeo site as well as on Saturdays this month (21 and 28) where they will be screened at the Stony Island Arts Bank.


In a time where there is great change happening on the South Side of Chicago, the class has been an opportunity to observe this change through the lens of film and video. Check back to the blog this month as a few students will describe their projects and experiences with Rebuild Foundation, Black Cinema House and this class.