Launch of Places and Stories

Here’s the PPT, with some embedded clips, to support Places and Stories:

CPD launch

Here’s a print-only version of the PPT: CPD launch print

The CCAJ Vimeo channel is here: and the password is Places

And here’s a sample Scheme for following the programme over 20 weeks:

Sample SoW for Places and Stories

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2017/18 Theme: ‘Places and Stories’

This year’s theme is ‘Les lieux et les histoires’: Places and Stories.

The Cinematheque team are keen to emphasise that we’re talking about real places, not generic spaces.  There are two pieces of (optional) reading: some pages from Michel Foucault’s ‘Heteretopias’, and from Georges Perec’s Species of Spaces.

Foucault’s Heterotopias is the more relevant.  Alain Bergala’s typology of Places in film covers:

  • Places that are defined by their role in a story
  • Forbidden, dangerous, or secret rooms and other places
  • Places that exist in memory
  • Places that are revisited, that have changed over time
  • ‘Alternative spaces’, which ‘alternative communities’ inhabit, which are owned by ‘others’.
  • Memorial places: places dedicated to public memory

More concretely, there’s a list of places that can be drawn from Foucault’s Heterotopias:

  • boats, trains, (space ships) – vehicles that function as complete worlds
  • gardens – bounded places to which the world is brought, in plant form..
  • prisons, and other places bounded by rules and norms of behaviour
  • islands
  • fairgrounds, dance floors, games pitches
  • ruins, haunted rooms and houses, spooky basements
  • Places where ‘time’ is collected: museums, galleries, libraries
  • Mirrors – which frame ‘uncanny’ spaces – mirrors reflect real places but as not-real

The Vimeo list of suggested clips is here:  and the password is <Places>  When you click on each link, the category of the clip is at the bottom of the video window.

The Rules of the Game Word doc is here: RULES OF GAME Places and Stories EN



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Primary ‘Play’ Films

We’re listing below a selection of ‘Play’ films made by primary schools – from London and Lincolnshire.  There are some common features – children daydreaming their way out of class; magic portals to different realities – while all following the core brief to ‘Make a film where the story is interrupted at a certain moment, and the character finds their freedom through playing, allowing them to escape the confines of their everyday experience’.




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Strodes College

And finally, from this year’s secondary screenings, one of the four pieces shot by Strodes College.  Actually, the group shot one film, but each of four students edited their own version.  This one is by Pete Messum, and creates something really cinematic out of the footage.

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St. Mary Magdelene: Daydream

Joe Hoddy is moving on from SMM after – 9 years? – having been a great supporter and advocate of the programme for the past 5 or 6.  This year his A level Film Studies group followed the programme after school, with a beautifully shot 4 minute piece – a classroom-set reverie that takes its daydreamer out into the country – in this case a small copse in Oakwood.  As Stephi HD said at the screening, another country that asks for ‘acknowledgement’…

A special shout out to Emmanuel Karikari, who composed and recorded the music.

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London Nautical The Escapist

Three Year 8 students at London Nautical, supported by CCAJ alumnus Ian Blackburn, and teacher JP O’Brien, made a short entry to ‘Le Jeu’.  In the end, it was substantially the boy’s own work, with the exception of one shot taken by emerging documentary maker Mohammed Al Jabaly,

There are lovely bits of disguised magic in the film, with the boys climbing a wall in March, and going over the other side in June, and a great sleight of hand shot of the seaside taken on Thames Reach outside the Southbank.  And it has echoes of a previous LNS film – No Escape – what is it about students wanting to get out of school?!


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Illawong is the name of a film, and a place, made by students (and some staff) at Menai High School in Illawong, New South Wales, Australia.  The film is very fixed on its setting: the makers were determined to use the film as an opportunity to introduce the world to their place, and at the end, they credit the history and provenance of that place in an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’.  In a great discussion about the film, with teachers and students at BFI on 23rd June, we wondered how similar acknowledgements might work, with films made in Islington, Lambeth, and Surrey.

Stephi Hemelryk Donald talked to us about the film, and its making.  Of the 30 or so ‘Play’ films I’ve seen this year, it’s the only one to feature ‘adults pretending to be children’.  And it’s wonderful!

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