The Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Canada 2017: Film Programs to Shape You Into the Next Moviemaking All-Star

U.S. Southwest 

Outstanding Theory and Criticism Training:  Brigham Young University

Famous for its international focus, many of BYU’s student body are fluent in a second language. That worldview extends to its approach to film theory. The schools’ BA in Media Arts Studies provides courses such as “History of Animation,” “History of Documentary and Nonfiction Film,” “Children’s Media” and—in keeping with the school’s Mormon affiliation—“Transcendence: Religion and Film.” BYU’s long-running International Cinema screening series plays more than 80 films each year, highlighting language diversity, aesthetic specificity and human interconnection. 

Outstanding Editing Training: Oklahoma City University

Accelerated Industry Access: Santa Fe University of Art and Design

Outstanding Screenwriting Training: University of Texas, Austin

Honing writing skills without incurring immense debt is one of the promises of UT’s screenwriting MFA. Don’t be fooled by its relatively low tuition, though. This is an exceptionally selective graduate program: Only seven people are admitted each year. Honing their narrative artistry through extensive spec and original pilot writing, participants dive into the intricate processes of characterization and story development. Part of the curriculum provides access to a working TV writer’s room. By the end of the program, each student leaves with finished work that can serve as a calling card. Texan heavyweights such as Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez have been known to look to UT for interns.

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8 Comments

  1. mwebaza martin

    August 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I need to join a film school through movie maker…what should I do

  2. Cassandra

    July 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  3. David Liban

    July 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    I would like to point out the CU Denver is really a significant hands-on film program. Its a BFA program with 72 credit hours largely made up of production classes. Students leave with a large portfolio of films and are prepared to enter the industry. They also produce a web series each year that students write, produce, direct and edit. http://www.cudenverfilm.org

  4. Linda

    July 21, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Correction under Film Centers:

    Northwest Film Forum is located in Seattle, not Portland. However, Portland does have its own film center called the Northwest Film Center which not only provides a variety of workshops and classes for all ages but they host their own film screenings and festival (Portland International FF). They also have quite a great stock of reasonably priced equipment rentals for local students, amateurs and professionals. I believe they’re the only film center in the Pacific NW?

  5. Adam Enaya

    July 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I only needed to read their opinions of the west coast schools to see that this list is a joke. How much did National University pay to have a write-up in MovieMaker? By the way, what’s an admission fee? Do you mean tuition? Their prices must be rock bottom then.

  6. Jay S.

    July 20, 2017 at 7:41 am

    With alumni that have worked on projects such as Jurassic World (visual FX), “Get On Up: The James Brown story” and “42” (main role in both cases), “Avengers Age of Ultron” (Post-production) and the highly anticipated “Black Panther” Marvel movie, as well as the upcoming Martin Scorsese movie “The Irishman”, currently in production, I’m surprised not to see Digital Film Academy included here!

    A friend of mine goes there and I’m considering it too. Their tuition is MUCH lower than New York Film Academy, they have film jobs for the students and anyone who studies there an use the school equipment afterwards for life.

    Jay Smith

  7. James Mayfield

    July 19, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Nice to see some options for students not willing/can’t make the trip to high-rent neighborhoods or bustling metropolitan. Lots of people think that LA/NY are the only options for schools, but there are alternatives. Though I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks these 2 areas aren’t the industry kings in NA.

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