The theme for the academic year 2010/ 11 is Montrer/ Cacher – or ‘shown/ hidden’. Participating this year from England, are St. Catherine’s School for Girls in Bexleyheath, and a group consisting of boys from London Nautical School and Lambeth Academy in Lambeth. On 27th November 2010 we ran a training day at BFI Southbank, introducing the theme and exercises for the year, to teachers from London, Scotland, Peterborough, Lincolnshire, and Shropshire, as well as to a group of trainee mentors from universities in South London on the Aspire AimHigher programme.
We are planning to take the training to a group of Moving Image Arts teachers in Northern Ireland in Spring 2011.
At the training seminar in Paris on 5/6 November, Alain Bergala introduced a set of concepts related to the shown/ hidden theme – in terms of story construction, performance, shot composition, sound, and editing, but also bigger issues in cinema, such as censorship, and what a nation reveals or hides about itself in its film culture.
The primary concept he introduced was the notion of ‘the secret’. What a film-maker chooses to tell, or withhold, is one of the key skills of storytelling. A secret, Bergala said, is told to some, not everyone; it’s distinct from a mystery, which is a secret that remains withheld from everyone, and an enigma, which is a puzzle pieced together by both characters and audience.