A world inspired by film.

Facets Summer Film Institute

Summer Film Institute logo

A unique college-level professional development course for teachers
Earn 30 CPDUs

Presented in partnership with University of Illinois—Chicago, Arts & Art History Department

"Professional-development opportunities like the one at Facets are rare—many teachers who might like to incorporate film may not know where to start." —Education Week

Why it Matters

The Summer Film Institute equips educators with the analytical and practical skills to appreciate, interpret, and apply the language of film to their classrooms. To achieve this, our curriculum is aligned with National Association for Media Literacy Education and CPS Next Generation standards.

Film education can improve performance in literacy, including writing, speaking, creativity, and collaboration. Engagement with film makes classrooms come alive and builds a range of life skills, expand worldviews, and improve educational attainment.

At Facets Summer Film Institute, you will...

It's a summer experience that will transform you (and your students) for a lifetime!

How It Works

Each day film scholars provide expert instruction on film aesthetics, history, and techniques, supported by scholarly articles and handouts. You will then watch feature films and apply and deepen your learning through discussion, activities, and worksheets—all of which can be adapted for use in your classroom.

Day 1: Lighting, Camera Angles, and Set Design
Discover how visual style interacts with story and the Fine Arts.

Day 2: The Impact of Film Editing
Learn the language of film for Media Literacy.

Day 3: Narrative in Cinema
Treat film as a text, and compare and contrast to Literature & Language Arts.

Day 4: History of World Cinema
Put film in context, and use it as a specialized source for History.

Day 5: Classic Hollywood Films
Appreciate film as a cultural artifact for Social Science.


Dates: TBA

Time: 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Where: Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
*Free parking on Fullerton and neighboring side streets.

Credits earned: 30 CPDUs

Meals: Breakfast and coffee provided

Total cost: $395; Facets Members: $350
*Includes all handouts and materials. Ask your school about payment reimbursement options, many schools offer them.


Film Institute Brochure [PDF]

Institute Faculty

Michael NJ Wright graduated as a Cinematography fellow from the American Film Institute. He is the founder of Write Bros. Photoplay where he produced and photographed numerous award-winning shorts and features. In 2009, he won Emmys for his work on the Chicago Marathon and his TV show Little Green Men. Wright teaches cinematography at the Illinois Institute of Art.

Jason Betke is currently an adjunct instructor at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches courses in digital cinema production, editing, and advanced post-production. A veteran film teacher with over ten years of experience, Jason is also an independent filmmaker and producer.

Laurence Knapp teaches film studies at Oakton Community College and is the author of Directed by Clint Eastwood. He is also the editor of Brian De Palma: Interviews, Ridley Scott: Interviews, David Fincher: Interviews, and the forthcoming 4-volume Major Works Collection: Clint Eastwood. Recently he co-starred and co-wrote a local micro-budget feature The Great Chicago Filmmaker, directed by Michael Jolls. He holds a PhD in Film Studies from Northwestern University.

Therese Grisham is an Affiliated Adjunct at Oakton Community College. She specializes in women's and gender studies, classical Hollywood, digital-age American film, and the national cinemas of Germany and Italy. She has given public lectures and radio talks for the Goethe Institute, the Chicago International Film Festival, Casa Italiana, and WBEZ's Worldview. She served as Consulting Editor for La Furia Umana. Currently she is writing a book with Julie Grossman on films directed by Ida Lupino.

Michael Smith is a filmmaker, author, and Film Studies instructor at several Chicago-area colleges. His short films have won multiple awards at film festivals across the United States and his first feature, Cool Apocalypse, will premiere in 2015. His book Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry, a non-fiction account of early film production in Chicago, was published by Columbia University Press in January, 2015. He regularly contributes film writing to Time Out Chicago and Cine-File Chicago, and is the creator and sole author of whitecitycinema.com.


For more information, contact Summer Film Institute Coordinator Paul Gonter by phone at 773.281.9075, ext. 3043, or by email at paul@facets.org.