Discover the beauty of moving forward by going backward.

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As analog mediums continue to make a resurgence, it is no wonder that 16mm filmmaking has stood the test of time. Traditionally used in experimental films and by amateur filmmakers, the use of 16mm film has persisted in our predominantly digital-based world. It is still used today for its unique aesthetic in work by leading filmmakers and cinematographers, and on recent indie films such as Todd Haynes’s Carol, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, and Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild.  While deployed to good effect in larger budget films, 16mm is also a wonderful medium, with a historic legacy, for experimental filmmaking. 

This class will allow for an immersive experience for students to learn to work in 16mm filmmaking with an emphasis on experimental practices and techniques through a hands-on, DIY approach. Following discussions, screenings, and demonstrations, students will participate in a series of exercises oriented towards various disciplines in experimental filmmaking, ranging from camera-less films, abstract filmmaking prompts, and culminating in a final project where students shoot and edit a roll of film on a project of their choice. 

Development using a non-toxic, ecofriendly, black and white developing process called Caffenol will be taught, with students learning to develop their own rolls of film. Caffenol utilizes easily obtainable ingredients and has simple steps that can be done without accessing a darkroom. Additionally, students will learn to adeptly use a 16mm Bolex, a camera used by many well-known experimental filmmakers such as David Lynch, Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol, and Maya Deren.

Tuition includes 16mm film for student exercises, use of equipment, and all ingredients used for processing.  

Embrace the unique attributes of 16mm and see what it brings to your work.

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Instructor: Anna Graham

Anna Graham is a documentary filmmaker, photographer, and teacher based out of Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently an Instructor at Suffolk University and a Teaching Assistant at Harvard University, where she works with classes at a variety of skill levels, ranging in subject from traditional documentary filmmaking to 16mm filmmaking, iPhone filmmaking, and film editing. She also actively freelances as a camera operator, editor, producer, and sound recordist, working on films such as Julie Mallozzi’s Circle Up (2017) and Lucia Small’s Girl Talk (work in progress). Anna is currently working on a 16mm film documentary investigating the history of mental illness in the United States by researching and filming its former State Hospitals.