Cinema education, discussions, and workshops for the public.

Many of the films we screen at SIFF start a conversation, inspire an action, or pose a question. These film appreciation classes provide a forum for cinema audiences to discuss the history and culturally relevant contemporary issues across the art of film, deepening audience understanding and desire for quality cinematic experiences. Classes run the range from single-session conversations to multi-session series. 

cINeDIGENOUS: Kumu Hina & Native Hawaiian Identity

April 20, 2021

A conversation with filmmaker Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu (Kanaka Maoli) about being Native in islands occupied by both American and Asian settler colonial systems.

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Cinema DNA: Children of Vertigo - Virtual Class

May 4, 2021

Expand and enrich your appreciation of the power that Hitchcock and Vertigo brought to the cinema through the examination of several great films that owe enormous debt to Vertigo and honor its continuing place in film culture.

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Reel Black: The Future of Black Aesthetics

May 12, 2021

Explore films that embody the possibilities of a cinema that’s visually the equivalent of the root of black music: the blue notes. Taught by Charles Mudede.

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What The Femme: The Evolution of Ellen Ripley - Virtual Class

May 18, 2021

From gender-swapped survivor to mother warrior to alien-human hybrid, Ellen Ripley's unconventional feminist journey is reevaluated and reinvigorated through the lens of film programmer Anthony Hudson.

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cINeDIGENOUS: Magical Realism and the Documentary - Virtual Class

May 25, 2021

Director Emily Cohen Ibañez shares the ways her documentary, Fruits of Labor, makes space for magical realism where spiritual forces live in nature and the extraordinary is entangled with the mundanity of everyday life.

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Reel Black: Black Love

June 8, 2021

Join instructor Faridah Gbadamosi in examining the different portrayals of Black love in film, both in the mainstream and in independent films.

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Cinema DNA: Parasite - Virtual Class

January 12, 2021

Revel in the films that inspired the Oscar-winning Parasite, from Chaplin's City Lights to mid-century South Korean films to modern architecture and the many influential filmmakers in between. Taught by John Trafton.

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Reel Black: Afrofuturism - Virtual Class

January 19, 2021

Join this Reel Black session for a deep dive into unapologetically blackity-black speculative film. What does that mean? We’ll explore the answers in this culture-, commentary-, and clip-filled class taught by Nicole Pouchet.

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What The Femme: Costuming the Final Frontier - Virtual Class

January 26, 2021

Join the hosts of the Women at Warp podcast for an exploration of the good to the god-awful in costuming the women of Star Trek!

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Phantoms of the Opera: From Horror to Heartthrob - Virtual Class

February 2, 2021

Examine how the Phantom of the Opera has morphed from ghastly horror villain to tragic romantic lead through our shifting societal perception of heroes, villains, and sexuality since 1909. Taught by Kris Hambrick.

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The Hunt for Dr. Lecter - Virtual Class

February 9, 2021

Slice into the world of Hannibal Lecter beginning with his gothic literary origins, his basis in American crime journalism, and, ultimately, through his brilliant portrayals in film and television. Taught by John Trafton.

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Reel Black: Barry Jenkins and Black Skin in Color - Virtual Class

February 16, 2021

Recognize the depth of emotional storytelling attained through Barry Jenkins' use of color, especially tuned for Black skin, through his recent feature films. Taught by Isabella Price.

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What The Femme: Rage! - Virtual Class

February 23, 2021

Investigate the cinema's complicated relationship with revenge-seeking women through a panoply of intense dramas and exceptional characterizations. Taught by Isabella Price.

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Transcendent Cinema: Contra-Banned Narratives - Virtual Class

March 2, 2021

Explore the ways Muslim and Islamic culture have found their way on screen, challenging the disconnect between most of America and the realities of Muslim life. Taught by Sultan Sharrief.

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Outlawed Festival Films - Virtual Class

March 9, 2021

Scandalous! Confront festival films throughout history that have been so provocative that they were deemed too dangerous by authorities for viewing. Taught by John Trafton.

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What The Femme: Combatting Patriarchal Demons - Virtual Class

March 23, 2021

What do Buffy and other badass teen characters teach us about how female power is constructed in our narratives and how much male control of these narratives changes how we see them? Taught by Kris Hambrick.

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Reel Black: Womanhood in Independent Cinema

March 30, 2021

Navigate away from Hollywood stereotypes and recognize how Black independent cinema of the past 30 years is affording Black women multi-dimensional characterizations. Taught by Valerie Complex.

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cINeDIGENOUS: Raising Our Voices - Virtual Class

April 6, 2021

How is authentic storytelling defined and supported in our society? Filmmaker Ciara Lacy dissects the impact of colonialism on who controls the narrative.

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