Studies on Screen: Community-Based Resources for Film Studies

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Throughout the year, those interested in the art and technique of film-making can support their interests through intergenerational community-based educational resources and events, including libraries, online resources, local non-profit organizations, independent cinemas, and annual events catering to a variety of ages and interests. All community-based educational opportunities encourage appreciation of the creative process behind making films and the use of film to support learning.


Libraries often host free film screenings open to the public. Check with your local and nearby town libraries for community screenings and peruse their films available for checking out to self-screen at home. (Make sure you check out Belding Memorial Library’s Filmmaker’s Lending Library for equipment to support budding filmmakers!)

Supplement community screenings with this series of lesson guides to teach teens about the art and science of motion pictures produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. Guide topics include animation, art direction, costume design & makeup, screenwriting, documentaries, film editing, sound & music, and visual effects. 


Further film studies can be done year-round at locally run cinemas and opportunities. In the Pioneer ValleyAmherst Cinema offers films, performances, and film-based educational events. Families in the northern Berkshires can look to Images Cinema to learn about the art of the big screen. At the same time, film buffs in the southern Berkshires can find both blockbuster films and community events at Great Barrington’s TriplexAnd at Shelburne Falls Memorial Hall, there’s Pothole Picture, “an all-volunteer-run, non-profit, community movie house, and we’ve been showing the best in classic, foreign, and independent films on the BIG screen….” Check their website for future special events and screenings.


Annual events to look to include the Ashfield Film Festival (September), Greenfield Community Television’s (GCT) film competition, Lights! Camera! Greenfield! 

[Photo credit: (cc) Pedro Ribeiro Simões]

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