Mike Jennings outlines the Education Department’s vibrant, diverse Courses and Talks for Adults and those for Primary and Secondary Education in the Chichester area
As a charity, CC@NP has Education at its heart for all ages, providing a rich and expanding programme of pertinent events for both schools and adults via afternoon, evening, day courses. Our aim is to help deepen knowledge and appreciation of cinema’s central importance in world – and in our own – culture – including its 125-year history, and economically, sociologically and aesthetically to enrich our lives. Our Education team, all volunteers with a passionate love for cinema, is nine-strong and is led by Mike Jennings (Lead Trustee, Education) and Rosemary Coxon (Education Officer), supported by Michael Cox (Trustee), Henry Beltran (Front of House Manager) and five Assistant Education Officers, David Coxon, Felicia Hughes-Freeland, Michael Schurch, Brian Baker and Patrick Hargood. Our Film Education programme at New Park has two main strands:
Courses and Talks for adults:
these are held in the Studio and we also complement films showing in the Auditorium during each season. Over the last five years, the many fascinating Saturday Day Courses (usually from 10.00am-3.00pm) have been on The Suffragette Movement; Film Openings and Closings; What Makes a Great Film Great; The Coen Bros; Screening Diversity; British Cinema of the 1960s; Hitchcock; Occupation and Resistance in the Cinema; The Magician Orson Welles’ Film Noir; Italian Neorealism and others. Shorter afternoon and evening courses have been on The Technical History of the Cinema; Song and Dance in the Movies; Gangsters; Cartoons and Animation; Black Britain on Film and the Comedy Films of Buster Keaton, the Marx Bros and Jacques Tati.
We also forge links with tutors from schools including Gareth Evans, Head of Media Studies at Bishop Luffa on ‘The Western’ and ‘Woody Allen’ and other specialists locally such as Ellen Cheshire, writer, broadcaster and tutor, and former New Park General Manager, who has published books on key directors (Chaplin, Jane Campion and others) and Charles Rollings, an expert on WW2/POW films and the Gangster films genre.
Our Day Courses have also featured some wonderful tutors, film writers and cultural historians with national and international reputations, including Ian Christie, Professor of Film at Birkbeck College, London, on Russian Cinema and The Films of Powell and Pressburger; Nick Smedley (Preston Sturges and Hollywood Cinema); Ian Haydn Smith (Hitchcock); the BFI’s Nick Scudamore (Thrillers); and Richard Cupidi, who runs the highly rated Dreamworks film course on Thursday mornings and very stimulating Saturday Day Courses.
Developing strong links with other cultural providers in the local community is vital too for the Film Education programme. We have linked up with Chichester Festival Theatre and the Military Aviation Museum at Tangmere, organising tours of both, film showings and courses, and on Women’s History Month with the University of Chichester and collaborate with them to provide a varied and exciting programme that draws on their specific expertise.
We also celebrate forthcoming events and anniversaries, and incorporate these into our forward planning such as film talks, courses and showings (Black History Month each October and Women’s History Month each March). Anniversaries of key writers, performers and directors and movements, such as Oscar Wilde, Peter Jackson’s WW1 documentary and Woodfall Films 60th anniversary are equally showcased.
Programmes for Primary and Secondary Schools in the local area:
Our growing programme for schools, tailored to curriculum needs and topics in the Key Stages have included recent courses for Southbourne Juniors, Chichester Free School and Bishop Luffa Secondary with topics such as Shakespeare Plays, A Christmas Carol; Children in War; Peter Pan; The Holocaust; Midnight Gang and Sleeping Beauty. Groups of up to 60 children and their teachers come in to the cinema to see film clips and explore issues and approaches relevant to their studies and which they develop back at school.
New Park’s Education programme of courses and talks can be found in the final pages of each season’s programme under the logo ‘Focus in Film: Film Courses at New Park.’ If you have any suggestions for future talks, courses and features such as films, directors, genres and seasons for our Film Education programme please contact Rosemary Coxon. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Jennings Lead Trustee, Education 2001-2019