New Film Studies Minor At AUBG
After the introduction of a literature major at AUBG during the previous 2014/2015 academic year, the Arts, Languages, and Literature Department has now approved a new minor in film studies. The team behind the idea consists of Lynette Leonard, Melody Gilbert, Michael Cohen, Pierangelo Castagneto, Atanas Maleev and is lead by Sean Homer.
As any other minor at AUBG, film studies will demand a total of six courses. The two required courses are ENG220: Film Criticism and JMC233: Introduction to Video Journalism. For the remaining four courses students will have the opportunity to choose from ENG221: Screenwriting and JMC444: Documentary Filmmaking, and at least two more from ENG320: Topics in Film; ENG371: History, Memory and Narrative in Contemporary Balkan Cinema;HTY313: American History and Film; JMC363: History of Documentary Film. All of the courses listed above, with the exception of ENG221: Screenwriting and ENG320: Topics in Film, have already been given at the University.
Prof. Dr. Sean Homer, Co-Chair of the Arts, Languages and Literature Department revealed that the idea for a film studies minor had been on his mind ever since he arrived at AUBG. His personal interest in film resulted in the creation of his first course ENG371: History, Memory and Narrative in Contemporary Balkan Cinema. At the same time, other film-related courses were already existing at the University. The only step toward the film studies minor remained the right organization.
Prof. Homer believes that the new film studies minor will attract real interest and will provide students with basic knowledge in film, as well as possible further development in the area. The professor is “excited” about the opportunity to get more students involved into the field of study. “I expect it to be the most popular minor at the university,” he said.
Prof. Cohen shared that he had previously taught ENG221: Screenwriting as an independent study in a much more informal environment. The course will be focused on analyzing scripts and movies (eight to ten during the semester) and how these two work out together.
The course will offer an insight into the components of a movie and will give students the opportunity to develop their own scripts. Prof. Cohen believes that students will find it easier to adapt to screenwriting than to any other type of writing, because it follows a clear format. He also hopes that some of the screenplays created during the term of the course will be presented by students on stage.
Prof. Cohen sees the new film studies minor as a future success among students, since they are a part of the so-called “visual generation”. “Students are watching a lot more movies than they are reading books,” he said.
Although the idea of having a new minor in the University is good news, for now, a lot of the feedback is not entirely positive. Plamen Kostov, a second-year student, commented, “If we had somebody to actually teach you screenwriting, producing, act in front of camera, general acting characters, dialects and accents in acting, the whole process of creating a film project, why not… but AUBG totally lacks people that can do that, so theater studies sounds more reasonable.”
Another second-year student, Andri Ivanov, expressed his opinion, “I believe that the idea is not bad, but in order to be recognized by a significant amount of students it has to be well developed with a better variety of courses and professors in the field.”
Kristian Yonov, a first-year student, shared that he would not do a minor in film studies because as all new things it will “require to be refined eventually.” “It is a minor, not a major; if it was a major, I would consider doing it, otherwise I wouldn’t do it,” he said.
Silviya Grancharova, a second-year student, said that she will consider the minor as something she could do “because it could offer a closer look on the film industry and observe it in a different perspective, paying more attention on details.”
The story is a joint effort of AUBG Daily’s Owls Marina Penkova and Gabriela Georgieva.