BAM/PFA Gets Grant to Help Students Use Film Resources

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday November 17, 2006

The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive received a $300,000 National Leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on Tuesday, which will help connect high school and college students to CineFiles, BAM/PFA's online database with thousands of historical documents related to film. 

The grant will enable BAM/PFA to embark on a three-year project which will focus on expanding access to CineFiles to secondary and postsecondary educators in the humanities and social sciences. 

Chris Fox, audience development coordinator for BAM/PFA, said the funding would benefit Berkeley High students by allowing their teachers to make use of the CineFiles Collection. 

“A major goal of the project is to develop ways to put high school and college teachers in touch with the documents in the PFA Library and Film Study Center’s extensive collection and then to give those teachers tools for using those documents in their classrooms,” Fox said. “For instance, a U.S. history teacher might use historical publicity documents to visually enrich a discussion of early Hollywood films and their influence on American culture.” 

The project will not be limited to students from Berkeley schools. 

“The grant will allow us to create tools for teachers to integrate film into their classrooms, ultimately enhancing the educational experience of their students,” said Lucinda Barnes, deputy director of programs and collections at BAM/PFA. 

The funds will add 15,000 items to CineFiles that are of particular relevance to educators and their students. This will enhance the CineFiles interface and help develop tutorials and workshops for teachers who want to use film and related materials in their classrooms but have no formal training in film history, Fox said.