Academic Group 6 Subjects

Overview: Film HL/SL

Film HL/SL is an exciting Group 6 subject offered by the IB for students interested in developing skills for the production and interpretation of a wide range of film texts. With an emphasis on different perspectives, a variety of global film cultures are explored through theoretical analysis. Additionally, students challenge themselves by working in multiple different film production roles to gain a holistic understanding of the full filmmaking process. 

Syllabus Content:

Teaching hours in the course are divided into 3 sections for Film HL/SL:

  1. Reading Film (45 hours)

Theoretical analysis of film elements and how they’re used in a variety of films – from different cultural contexts. 

  1. Contextualising Film (45 hours)

Further exploration into the evolution of film across time and culture as well as comparison of films from contrasting cultures. 

  1. Exploring Film Production Roles (60 hours)

Understanding of the different roles in the filmmaking process and practical tasks to develop skills in these areas. 

In addition, HL FIlm has a 4th requirement known as the Collaborative Film Project (90 hours of teaching time) where each student will work in a chosen film production role to create a film of maximum 7 minutes. 

Assessment in Film HL/SL:

Whilst there is no exam for Film, students are still assessed both internally and externally on tasks completed throughout the two years contributing to reports and a portfolio. Both SL and HL students will complete three core assessment tasks, however, HL students will also be internally assessed on their collaborative film project. For each assessment piece, students are also expected to use a variety of sources and reference them accordingly. 

Assessment 1 (External): “Textual Analysis”

Weightage: 30% for SL, 20% for HL

The textual analysis is a written report of 1750 words where students choose a 5 minute extract from a prescribed film text to examine in regards to film elements and cultural context. 

Assessment 2 (External): “Comparative Study”

Weightage: 30% for SL, 20% for HL

A comparison of two films from a researched area of film focus. Discoveries are then presented as a recorded multimedia comparative study with a maximum of 10 minutes. 

Assessment 3 (Internal): “Film Portfolio”

Weightage: 40% for SL, 25% for HL

This portfolio is based on work completed in the “Exploring Film Production Roles” section of the course. Focussing on three film production roles undertaken, students produce a film reel containing a maximum of 9 minutes of footage, alongside an accompanying written and visual Portfolio of a maximum 9 pages. The reel must consist of a maximum of three minutes from each film production role and include at least one completed film. 

Assessment 3 (Internal): “Film Portfolio”

Weightage: 35% for HL

HL students submit their completed film (seven minutes maximum) as well as a 2000 word project report. 

Overall, Film is a great choice for students interested in video/film-making. The subject provides a creative outlet in contrast to the ‘more technical’ Group 4 and Group 5 subjects. Nonetheless, within the course, students develop collaborative, analytical, visual and practical skills!

More information on the subject can be found in the IB Film HL/SL subject guide.

Note: Film is also offered as an online SL subject by Pamoja Education for interested students whose schools don’t offer the subject. If you are interested in taking any Pamoja course, make sure to contact your IB Coordinator!

*Credit to Jasper Dew (IB HL Film November 2021, Australia)


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