Loading Events

« All Classes

The Personal Film

Starts January 20

9 sessions: Mondays, January 20-March 16, 6:30-9:30pm

The personal film can take many forms: memoir, poetic, narrative, documentary, experimental, or any combination thereof. In this class each student will make a short personal film (6 minutes or less) that defies traditional genres and which instead uses film to convey thoughts, feelings, states of being, or anything autobiographical. We’ll also make an in-class group project, experimenting with and trying out sounds and images to make a film that reflects the collective personality of the group.

The class is an opportunity for filmmakers who have basic filmmaking experience to expand the breadth and depth of their traditional work by exploring shooting, editing, and audio techniques without censorship. As mind-opening inspiration, we’ll view and discuss work by filmmakers who fearlessly made themselves vulnerable and pushed boundaries in cinema. The goal is for you, the student, to do the same, taking advantage of the limitless possibilities of film language. Audio will be a primary element in your work, and we’ll explore using found sound, as well as music and effects to add layers to your film.

Students are encouraged to use their own camera gear (including cell phones), and editing system for this course. Some gear is available for checkout from FilmNorth (limit: 2 checkouts). You’re welcome to use FilmNorth’s edit lab outside of class during business hours. Both equipment and edit lab time are included with tuition. Students need to provide external hard drives to store project files.

At least a basic knowledge of cameras, lighting, and editing is preferred. Completed films will be screened for family and friends at FilmNorth the week following the last class session.

Course Outline

Sessions 1-5: Alternative treatments, planning, pre-production, production, creative shooting.
Sessions 6-9: Creative audio, found sound, found footage, editing.

Tuition: $370 regular/$280 member/$210 low-income

Thalia Drori Ramirez is a writer, producer, and director with 30 years of experience making motion pictures: documentary, narrative, and personal/experimental. She received her MFA from New York University, and then worked in television news production and as an indie producer in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her award-winning work has screened around the world. Adam Abdul Hakeem: One Who Survived, her documentary about corrupt, drug-dealing cops in New York’s South Bronx  and a young man who dared to challenge them, was broadcast on PBS and BET, and continues to be used a teaching tool in law schools in the Her experimental, narrative, and personal work includes the stop-motion animation comedy Corporate Sponsorship Parade, as well as dark comedies, Waiting For Darryl, Little Miss Potentiality, and her first feature: Toxic Energy ~ Little Miss Potentiality Returns.

Thalia has been teaching and mentoring students for 20 years. She was full-time faculty in Media Arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. At the invitation of a women’s organization in Granada, Nicaragua, she founded Cineastas de Granada, a free-of-charge video production program for teen girls in Granada, where she taught for 12 years. In 2013, she began working in screenplay editing and reading for both Happy Writers and Women In Cinema International.

Thalia recently returned to the Twin Cities, where she continues to teach and make independent films.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 5 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 5 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class in the same calendar year.
  • For those wishing to cancel a registration prior to the class registration deadline, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received after the registration deadline but prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of a class start date, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given.
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.




January 20 @ 6:30 pm
March 16 @ 9:30 pm
Event Categories:


Thalia Drori Ramirez
Registration Deadline
Maximum Enrollment