Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Exhibiting Film
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  (3000 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Curatorial Project  (2500 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  (3000 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Curatorial Project  (2500 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the shifting networks of film distribution and exhibition through both critical and practical work.

2. Critically assess the specialist area of programming and curating in the dissemination of film culture across different historical moments and within different national and international contexts.

3. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the multiple channels of dissemination outside the traditional cinema setting.

4. Develop a sensitivity to how the context of exhibition affects the audience’s experience of a work or works.

5. Demonstrate advanced skills and knowledge in the field of film curating to devise an original screening/event.

Brief description

This module will give students an essential grounding in the way films circulate as cultural artefacts within different institutional settings (mainstream and independent cinemas, DIY spaces, festivals, museums, galleries, archives, clubs, theatres, online) and across shifting historical contexts. It examines the changing nature of film distribution and exhibition and assesses the role of the programmer/curator as both cultural commentator and cultural gatekeeper, affecting which films are shown, to whom and for what purpose. We will look at the important role played by film festivals in providing a platform for independent film productions, paying particular attention to submissions procedures, programming decisions, funding structures, premiere rules and selection criteria. We will address issues of the local and the global, reflecting on how the practice of film programming and curating engages with different publics. Students will also be encouraged to think about how the traditional cinema setting is now only one of a number of multiple exhibition sites.

Moving between theory and practice, students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge of film distribution and exhibition through a specialist film or event programming task. This will develop practical organisational skills, as well as stimulating ideas on how to present their own work in the future.


Indicative content:

1. Networks of distribution and exhibition

2. How cinemas function

3. How distribution works

4. The role of festivals in film culture

5. Film festival case study

6. Microcinemas and DIY spaces

7. Moving out of the cinema I: film in museums and galleries

8. Moving out of the cinema II: film in public space

9. Online distribution: MUBI as a case study

10. Ideas lab and project presentation

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The curatorial project will require students to indicate a budget for their project, taking account of the film hire and venue hire fees.
Communication The ability to communicate ideas effectively is developed through seminar contribution (verbally) and through assessed written work.
Improving own Learning and Performance Self-motivation, time management and working to deadlines are required for the successful completion of both assignments. Students will be asked to reflect and feed back to the module coordinator on how these areas are developing throughout the module.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to use electronic resources throughout the module. This will be a necessary part of the research for both assignments.
Personal Development and Career planning The module is part of MA programs that require students to consider their work within a context of professional practice. The curatorial project involves a high level of organization and planning – a key transferrable skill. The module will involve at least two guest lectures with industry professionals, and this will give students the opportunity for networking.
Problem solving Students will be engaged in problem solving throughout the module, from researching their critical essays to working out the practicalities of their curatorial projects.
Research skills Students will be assessed on their ability to research essays and curatorial projects using appropriate primary and secondary sources.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop critical skills directly related to the study of film exhibition and distribution, particularly from a curatorial perspective.
Team work The module encourages students to work collaboratively in seminar activities, although this is not directly assessed.


This module is at CQFW Level 7