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HomeentertainmentMovie NewsL.A. and New York Film Schools That Fly Under the Radar

L.A. and New York Film Schools That Fly Under the Radar

New York

City College New York

Undergraduate students can enter a fiction or documentary filmmaking track at CCNY, where tuition for in-state students now runs less than $4,000 a semester. The curriculum includes classes in journalism and film studies.

Purchase College, State University of New York

The BFA program has three focuses: narrative, doc or experimental, with students choosing a path by the end of their second year after the basics of filmmaking are covered. Courses include Business of Film and Director’s Scene Workshop, with the goal that students graduate with a body of amateur work.

Rutgers University

The New Jersey school’s film program, which offers a BFA in filmmaking, is known for its Documentary Film Lab, headed by Oscar winner Thomas Lennon. The program works to produce broadcast-ready documentaries with student involvement. Past projects have taken students to Antarctica and Brazil.

SUNY Stony Brook University

Christine Vachon, the veteran producer who was in Cannes this year with Todd Haynes’ May December, guides the curriculum and is hands-on with students as the school’s artistic director. Stony Brook offers an MFA in Television Writing and an MFA film program, with faculty that includes Emmy-nominated writer Ethan T. Berlin and such guest speakers as producer Effie T. Brown.


Azusa Pacific University

Thirty miles outside Hollywood, Azusa Pacific offers a film program that sees undergraduate students make three short films in their first year, eventually working their way up to a 15-minute senior thesis film with a university-matched budget. Production class sizes run between eight and 10 students.

Biola University

The Christian university in La Mirada recently received the largest donation in the school’s history from the president of In-N-Out Burger. The money will go toward a 52,100-square-foot studio facility and the establishment of an In-N-Out Burger Scholars Fund that will help provide undergraduate tuition for foster youth.

California State University, Long Beach

The school offers a bachelor of arts in which students can focus on production, with an emphasis on writing, directing and cinematography, or film theory, which encompasses critique, ethics and analysis. The school also has a partnership with Germany’s HAW Hamburg for study-abroad options.

California State University, Los Angeles

The East Los Angeles school offers B.A., M.A. and MFA options in television, film and media studies, with a tuition that is a fraction of other area schools. Facilities include a 2,300-square-foot soundstage, motion-capture studio and sound recording studio.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.



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