RFS Film School 2024 Winter
Founding Director: Erika A. Kiss
Undergraduate Directors: Ebun Ajayi and Marisa Hirschfield
Assistant Director: Kim Girman

RFS Film School 2024 Winter Faculty
Lydia Cornett (The New School)
Farkas Fülöp (Glowing Bulbs)
Erika A Kiss (Princeton University)
Moon Molson (Princeton University)
Szabolcs Tóth-Zs. (BANDART productions)


January 22-26, 2024 - Princeton University, Green Hall

A weeklong intensive workshop offered by the UCHV Research Film Studio. Topics include:

Except for the keynote lecture, all sessions will be completely informal and practical. They engage with students’ individual works and with their collective work on film installations using found material and live-action clips of their own. The students will be coming with the knowledge of a body of films that they have used for their montage-essays and will be using for the collective student films. The Afro-American film canon we follow and some of the student videos already exhibited can be found here: https://hiddenhistory.researchfilm.studio/

FS-W-2024: Montage from celluloid to digital and beyond

  • 10:00 – 10:30 Welcome (Erika A. Kiss on the ArtHouse Memes project)
  • 10:30 – 11:30 Lydia Cornett, keynote speaker: Introduction to Montage (15 to 30 minutes for discussing the themes raised)
  • 11:30 – 12:30 Panel-discussion on editing imagined as (verbal) syntax and as (architectonic) engineering with Lydia Cornett, Moon Molson, and Farkas Fülöp, moderated by Erika A. Kiss
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
  • 14:00 – 15:30 Film screening: György Pálfi, Final Cut (2012)
  • 15:30 – 16:30 Discussion of students’ notes on the film with Lydia Cornett, Moon Molson, and Erika A. Kiss

Final Cut is a so-called educational film directed by György Pálfi and produced by Béla Tarr for the Budapest Film University, where it is used regularly as a teaching aid. The film has attracted huge critical attention and was selected to be the closing gala screening of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.  It serves as a template for our collective film, Poetic Justice (working title), also in terms of copyright and distribution issues. The student “meme-scripting” group will work parallelly all during the week with the help of remote participants, who will send memes from the films for the various basic dramaturgical elements determined by the scriptwriters. This group will report back to the film school each day.

FS-W-2024: Scripting a montage-film from “found clips” or: building an airplane while flying it

  • 10:00 – 12:30 Editing workshop with Lydia Cornett: students present their montage exercises to solicit the professor’s feedback.
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
  • 14:00 – 16:30 Editing-Scripting workshop with Lydia Cornett, Moon Molson and Erika Kiss using the already prepared ArtHouse Memes montage exercises.

FS-W-2024: Visual and sound montage beyond 2D

  • 10:00 – 12:30 Panel discussion with Farkas Fülöp, Szabolcs Tóth-Zs., Erika A. Kiss – and Edgar Choueiri (not yet confirmed)
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
  • 13:45 Zoom report from the “meme-scripting” group
  • 14:00 – 16:30 Immersive Filmmaking workshop with Farkas Fülöp (Glowing Bulbs)

(Those not interested in learning about immersive filmmaking can work on meme-scripting of Poetic justice and The Best Music Video Ever.)

FS-W-2024: Between cinema and theater

  • 10:00 – 11:30 Film Screening: Charles Burnett, The Killing of Sheep (1979).
  • 11:30 – 12:30 Discussing students’ notes.
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
  • 13:45 – Zoom report from the “meme-scripting” group
  • 14:15 – 16:30 Making The Killing of Sheep 3D with Erika Kiss, Farkas Fülöp and Szabolcs Tóth-Zs.

