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Exam board introduces 35 new films to enhance diversity in A level Film Studies

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Eduqas is introducing 35 new films to their A level Film Studies specification as part of their continuous efforts to improve diversity and inclusivity.

Selected following a thorough and rigorous review process, the new films aim to address ethnicity, sexuality and gender balance of filmmakers within the course, which better reflect the rich diversity of filmmaking.

Commenting on the new additions, Jenny Stewart, Film Studies Subject Officer at Eduqas,

“Film is an impactful medium, it evokes an emotional response, through compelling storytelling that the audiences can relate to.

We understand the importance of diverse representations, both on and behind the screen, and are proud to introduce films which offer learners further opportunities to engage with subjects that resonate with them.

As the leading awarding body for Film Studies, we are confident that the new films, with their enhanced representation at both GCSE (which were introduced in September 2022) and A level will elevate learners’ experience, allowing them to engage with materials which reflect their own experience, culture and lives and explore cultures and lives that are different to their own.”

These new films have been approved by Ofqual for teaching from 2023, with first assessment in 2025.

In total, 25 new feature films and 10 short films have been introduced to encourage students to examine a range of contemporary issues, through a diverse range of perspectives, which includes:

  • 2 feature films and a short film featuring characters with a disability or different ability
  • 7 films made by female directors
  • 14 films featuring female protagonists
  • 5 films featuring LGBTQ+ protagonists
  • 8 films made by directors from the global majority
  • 10 films featuring protagonists from the global majority

Commenting on the films is Nikki Parchment, Education Programmer at the BFI: “‘BFI champions diversity in stories, storytellers, and wider industry roles, so we are delighted that Eduqas has taken these steps to further broaden out film to embrace and respond to a changing world. As a leading provider of film education to young people in the UK, we will celebrate and promote this extension to the film studies canon wherever we can.’
Students will explore influential and significant filmmaking from a range of historical periods, and through these works will reflect on contemporary issues such as racism and LGBTQ+ acceptance. The additions to their A level specification are a continuation from the 13 new films that were added to their GCSE specification in 2022.

New additions include Imitation of Life (1958) which explores Black American identity and systemic racism, as well as centring the narrative on women’s lives and ambitions. Also added is the only LGBTQ+ film with an all-Black cast to win the Academy Award for Best Film, Moonlight (2016). This film follows a Black American gay man as he navigates through three periods of his life; his struggles with his sexuality, his identity and the addiction-rooted problems of his Miami community.

To support teachers in the delivery of the new films, Eduqas will publish free digital resources, updated textbooks and will deliver a programme of training events.

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