Keeping It Reel With Gables’ New Film Club


Matthew Castano

For the first movie screening of the year, film club watched Coraline.

What originated as a suggestion in Ms. Valencia’s English class from Cavaliers discussing their love of movies, turned into a Coral Gables Senior High’s newest addition: film club.

Prior to the club’s founding, the concept of a movie-watching club was developed in Advanced Placement English Literature class. While students were learning how to do an analysis of visual literature texts in class, many students, including Brianna Babani and Sarah Whalen, shared their passion for film with the class and encouraged the English teacher, Ms. Valencia, to sponsor her first-ever club.

“The idea behind a film club was completely student developed. While we were in English class, we were talking about how literature and films were connected. As students started sharing how much they love film, they encouraged me to sponsor a club so that they could all join,” Ms. Valencia said.

Primarily working to create a place at Gables where students can be exposed to a larger variety of films, the club is looking to engage with classmates while they explore filmmaking and cinematography. Cavaliers who join can share their interests in many aspects of cinema, such as their favorite filmmakers, set designs, photographic shots and film elements.

I think the club can be the hub for students in this kind of learning. My favorite thing is when teachers show movies that relate to their lesson plan without having to sit through note-taking. I hope that the club can also feel educational without perceiving an actual lesson such as seeing different cultures and ideals amongst films.

— senior Sarah Whalen

Joining the club can help participants develop numerous skills including self-confidence, presenting, oration and analyzing media. Through the ability of interpreting different form of art, students can cultivate means of identifying exactly what they like and dislike about a film, paving the way for more sophisticated, unique perspectives. Using the auditorium as a viewing room, students are welcomed to take a seat and enjoy classic snacks like popcorn. 

“When you’re watching a film, you could use the scenes and analyze the visual texts. Following the concept can help out a lot in practice, especially in the International Baccalaureate program where you take your IB English exam in your senior year,” senior Brianna Babani said.

As the academic year progresses, the board members are brainstorming unique activities to bring the members together. Film connoisseurs can expect to be given the opportunity to participate in a variety of fundraisers, school events and school service projects.

“As the school year moves on forward, I hope I can offer a place where students can feel comfortable in sharing their own passions as well. It’s so fun and energizing meeting all the new people that joined since it was created for the benefit and entertainment of all of us, ” senior Zarah Correa said.

While the duration of each club meeting has not yet been determined, the film club is currently set to meet every second Wednesday in the auditorium after school. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the group is invited to attend their first meeting by signing up here or by following their Instagram, @gablesfilmclub, to learn more about meeting dates or events related to the club.