Leading South African media organisation Sunshine Cinema, known for its robust approach to taking meaningful cinema to communities to support activism and impact change, together with UCT’s Centre for Film and Media Studies will once again offer an online professional development course on Film Impact Screening Facilitation from June 2023.
The course is aimed at communicators, creatives, aspiring impact producers, and purpose-driven “Gen Z’s” eager to ignite change through the screening of mostly documentary, but also fiction feature films to targeted and relevant audiences.
“This is the second year this course has been offered in response to a growing demand by audiences and filmmakers to provide content that can impact myriad current crises and challenges the world is facing”, explains Sydelle Willow Smith, Sunshine Cinema co-founder, and course lecturer. “With this demand for content comes a call from audiences to be able to unpack, engage and work with this film content to benefit their spheres of influence and interest. The course provides tangible and workable methodologies for people to develop skills as facilitators to work with film screenings that can help guide audiences and impact this change or stimulate meaningful activism.”
Sunshine Cinema is best placed to offer practical insights for “impact facilitators” as they have taken films to communities in Southern Africa for years, supporting producers, organisations, and creatives who have the content but lack experience in making an impact with audiences.
“There is no doubt about it: issue-driven documentaries have increased in popularity, and filmmakers know what impact they would like to achieve by making their films, but often don’t know how to build strategies to mobilise these stories to effect change. ,” explains Miki Redelinghuys, well-known impact producer and the course co-writer and lecturer. “This is where an impact facilitator steps in to support the film in reaching the right audience and inspiring them to take action.
The 2023 course runs from 1 June to 8 December 2023 and will cover six modules, each geared towards giving students the knowledge and confidence needed to work as a film impact screening facilitator. According to course convenor Dr Liani Maasdorp, “thanks to the combination of carefully curated inputs and written and practical assignments, students leave the course knowing how to organise, market and host a screening and facilitate a meaningful conversation with the audience about the issue shown in the film. This important work aims to positively influence people’s perceptions and behaviour around issues including human rights, social justice, and the climate crisis.”
The six-month, 100% online, professional development course comprises weekly self-paced lessons on the UCT online learning platform, most of which culminate in a virtual class that “allows students to engage with influential movement builders, impact producers, and filmmakers from South Africa, Africa and beyond”.
Guest lecturers include well-known creatives, activists, and impact producers including globally renowned and award-winning story-teller Gcina Mhlophe (SA), film director and activist Zackie Achmat (SA), impact campaign specialist Rowan Pybus (SA), producer and cultural activist Sir Vince Manzini (SA), UCT senior lecturer, impact producer and activist Dr Liani Maasdorp (SA), writer, producer, impact producer Anita Khanna (SA), filmmaker, writer, and producer Judy Kibinge (Kenya), filmmaker, community leader, and founder of Sierra Leone’s first media-makers union Arthur Pratt, and Indian filmmaker Kushboo Ranka.
At the end of the course, participants will have a series of processes, methodologies, creative ideas and examples, a practical toolkit from which to work, as well as ongoing support as alumni from the course convenors, and peers.
The course is open globally to anyone interested in using film to affect change, and several bursaries are available to participants who merit the opportunity.
The closing date for applications is 31 March 2023.