CIFF Student Classics Film Series: "Johnny Belinda"

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The Coronado Island Film Festival's Student Classic Film Study Program is open to any upper-middle and high school students attending public, charter, or parochial schools, as well as those who are homeschooled. All students are welcome to attend and join the post-screening moderated discussion. 

PLEASE NOTE: adults without a student will not be allowed to attend. This program is not open to all ages. This is to protect the minors in attendance, as well as preserve the purpose, integrity and intent of the program, which is to foster a conversation with teens as part of CIFF's curriculum-based educational program for youth. Reservations are requested and can be made here:

Two purposes will guide the program: 

1) To develop in young people the discernment necessary to understand dramatic film narratives. Because movies employ so many senses, classic films are among the most powerful genres of visual storytelling. The program will introduce young people to classic movies made by recognized masters of the film medium. 

2) To challenge young people to analyze dramatic film narratives and hone critical-thinking skills. Every dramatic narrative is, in its essence, a story of redemption. Great stories incorporate an introduction, a protagonist, an antagonist, and some form of conflict. Great stories conclude when these conflicts are resolved. This general narrative model is followed, in various forms, in nearly every classic film made during Hollywood’s Golden Age.  


A special program will be made available for homeschoolers or independent study students to document program completion as a drama and/or film appreciation elective. 

The discussion guides are drawn from Dr. Onalee McGraw, founder of the Educational Guidance Institute (EGI) and a former educator. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies, and her classic film study guides have been used successfully with audiences of young people around the nation from widely diverse demographic backgrounds and cultural experiences.  

If you would like more information on bringing a group or class and utilize the guided curriculum please contact Jon Mosier for more information: .

This launch of the program was made possible with seed funding from a City of Coronado community grant.

April 30: Johnny Belinda (1948)

Director Jean Negulesco’s film is based on an incident that took place on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, dramatized in a 1940 Broadway play by Elmer Blaney Harris. It is historically noteworthy as the first film made by a Hollywood studio to directly confront the horror of rape, a topic avoided because of the industry’s self-censorship Production Code. Nominated for 12 Academy Awards. Jane Wyman won a Best Actress Oscar for her gripping performance as a deaf-mute rape victim who confronts evil to protect her out-of-wedlock infant son and who demands her right as a mother to raise him as her own.


About Jon Mosier, Program Director: Jon is a longtime devotee of classic Hollywood films. He developed the Student Classics Film Program as a fellowship Capstone Project in collaboration with Dr. Onalee McGraw at the Educational Guidance Institute. As Jon puts it, “The program is purposefully designed to engage the hearts and minds of young people, enrich their cultural literacy and strengthen their understanding of film as art.“