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Home  Courses  IB DP Film SL

Film SL

Part of the IB Diploma subject group 6, the arts, Film SL develops students’ skills so that they become adept in interpreting and making film texts.

Through the analysis of film texts and exercises in film-making, the course explores film history and theory. It also develops students’ critical abilities, enabling them to appreciate the variety of cultural and historical perspectives in film.

Course structure

The course covers the following topics:

Year 1

  • Course Overview
  • The Magic Lantern
  • There Was This Guy
  • The Dark Side
  • A Funny Thing Happened
  • Single Vision
  • Lenses of Truth
  • We’ve Got Rhythm
  • Shafts of Light

Year 2

  • Shafts of Light
  • ME Watching You
  • Breaking all the Rules
  • The Human Heart
  • This Town Ain’t Big Enough
  • A New Set of Eyes
  • To the Stars
  • Final Take

What is different in taking Film SL online?

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • choose an art class that may not be offered at their school
  • study alongside students from around the world
  • exchange ideas with people from very different backgrounds
  • use technology much more than in a face-to-face environment, especially in their communication tools
  • add flexibility to their timetable

Activities and assessment

Every activity has its own assessment rubric. Students may create a one-minute video without dialogue that includes at least two characters and a dinner table; create a Twilight Zone film where a character transitions between different places and time periods that are unconnected in reality; recreate a scene from a favourite film; film the same location twice (the second time light and design the location to recreate a place typical of a chosen genre of film); record an analysis of how film language creates meaning in a five-minute extract from a film; create a storyboard; or create a map showing camera placement, lighting, and actor movement in a scene.

Advice from our teachers

In order to succeed, we recommend students set aside five to six hours a week.

Students will need a video camera or DSLR that has manual focus, a sturdy tripod and editing software such as iMovie, Final Cut or Premiere, as basic requirements. A lighting kit and recording device (handheld or microphone) would be excellent additions.

Benefits to students

Taking Film SL online will enable students to:

  • enhance their passion for the subject
  • deepen their understanding of the how and why of filmmaking
  • develop intercultural understanding which is sought by the world’s top universities
  • develop 21st century skills like time management, communication and digital literacy which are much in demand by employers

Next steps

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How does it work?

Watch our video to find out how IB Diploma Programme students use the Pamoja Taught learning platform on a day-to-day basis throughout the duration of their two-year courses.


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