Film Literacy PhD Research

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The University of Bradford and Bradford UNESCO City of Film are co-funding a PhD post that is following the Bradford Primary Film Literacy Project. To find out more about the Film Literacy project as it happens go to the following web page:

The PhD postholder is Franzi Florack.  Franzi was born in Germany and came to the UK in 2004 to complete her A-Levels in Media, Film, Photography and English Literature. Since graduating from her first class BA Film at the University of Southampton in 2009, she has been involved in a range of arts projects, including the foundation of the Watersprite Student Film Festival in Cambridge and the International Student Film Organization. She also worked for the Munich International Film Festival and consulted on a range of student film initiatives such as the Student Film Festival London and the British Student Film Festival.

It was during the completion of her MEd in Arts, Culture and Education at the University of Cambridge that Franzi got involved in research on the motivational benefits of film and media and she hasn’t looked back since. As a passionate believer in the use of audio visual media in education, she has developed her understanding of the subject as a film and media teacher in secondary schools and colleges. She now works as a film and literacy PhD student at the University of Bradford and for the Bradford- Whistling Woods International Film School.

Franzi’s PhD thesis outline is as follows:

‘Despite a constant rise in the level of SATs (Statutory Assessment Tests) results year on year, the perception remains that British primary school children are underachieving and that they are reluctant readers and writers. Teachers find it difficult to engage their pupils, especially boys, in writing activities and to foster their enthusiasm for written texts. In order to motivate their students, some teachers use film as a visual stimulus to provide students with ideas and create a personal and emotional connection with the written text.

Since its invention 115 years ago, film has continued to affect human beings in a way that very few other media can. My PhD discusses the connection between the emotions that films can evoke and children’s potential engagement with writing as a result of the subsequent strong feelings. In the school years of 2013/14 and 2014/15, I will observe a range of Year 5 classes which are involved in a media literacy scheme conceived by Bradford UNESCO City of Film. Currently, my research focuses on linking the available literature on film, emotion and education.’

If you are interested in following Franzi’s thoughts as she progresses through her PhD journey then you can follow her blog:

The Bradford Primary Film Literacy project was conceived of by Sarah Mumford in her role as Chair of the Bradford City of Film Learn Board in 2010. Dr Mark Goodall (University of Bradford) and Dr Rebecca Parry (University of Leeds) are supervising the PhD post.