EarthDiverse is pleased to announce the first of its courses in our World Cinema category:

Additional World Film courses are currently under development.

World Cinema Courses:

Click on a course link below for details and registration.

FILM210: What’s So Funny? Humour in World Cinema (Term 1, begins Thursday 17 February 2022) with Dr Geoff Lealand, PhD

A survey of, and discussion about, examples of contemporary World Cinema, framed around expressions of humour on film (satire, parody, the human condition).  The intention is to explore different approaches to what makes audiences laugh or smile, and how film can speak to the local and familiar. The films, and subsequent discussions will explore the idea of a national sense of humour in film (What makes a Japanese audience laugh?  What do Finnish filmgoers find funny?), but also how expressions of humour can cross geographical and cultural barriers. Given this theme, the emphasis will be on the lighter side of World Cinema but the films we see will also illuminate issues around politics, cultural values and identity.

FILM310: An Introduction to the History of Japanese Anime (4 weekly sessions) (Saturday afternoons, 28 January – 18 February 2023 from 4:00-6:00pm, NZ time), taught by Yurika Arai

What is anime? It is a global phenomenon and a source of Japanese national pride.  It is also a pastime for countless people around the world. In essence, it is simply an art of moving pictures. In this course, we will explore the deeper origins of how pictures in Japanese visual art evolved into the modern form of anime and how this has influenced the national psyche.

Initially we will look at the early history of graphic representations of life embodied in classical literature such as illustrated scrolls. We will then turn to later forms of illustration that entailed intricate and humorous depictions of scenes for novels and newspapers. In the following session we will review how the earliest forms of animated film in Japan interacted with the global influence of Walt Disney’s characters.

The ensuing section will examine the evolution of anime following the end of world war two, where Japanese animators sought to retain a distinctive artistic style through the medium of television. This entails a focus on Tezuka Osamu who is regarded as the ‘god’ of anime.

Finally we will explore the vast treasure chest of genres of Japanese anime that have emerged since then – sci-fi, comedy, sports, robots, horror and  commentary on everyday life.

General Information:

For more detailed information on each series or course, when offered, class times and locations, and course fees and registration) click on the appropriate links above.

If the course you are interested in is not currently being taught, rest assured that it will be again in the future as we continuously rotate the courses on offer. We also plan to add additional courses and locations in the future. Please contact us if you are interested in having us teach in your area or through your local group, association or organisation.


  • All classes are taught from an objective point of view. These are classes about world cinema, designed for participants to get a greater understanding of the depth and scope of the diversity that exists within the world’s various cultural and belief traditions.
  • Detailed Syllabi are available at the start of each Term.
  • Any Term can be taken independently of the others, and there are no prerequisites for any of the Term courses.
  • All classes encourage questions and group discussion. There are no assignments, required readings, quizzes, tests or exams.
  • PDF copies of each class presentation are emailed to all participants the next day so that you are free to focus on class content rather than taking notes. You are most welcome to come, sit back, relax, take part in and enjoy the discussions!
  • Course fees include a short tea/coffee/snack break in the middle of each session.
  • There are no refunds for missed classes.
  • Guests of registered participants are welcome to attend a single class at no charge.
  • Certificates of Completion for any particular Term Course or Series are available for Professional Development purposes upon request at the end of each Term or Series.


  • Term 1: begins the week on Mon 19 Feb, and ends Fri 12 Apr 2024
  • Term 2: begins the week of Mon 6 May, and ends Fri 28 Jun 2024
  • Term 3: begins the week of Mon 29 Jul, and ends Fri 20 Sep 2024
  • Term 4: begins the week of Mon 21 Oct, and ends Fri 13 Dec 2024

LOCATION: All in-person classes are held at the EarthDiverse Centre located at 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton (located 3 shops north of the Hamilton Central Bus Station, 1st Floor) (entrance is located on the left side of the building, see map). Those looking for parking for our evening classes can park just in front of the building in any of the available car parks. Daytime parking can be found in our dedicated car parks, or free 2-hour on-street daytime parking can be found just in front on Anglesea Street.



  • Waged: NZ$200 per person per term (includes GST + online registration fee)
  • Unwaged/Student/Senior: NZ$175 per person per term (includes GST + online registration fee)


In addition to our regular in-person classes offered in Hamilton, we offer ‘Distance Learning’ options for all of our courses. These on-line live-streaming distance-learning options are offered via free Zoom software. Distance-learning options have been added for those living outside the Waikato or for those unable to attend our in-person classes in Hamilton. If you are a Distance-Learner you have the option of joining our regular live classroom sessions via Zoom at the regularly scheduled class time, or you can watch a video-recording of the Zoom classroom session at your leisure and study at your own pace.


Select the appropriate course link above, which will take you to the page for that particular course. Read the details for that course, and if you’d like to register, click on the blue “Register” button which will take you to Registration and Payment pages where you can securely enter in your payment details. A receipt will automatically be generated for you.