(France) Super 8 Filmmaking in Paris: Geographies of Identity
Images beyond Borders
- Location: Paris, France
- Faculty: Baba Hillman, Professor Emerita, Film and Video and
- Learning Collaborative Theme(s): In/Justice, Media and Technology, and Time and Narrative
- Course Number: HACU-288S
- Departure Date: May 31, 2024
- Return Date: June 18, 2024
- Course Fee (tentative): $2,960 + airfare and misc. expenses (information about additional expenses and financial aid below)
*Dates & fees are subject to change
This course combines intensive workshops in Super 8 filmmaking and film theory, cinematography, animation, performance and directing. All cameras and equipment are provided.
Film workshops are taught by Baba Hillman and by members of French filmmakers’ cooperatives in Paris. Students attend screenings, performances and exhibits at the Cinématheque Française, Centre Pompidou, L’Institut du Monde Arabe, Le Champo, and Le Centquatre. Past courses have included studio visits with filmmakers, artists and writers including Nicole Brenez, Johanna Vaude, Mike Ladd, and Zoulikha Bouabdellah among others.
Critical work concentrates on the role of migration and diasporic communities in contemporary transnational film in France through a study of language, performance and visual structure within selected films. Seminars address such topics as changing cinematic representations of the architecture and urban space of Paris, and the politics of film funding, production and distribution in Paris.
Information about Hillman’s previous Paris courses along with excerpts from student films and writing is available on the course website:
“During the course, our meetings with filmmakers, artists, and other cultural workers broadened my understanding of the nuances of cultural identity in relation to migration, movement, displacement, hybridity, and cultural exchange. Gaining technical skills in Super 8 filmmaking and simultaneously creating a project that synthesized my thinking gave me a unique and valuable opportunity to think through complex issues in an immediate way.” Miatta Kawinzi 07S
Introductory film, video, studio art, photography, performance, or other art practice/theory course.
Course events are presented in French and English. There are no language prerequisites.
Short-term field course eligibility requirements: for Hampshire and non-Hampshire students
Short-term field course finances and funding: Important information about fees, payments, and financial aid.
Includes the following for the full three weeks of the program: tuition/workshops; all cameras, equipment, and film, film processing, and supplies; accommodation and local transportation; most meals, course activities, and orientation costs.
Additional Expenses (costs not included in the course fee)
Approximately $1,200 to include airfare (~$600), additional meals ($300), passport expenses, transportation to and from U.S. airport, and personal expenses.
How to Apply
Full Course Description
This course combines intensive workshops in Super 8 filmmaking and film theory, cinematography, animation, editing, performance and directing. Each student will shoot, process, edit and project a short film. All cameras, film and editing equipment are provided. Students are asked to write detailed proposals for their films, with a bibliography of related films and readings.
Seminars address such topics as changing cinematic representations of the architecture and urban space of the city and the politics of film funding, production and distribution in France.
Students attend screenings, performances and exhibits at the Cinématheque Française, Le Centquatre, Centre Pompidou, L’Institut du Monde Arabe, Le Champo, and other cinemas, arts centers and museums in Paris.
The course also includes studio visits with artists across Paris. Past courses have included workshops with filmmakers and curators including Mike Ladd, Nelson Aduaka, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Johanna Vaude and Nicole Brenez.
Critical work concentrates on the role of migration and diasporic communities in contemporary transnational film in Paris. We examine closely the relationships between visual, performative and written language, analyzing these languages in the context of the specific histories and social contexts that have shaped them. Students study films by filmmakers who are working in hybrid combinations of poetic, fictional and non-fictional forms and in a context of multiple languages and transnational histories. Many of these films embody a contestation of traditional ideas of French identity and of dominant linguistic and cultural forms. The films center on the performance of shifts in Parisian cultural identities, emphasizing the body and the landscape as the primary sites of a daily negotiation of place, language and identity.
The course provides a foundation for students to shape a working process that will extend through their Division II and III years.
- Successfully conceive and complete independent project-based work.
- Understand and incorporate multiple cultural perspectives on intellectual or artistic subjects.
Academic Expectations & Evaluation
Students will be expected to submit an artist statement, a self-evaluation and a course evaluation.
There are no language prerequisites for the course. Students are given a number of resources, as part of the pre-departure preparation, that they can draw upon to begin to develop their conversational skills in French. During the course, students will be attending presentations and workshops with French-speaking artists, filmmakers and writers. Each event, exhibit and workshop is used as an opportunity to build vocabulary and conversational skills.
The course is closely connected to community-engaged collaborative practice. Course events and activities draw upon the extensive networks of artists, filmmakers, writers, and curators that Hillman has built over many years in Paris. Students work with filmmakers’ collectives that are dedicated to supporting sustainable analogue filmmaking through collaborative distribution and shared resources. These collectives are an integral part of the historically vibrant and politically engaged tradition of alternative cinema in France. Collaborating with these groups inspires students to think about alternative ways of building and supporting their own filmmaking communities.
Visa and Other Travel Requirements
Valid passport; no visa required for US or EU citizens; students with other passports should consult the website of the French Embassy for information regarding visa requirements and application procedures. All participants are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and follow any additional COVID-19 testing and quarantining requirements.
(Subject to Change)
May 31, 2024: Depart the U.S. and arrive Paris/Charles de Gaulle June 1; Travel by van to Paris.
June 18, 2024: Depart Paris and arrive U.S. June 18, 2024.
Environment, Level of Physical Activity and Dietary Needs
Temperate climate, no particular travel difficulties. During the Paris course, students will walk several miles a day and also take public transport around the city. The Paris metro is not fully accessible and many metro lines do not have elevators or escalators at the entrances and exits. We are able to accommodate special dietary needs.
Students are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport. The group will travel by van to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport, and by train and van to and from southwestern France. Participants must book travel according to the travel requirements provided by the faculty director upon acceptance.
In Paris students will stay at the MIJE Residence, 6 rue de fourcy which is two blocks from the Seine and one block from Metro Saint Paul in the Marais.
There will be two group meetings to discuss participants' film proposals, academic expectations, country-specific information, and other pre-departure preparations. Students are also required to participate in a session with the Global Education Office on culture and identity, health and safety, study abroad policies, and important travel information.
Questions about the application and selection process or financial aid should be directed to the Global Education Office:
Global Education Office
Questions regarding the academic content or itinerary should be directed to the faculty directors: