Find Menu
student in media lab

Super 8 Filmmaking in Paris: Geographies of Identity (France)

Location: France
Faculty: Five College Associate Professor of Film and Video (HACU) Baba Hillman
Course Number: HACU-288S
Departure Date: June 1, 2016 Return Date: June 18, 2016 (dates are tentative)
Course Fee (tentative): $2,400 + airfare (information about additional expenses and financial aid below)

Course Summary

This course combines intensive workshops in Super 8 film-making and film theory. Theoretical work will concentrate on the role of migration in contemporary transnational film in Paris through a study of language, performance, and visual structure within selected films. Seminars will 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. Each student will shoot, process, and edit a short Super 8 film. Students will attend screenings at the Cinématheque Francaise, the Centre Pompidou, the Cinéma Jeune Collectif and other theatres, galleries, and museums throughout the city. The course will include collaborative exchange with filmmakers from several film distribution and production collectives including Light Cone, Cinéma Jeune Collectif and L’Etnastudio, as well as studio visits with artists, curators, and community-based workshops outside Paris.


Introductory class in film, video, photography, studio art, performance, media criticism/theory, or art history.


Short-term field course eligibility requirements.

Financial Information

Short-term Field Course Finances and FundingImportant information about fees, payments, and financial aid.

Course Fee

Approximately $2,400 includes the following for the full 3 weeks of the program: tuition/workshops; all cameras, equipment, and film; film processing and supplies; accommodation; local transportation; some group meals; faculty director expenses; local activities; and orientation costs.

Additional Expenses (costs not included in the course fee)
Approximately $1,500 to include airfare (approx. $1,000), additional meals ($300), passport expenses, transportation to and from U.S. airport, and personal expenses. 

How to Apply

Short-term field course application deadlines and instructions.

Full Course Description

Super 8 workshops will be taught by the course director with additional workshops with filmmakers from French film cooperatives. Each student will shoot, process, edit, and project a short Super 8 film. Students will be asked to write a detailed proposal for their projects, with a bibliography of related films and readings. We will use the film library of the Forum des Images, which has the largest collection of films shot in the city of Paris and the surrounding suburbs. We will study works by contemporary filmmakers who are working in hybrid combinations of poetic, fictional, and non-fictional forms and in a context of multiple languages and transnational histories. Students will 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. The course will include collaborative exchange with filmmakers from several film distribution and production collectives including Light Cone, Cinéma Jeune Collectif, and L’Etna, as well as studio visits with artists and curators and community-based workshops outside Paris.

Texts for the course will include:
The Arcades Project, Walter Benjamin
Atlas of Emotion, Giuliana Bruno
The Atlantis, Nicole Brenez
New Spaces for French and Francophone Cinema, James F. Austin
Reframing Difference: Beur and Banlieue Filmmaking in France, Carrie Tarr
An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking, Hamid Naficy

Texts will also include bilingual editions of:
Cité dans le texte, Jean-Phillipe Tessé, Cahiers du Cinéma
Paris, Julian Green

Cumulative Skils

  • Successfully conceive and complete independent project-based work.
  • Understand and incorporate multiple cultural perspectives on intellectual or artistic subjects.

Academic Expectations

Students will be expected to submit regular evaluations of the course and of their progress in film-making. They will also be expected to submit a self-evaluation at the end of the course as well as a completed film and a critical paper.

Program Itinerary

Depart June 1, 2016 to arrive at Paris/Charles de Gaulle on the morning of June 2. Depart Paris on June 18, 2016.

Travel Plans

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.

Housing Arrangements

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.

Pre-departure Preparation

There will be three to four group meetings to discuss participants film proposals, the readings and language progress prior to departure. Students will be given screening and reading lists as well as resources for language tutoring, on-line courses and French conversation groups. There will also be a separate required session with GEO to discuss in detail issues of health, safety, and other important practical travel information.


Questions about the application process or financial aid should be directed to Heather St. Germaine in the global education office at or x5542. 

Questions regarding the academic content or itinerary should be directed to Baba Hillman at

Stay In Touch
With The Global Education Office (GEO)
Snail Mail
Global Education Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
Fax: 413.559.6173