Film Studies A Level (Block C) at Walton High School
Film is one of the main cultural innovations of the 20th century and a major art form of the last hundred years. Those who study it characteristically bring with them a high degree of enthusiasm and excitement for what is a powerful and culturally significant medium, inspiring a range of responses from the emotional to the reflective.
Film Studies consequently makes an important contribution to the curriculum, offering the opportunity to investigate how film works both as a medium of representation and as an aesthetic medium.
Film Studies at Walton 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 American films from the past and the present as well as a range of recent and contemporary British films, American independent films and 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 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.
Production work is a crucial part of this specification and is integral to learners' study of film. 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 and screenwriting. This is intended to enable learners to create high quality film and screenplay work as well as provide an informed filmmaker's perspective on their own study of film.
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.
It also aims to enable learners to:
- apply critical approaches to film and
- apply knowledge and understanding of film through either filmmaking or screenwriting.
No minimum entry requirements beyond qualifications to attend 6th form but strengths in research and essay based subjects with an interest in historical, artistic and creative aspects essential. This course requires a lot of independent work.
Component 1: Varieties of film and filmmaking
Written examination: 2½ hours
35% of qualification
This component assesses knowledge and understanding of five feature-length films andone compilation of short films.
Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990 (comparative study) – focus on contexts and the idea of the auteur
- 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) – focus on spectatorship and ideology
- One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two American films, one mainstream film and one contemporary independent film.
Section C: Documentary film– focus on debates
- One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one documentary film.
Section D: Short film
- One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to a compilation of short films.
Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives
Written examination: 2½ hours
35% of qualification
This component assesses knowledge and understanding of six feature-length films.
Section A: British film since 1995 (two-film study) – focus on narrative and ideology
- One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two British films.
Section B: Global film (two-film study) – focus on film poetics and filmmakers' theories
- One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two global films, one European and one produced outside Europe.
Section C: Film movements – silent cinema – focus on the idea of the auteur
- 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) – focus on the idea of the auteur
- One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one film option.
Component 3: Production
30% of qualification
This component assesses one production and its evaluative analysis. Learners produce:
- either a short film (4-5 minutes) ora screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words) plus a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay
- an evaluative analysis (1250-1500 words).
Please select one subject per option block (A, B, C, D and E - listed in Course Title) to ensure there is no clash on your timetable.
By and large most students will follow 3 academic A Levels plus will have the opportunity to add to this with the Extended Project and our Enrichment Programme.
A few students may be able to follow a 4th A Level with advice from our Sixth Form Management team.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Walton High School directly.