Department or Program



Authorship theories inform not only how we read and understand a text, but also how that text is produced and distributed. In both mainstream and independent cinema, preconceptions of who gets to be an ‘author’ influence everything from selection of subject to marketing strategies, resulting in the continued self-propulsion of ‘specialization’ and ‘talent’ as judicial gate-keepers to accessibility of means. And yet, there have been pocketed movements of resistance that aim to open up the visual language of cinema beyond these producer-consumer structures, predominately through an emphasis on film’s collaborative potential. This thesis hypothesizes how collaboratively-minded productions might allow for members of a previously non- filmmaking community to come together and create something both shared and individually rewarding. Building from the models of Third Cinema, crowd-sourced videos, and the allowance for growth and experimentation within contemporary film education, this thesis will then formulate new models for community-engaged cinema. These practices will then be utilized in the collaborative production of a film within Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, in which each new cinematic expression will be opened towards the larger community. Reflections and experiences from this production will then inform the following questions: How might fictional film be a platform for communal creative expression? How far can we de-specialize the process, while still striving to realize a desired effect? To what extent can disparate ideologies and experiences be consciously united not only in the content of a piece, but in the very process of its creation?

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Cavallero, Jonathan

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

2 pdf

1 mov, viewable at

Community Engagement


Open Access

Available to all.