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The Screen & The Female Gaze – A Filmmaking Intensive

Starts August 24

2 sessions: Saturday-Sunday, August 24-25, 9am-7pm

In this immersive, hands-on, two-day workshop we turn to female directors such as Lynne Ramsay, Jane Campion, and Claire Denis for inspiration for visual storytelling. We begin by screening selected clips, followed by group discussion to spark ideas for writing a short script. Students learn the basic principles of writing a screenplay as well as valuable insights on how to stage a scene, plus direct actors and the camera. Participants work with the other class members as their cast and crew. Activities include learning how the meaning is constructed through film language, generating ideas, creating a shot list, principal photography, editing, and class feedback.

On day 1, following lecture, clip screening and discussion, students write short scenes, then stage and rehearse them. Day 2 begins with a 4-hour block for shooting scenes where everyone participates, whether acting and/or working as a crew member. Rotation of positions is encouraged. The remainder of the day is spent editing. Students then receive one-on-one feedback from the instructor. Completed projects will be posted online for private viewing and comments among the participants.

Though not required, it is helpful to have beginning to intermediate level knowledge of film production. Bring a laptop to write and an external drive to store media. There is a lunch break each session.

Tuition: $270 regular/$205 member/$155 low-income

Jila Nikpay’s narrative and documentary films explore the dynamics of power between the individual and the society. Her short films include, Dreaming with Lola (2016), Happy Republic (2015), Divided (2014), Ways of Becoming (2013), Hour of the Dark (2011), In Waiting (2008), Labyrinth (2007), Rhythm of Tides (2007), Keepers of the Garden (2004), and Shroud and Torrent (2003). Nikpay’s films have been supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, FilmNorth, the Puffin Foundation, and screened at the Walker Art Center and various international film festivals. Dreaming With Lola (2016) has been broadcast on Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), and screened at the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival, Austin Asian American Film Festival, Walker Art Center Cinema, and other venues.

Nikpay has an M.F.A. in Film Production and Film Studies from Syracuse University, New York. Currently, she teaches at Augsburg University film department.

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.




August 24 @ 9:00 am
August 25 @ 7:00 pm
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Jila Nikpay
Registration Deadline
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
2 sessions: Saturday-Sunday, August 24-25, 9am-7pm