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BFAFilm

Break new ground in cinema and learn the most powerful methods for realizing your stories and visions.

Overview

Nurturing the aspiring filmmaker

As a film major at CCA, you’ll be part of a supportive community of creative people known for our collaborations. You have direct access to peers in painting, animation, and writing, which can help you broaden your skill set and push beyond the confines of mainstream cinema.

We’re also known for our location in the Bay Area, home to Dolby Laboratories, George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, and Pixar Animation Studios. Our popular yearly lecture series, Cinema Visionaries, attracts world-class directors, such as Gus Van Sant, Laura Poitras, and Werner Herzog, to our master classes and intimate critiques.

Studios + Shops

The rise of the multi-genre artist

Named one of the best film schools in the U.S. by MovieMaker Magazine, CCA trains students to become well-rounded filmmakers. You’ll gain practical skills in conceptualizing, writing, producing, shooting, and editing films, while studying a variety of forms:

  • Narrative
  • Experimental
  • Installation
  • Documentary
  • Video art
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Interdisciplinary making, combined with experience in multiple genres, prepares you to enter the field with a command of film craft and aesthetics. Advanced workshops in areas such as editing, performance, and cinematography help you develop a sophisticated vision for what the future of cinema and media arts could be.

BFA Film student works on audio and sound correction in post-production film studio_Horizontal Feature_MB

We provide students with all the professional digital and analog tools they need for filmmaking. An audio suite is available for recording voice overs and sound effects. A fully equipped production stage is available for student use. You can check out professional filmmaking equipment, including cameras, lighting, dollies, and sound gear, from our Film Cage. Additional general purpose equipment is available from the Media Center.

BFA Film student works with teacher to review video takes in green screen film cage_Horizontal Feature_MB

Film internships in the Bay Area

While in film school you will have the opportunity to intern with leading film and media arts organizations. Students have interned with Frameline, producers of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film Festival; San Francisco Film Society, which organizes the San Francisco International Film Festival; SoMArts, a cultural center for multidisciplinary events and exhibitions; and Telling Pictures, a media production company founded by Film Co-chair Rob Epstein.

Film studios, equipment, and editing suites

Faculty

Learn filmmaking from award-winning artists

Our faculty are working filmmakers and media artists with backgrounds in diverse practices, including directing, cinematography, post-production, sound design, and installation. Instead of showing students one preferred path, faculty guide film majors outside their comfort zones, helping them broaden their perspectives and experiment with form.

Rob Epstein, Co-chair of Film

Rob Epstein, Co-chair of Film

A director, writer, and producer, Co-chair Rob Epstein has won two Academy Awards for the documentary films The Times of Harvey Milk and Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt. He also leads a film production company, Telling Pictures, which has won praise for the indie biopics Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried) and Howl (James Franco) at various film festivals.

Brook Hinton, Co-chair of Film

Brook Hinton, Co-chair of Film

Co-chair Brook Hinton has worked extensively in the film industry as an editor, colorist, and sound designer. His projects range from narrative cinema to experimental multimedia performance. His groundbreaking series Trace Garden is a found-footage séance series made up of re-edited and re-processed 16mm and Super 8 home movies.

Curriculum

We think with our hands

Every undergraduate student participates in the First Year Core program, an opportunity to explore a wide range of materials and tools. Faculty from many different disciplines guide studio projects, group critiques, and discussions on foundational theory to help set students up for success.

BFA Film

Core Studio

Drawing 1
3 units
2D, 3D, and 4D
9 units

Film Major Requirements

Film 1: Image and Sound
3 units
Film Language and Form
3 units
Film 2: Production
3 units
Post-Production
3 units
Film Studio (200 level)
6 units
Film Studio (300 level)
6 units
Film Studio (200 or 300 level)
6 units
Junior Tutorial
3 units
Film 3: Advanced Production
3 units
Senior Project: Film
3 units

Additional Studio Requirements

Interdisciplinary Critique
3 units
Interdisciplinary Studio
3 units
Diversity Studies Studio
3 units
Studio Electives
12 units

Humanities + Sciences Requirements

Writing 1
3 units
Writing 2
3 units
Introduction to the Arts: Antiquity to Early Modern
3 units
Introduction to the Modern Arts
3 units
Foundation in Critical Studies
3 units
Media History: Film Genres and Practices
3 units
Literary and Performing Arts Studies (200 level)
3 units
Philosophy and Critical Theory (200 level)
3 units
Social Science/History (200 level)
3 units
Science/Math (200 level)
3 units
Visual Studies (200 level)
3 units
Humanities and Science 300 level)
9 units
Diversity Studies Seminar
3 units
Humanities and Science Electives (200 or 300 level)
3 units

Total 120 units

Careers

Making moves and movies

Our alumni leave film school with experience in every aspect of film and video production. They easily move between genres—from short documentary and narrative films to experimental and multidisciplinary—securing work on exciting projects inside and outside the industry.

Potential career paths

  • Cinematographer
  • Filmmaker/Director
  • Film editor
  • Screenwriter
  • Visual artist

News + Events

What’s happening for BFA Film majors?

How to Apply

From dream to silver screen

We look for students who want to try everything, have unique backgrounds, and dream about turning their ideas into compelling stories and visions.

Find your creative community at CCA

Apply now