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Where Celebs, Bizzers Got Schooled in Cinema

Entertainment Education Report: Featuring film schools where Poitier, Lee, Coppola, Lucas and more studied their craft

American Film Institute Los Angeles: The two-year grad program, under the new artistic direction of producer James L. Brooks this year, grants degrees in cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design and screenwriting. Claim to fame: Gregory Peck, Sidney Poitier, Francis Ford Coppola served on original board of trustees.

* * *

Art Center College of Design
Pasadena, Calif.

Students in the BFA program specialize in cinematography, directing, or editing, while MFA candidates choose between directing; producing; screenwriting; digital, film, and stereoscopic 3D cinematography; and picture editing, sound design, color grading and VFX.

Claim to fame: Emphasis placed on designing rather than simply shooting films.

* * *

The Australian Film, Television and Radio School
Sydney

Created in 1972 by the Australian government to revive the national film industry, the university offers an undergrad foundation diploma, as well as an MA with untraditional specializations that range from “screen culture” to sound.

Claim to fame: Dedicated to training emerging indigenous practitioners in film, video, radio and new media.

* * *

Beijing Film Academy
Beijing

The state-run college’s degrees include a B.A. in directing, cinematography, performing or cartoon making; an MA in drama, film and television studies; and a doctorate in screenwriting.

Claim to fame: First and only professional higher ed film school in China.

* * *

Boston U.
Boston

Students can receive a B.S. (emphases include screenwriting and production), an M.S. in TV studies, and an MFA in film studies. The bicoastal program includes a semester in Los Angeles.

Claim to fame: Void of concentrations, all undergrads now study film, television and new media.

* * *

The California Institute of the Arts
Valencia, Calif.

The program offers a BFA and MFA in film and video as well as experimental animation, a BFA in character animation, and an MFA in film directing.

Claim to fame: Alumni include writer-producer-directors Tim Burton (3) and James Mangold.

* * *

Columbia U.
New York

Its undergrad, MFA (with screenwriting-directing and creative producing specializations) and M.A. programs take an entrepreneurial approach to the biz.

Claim to fame: In all 34 Columbia filmmakers (17 films) were selected for this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

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Emerson College, Visual & Media Arts School
Boston

The school, whose alums include president of MTV networks Doug Herzog and producer/writer Norman Lear, offers a B.A. and BFA in media production, a B.A. in media studies and an MFA in media art.

Claim to fame: Its revamped L.A. internship program is the oldest of its kind.

* * *

La Femis
Paris

During the four-year training course, students are introduced to all aspects of production before specializing in directing, editing, sound, set design, cinematography, screenwriting or production.

Claim to fame: The country’s most prestigious film school only admits top three applicants.

* * *

FAMU (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts)
Prague, Czech Republic

Most courses are taught in Czech, but FAMU also offers programs in English, including an MFA in cinema and digital media.

Claim to fame: First Czech national film school to have its own production facilities.

* * *

Florida State U.
Tallahassee, Fla.

Though its institute with VFX titan Digital Domain filed for bankruptcy last year, it earned full-term faculty from Digital Domain for its new animation and digital arts program.

Claim to fame: The faculty has a combined 400+ feature film credits.

* * *

Loyola Marymount
Los Angeles

The film and television school is becoming known for its animation program, which acquired a $1 million grant from the Walter Lantz Foundation this year.

Claim to fame: Alumni include “Bond” producer Barbara Broccoli and “Hunger Games” sequels director Francis Lawrence.

* * *

National Film and Television School
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, U.K.

The two-year, Royal College of Art-validated M.A. program offers degrees in 13 different courses, and the school is the only one in the U.K. with its own film and television
studios.

Claim to fame: This year, NFTS student films won all three Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinema et de Television awards.

* * *

New York U. — Tisch School of the Arts
New York

Tisch is famed for its MBA/MFA program, which has churned out several Oscar winners. Graduate students can pursue degrees in filmmaking, producing, and animation and digital arts.

Claim to fame: Ang Lee, Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese are all alums.

* * *

Northwestern U.
Evanston, Ill.

Northwestern’s film, television and radio program is integrated into its school of communications and boasts the influential Northwestern U. Entertainment Alliance alumni program.

Claim to fame: Alums include Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Seth Meyers.

* * *

Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts
Aqaba, Jordan

Inaugurated in 2008, RSICA provides the first and only MFA program in cinematic arts for the Middle East and North Africa region.

Claim to fame: Head of RSICA sound department Baha Othman was part of the sound team on “The Hurt Locker.”

* * *

U. of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles

The prestigious MFA program allows actors, directors and playwrights to work together. UCLA also grants doctorates in theater and performances studies, as well as cinema & media studies.

Claim to fame: Directors Francis Ford Coppola and Alexander Payne are grads.

* * *

U. of North Carolina School of the Arts
Winston-Salem, N.C.

Offers MFAs in film music composition and BA programs in animation, art direction, cinematography, directing, editing and sound, producing and screenwriting.

Claim to fame: Thirty-five alums were represented at 2013’s Sundance.

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U. of Southern California
Los Angeles

The oldest film school in the country boasts grads such as Robert Zemeckis and George Lucas, and has notoriously selective admissions.

Claim to fame: Alums have collectively made $7 billion in films.

* * *

U. of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas

Two-year screenwriting MFA program admits seven students per year; the three-year film production MFA program admits 12.

Claim to fame: MFA grad Brian Schwarz won this year’s narrative Student Academy Award.

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