IFC Sets ‘Film School’ Initiative

The Independent Film Channel is launching a standards-based education public-affairs initiative aimed at nurturing high-school students’ passion for film through screenwriting, production and critiques.

Dubbed “The Film School Project,” the free curriculum -- developed to meet the standards of the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association -- will be made available to schools across the country in 2005.

The project, IFC’s initial educational initiative, is an extension of the network’s FilmSchool, a docu-drama series in which New York University students vie for a filmmaking award that could launch a directorial career.

Classroom materials and online tutorials will be supplied by IFC, and high-school teachers can enroll their classes on the network’s Web site (www.ifctv.com).

Once registered, educators can have their students take part in a national contest to produce and submit a scene from a specific piece of literature or enter a screenplay contest. Network officials also said there will be opportunities for award winners to create on-air content for IFC.

IFC is looking to partner with affiliates to develop film-school master classes at local film festivals and movie theaters or to create local student festivals.

Network officials also said affiliates could lend a hand by providing young filmmakers with access to editing facilities and production expertise. In turn, they suggested that the project’s video components could be used to help promote high-speed access in both the classroom and home.