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A film school rises in Brooklyn

Steiner Studios home to new program

Gotham’s Steiner Studios will soon house a new Graduate School of Cinema, part of Brooklyn College, and with substantial investment from the city of New York.

The program, which plans to welcome its first class in the fall of 2014, is the only one in the nation that will be integrated into a working film lot. At its peak, the school will have 400 students.

Tuition is expected to cost less than half that of most graduate film programs in the U.S.

“This is a thriving sector of our economy,” said commissioner Katherine Oliver of the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment. “Helping to establish this unique educational program right here in Brooklyn will be a lasting testament to our local creative industry.”

Sprawled on 20 acres in the Brooklyn Navy Yards, Steiner, at 335,000 square feet, is the largest soundstage and production facility on the East Coast and is expanding by another 225,000 square feet.

Pols will announce the venture at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Winter Gala Thursday recognizing leaders of Gotham’s TV and film biz.

“With this announcement, Brooklyn solidifies its place as the world capital for arts, culture and digital media,” said studio chairman Douglas Steiner. Students will be “surrounded by some of the most innovative artists, craftspeople and talent working right here on our lot.”

The local entertainment industry contributes over $7 billion annually and provides 130,000 jobs. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been an ardent supporter of the business. The Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment will be involved in the creation, planning and financing of the Digital Media Center, the digital media component of the graduate school, and contribute to a need-based scholarship fund.

The curriculum will focus on the art and craft of cinema. Degree programs will include a Master of Fine Arts for cinematography, directing, production and post-production, screenwriting and visual effects, and Master of Arts in cinema studies.

Fellowships, residencies and mentorship programs will match students with filmmakers, directors, animators and other production professionals. A film festival will showcase student work, and an Urban Fellows Program will place graduates at Steiner Studios for nine months to work closely with staff.

Steiner, which opened in 2004, has production offices, editing suites, set construction shops, scenic artist, wardrobe and props department and dressing and includes on-site parking, a full commissary, a screening room and lighting and grip services.

It’s been home to films “Sex and the City,” “Inside Man,” “Enchanted” and “The Adjustment Bureau” and television series including “Girls,” “In Treatment” and “Bored to Death.” HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” recently renewed for a fourth season, and “Damages” just wrapped its final season.

The gala on Thursday night will honor Oliver, Brooklyn College president Karen Gould, David and Douglas Steiner and Gina and Tony Argento of Broadway Stages.

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