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

U.S. Midwest 

Outstanding Producing Training: Columbia College Chicago 

Few programs prepare grads to bring projects to fruition like Columbia College Chicago’s Creative Producing MFA. Aspiring producers undergo a curriculum that trains them in financing, mastering legal procedures and hiring talent. During the first year, a cinema “boot camp” lays an intellectual and practical foundation, and exposes producing students to directing ones to foster interdisciplinary collaboration. In the second part of the program, students are tasked with developing a slate of long-form projects. 

Top-Notch Equipment and Facilities: DePaul University

“Talk Talk,” a student short directed by DePaul University student Eden Ames. Photograph by Ellen Dziubek

“DePaul formed an alliance with Cinespace Chicago Film Studios in 2013, acquiring 20,000 square feet of space, including a 10,000-square-foot soundstage and support facilities,” says Elly Kafritsas-Wessels of the school’s College of Computing and Digital Media. “This past year, due to the tremendous growth of the cinema program, the school expanded its footprint at Cinespace to over 32,000 square feet, adding two additional stages, two editing studios, an advanced camera checkout facility, classrooms and offices. The space has one of the largest green screens in the Midwest, and hosts a number of technical workshops with AbelCine.” Wowza.

Accomplished Faculty: Northwestern University

Outstanding Theory and Criticism Training: School of the Art Institute Chicago

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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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