FS-W-2024: Between cinema and architecture: film installation made of sound and visual building blocks

  • 10:00 – 11:45 Film Screening of new student works.
  • 12:00 – Installation of collective virtual film under a stone vault of Princeton
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
  • 14:00 Zoom report from the “meme-scripting” group
  • 14:15 – 16:30 Moholy-Nagy Manual Cinema workshop with Szabolcs Tóth-Zs.
  • TBA – Multisensational stage design for the Best Music Video Ever Party

Suggested reading

List of Films

  • Ján Kadár, Freedom Road, 1979
  • Melvin Van Peebles, Sunlight, 1957 (Criterion)
  • Melvin Van Peebles, The Story of a Three-Day Pass, 1967 (Streaming – Max)
  • Melvin Van Peebles, Les Cinq Cent Balles, 1963 (Criterion)
  • Melvin Van Peebles, Watermelon Man, 1970 (Tubi)
  • Melvin Van Peebles, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, 1971 (Criterion)
  • Melvin Van Peebles, Don’t Play Us Cheap, 1973 (Max)
  • Melvin Van Peebles, Classified X, 1998 (Amazon)
  • Mario Van Peebles, Panther, 1995
  • Mario and Melvin Van Peebles, Gang in Blue, 1996 (Tubi/YouTube)
  • Gordon Parks, Leadbelly, 1976 (YouTube/Vudu)
  • Gordon Parks, The Super Cops, 1974 (Prime/Apple TV)
  • Gordon Parks, Shaft’s Big Score!, 1972 (Prime Video)
  • Gordon Parks, The Learning Tree, 1969 (Prime Video)
  • Charles Burnett, Killer of Sheep, 1978 (Kanopy)
  • Charles Burnett, Quiet as Kept, 2007 (Criterion)
  • Charles Burnett, When it Rains, 1995 (Criterion)
  • Charles Burnett, Nightjohn, 1996 (Prime Video)
  • Charles Burnett, My Brother’s Wedding, 1993 (Criterion)
  • Charles Burnett, Bless Their Little Hearts, 1984 (Amazon)
  • Charles Burnett, To Sleep with Anger, 1990 (Tubi)
  • Charles Burnett, The Glass Shield, 1994 (Amazon/Apple TV)
  • Charles Burnett, The Annihilation of Fish, 1999
  • Charles Burnett, Finding Buck McHenry, 2000 (Tubi)
  • Charles Burnett, Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation, 2007 (Amazon buy dvd)
  • Charles Burnett, Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, 2003 (Tubi)
  • Ousmane Sembéne, Black Girl, 1966 (max)
  • Ousmane Sembéne, Mandabi, 1968
  • Ousmane Sembéne, Xala, 1975
  • Ousmane Sembéne, Emitai, 1971
  • Ousmane Sembéne, Moolaade, 2004
  • Ousmane Sembéne, Guelwaar, 1993
  • Wendell B. Harris, Chameleon Street, 1989 (Roku/ Prime Video)
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out, 2017 (Netflix)
  • Jordan Peele, Us, 2019 (Netflix)
  • Jordan Peele, Nope, 2022 (Prime Video)
  • Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station, 2013 (Tubi)
  • Ryan Coogler, Creed, 2015 (YouTube)
  • Ryan Coogler, Black Panther, 2018 (Disney+)
  • Julius Onah, The Cloverfield Paradox, 2018 (Netflix) 2018 (Disney+)
  • Julius Onah, Luce, 2019 (Max)
  • Julie Dash, Illusions, 1982 (Kanopy)
  • Julie Dash, The Rosa Parks Story, 2002 (Tubi)
  • Julie Dash, Funny Valentines, 1999
  • Julie Dash, Daughters of the Dust, 1991 (Tubi)
  • Ekwa Msangi, Farewell, Amor, 2020 (Hulu)
  • Channing Godfrey Peoples, Miss Juneteenth, 2020 (Netflix)
  • Dee Rees, Mudbound, 2017 (Netflix)
  • Dee Rees, Pariah, 2011 (Starz)
  • Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation, 2016 (YouTube/Prime Video)
  • Nate Parker, American Skin, 2019 (Prime Video/Roku)
  • Zora Neale Hurston – everything from Archive.org