Knowing ourselves through film 

Knowing ourselves through film 

Screen Production Associate Professor Arezou Zalipour says now more than ever the value of different perspectives in film making is valued.

“We’ve just seen the historic win of Parasite at 2020’s Oscars – the first non-English language production to win Best Picture. In the same ceremony Taika Waititi used his win for Best Adapted Screenplay to encourage indigenous kids all over the world to pursue art. Hollywood is being changed by ‘outsider’ voices and here at AUT we’re helping prepare our students for that world.”

Dr Zalipour’s Contemporary World Cinemas(TVSP708) a selected topic in the School of Communication Studies TV and screen production department, is AUT’s first offering a transnational storytelling approach. It bridges theory and practice in a unique way through examples of Academy Award winners and nominees for Best Foreign Language Film (Best International Feature Film) and beyond.

Students in the course said it prompted deeper thought about film making, changing the way they think about film making and made them examine a wide range of film making techniques.

Dr Zalipour has designed a further paper to be offered in Semester 2 of 2020 for postgraduate students, Making Cinemas of Difference (TVSP811). This paper takes a de-Westernising approach in film and filmmaking by engaging, among other concepts, with postcolonial theories in film and practice, and teaches how to make a video essay.

“We learn from the masters of film making, exploring storytelling, which allows the students to build their understanding of how film can be used to construct a sense of identity and place.

“By exploring films from the Middle East, Asia and Europe, our students learn to recognise different modes of storytelling and film language, and the way culture, society and storytelling are intimately combined, and then apply that learning to their own film making.”

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