Best Film Schools in the US and Canada 2021

U.S. Southeast

Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida) – Outstanding animation training

Full Sail University (Winter Park, Florida) – Outstanding film production training

Best Film Schools

Spiral director Darren Lynn Bousman is a Full Sail University graduate. Full Sail is a newcomer to MovieMaker‘s Best Film Schools list. Photo by Brooke Palmer

Full Sail offers a variety of programs on campus or online, but what especially caught our eye is the accelerated Film Production MFA, which aims to give students the fundamental skills, tools and experience they need to succeed in an ever-evolving industry, in just 12 months. Students are equipped with a MacBook Pro loaded with filmmaking technology through the school’s signature Project LaunchBox™. Full Sail also covers production costs for films, and provides a Hollywood-style backlot with versatile sound stages for professional-level productions. The best way to learn about filmmaking is to make films, and this program provides that priceless hands-on-experience, while also connecting students with industry professionals through virtual alumni mixers and networking workshops. “Our students at Full Sail are given a one-of-a-kind university experience that closely emulates the real world and the professional working environment,” Anne Russell, program director, Film Production MFA, tells MovieMaker. “We take our students’ education beyond theoretical learning and embrace a hands-on project-based style of learning in tandem. With our educators having years of industry experience, students are learning directly from those who have actively been in the industry.”

Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota, Florida) – Outstanding narrative filmmaking training

Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, Georgia) – Outstanding production training

Best Film Schools in the US and Canada

A production shoots on the SCAD Savannah Film Studios XR Stage

The abbreviation SCAD especially makes sense when you consider the scads of professional productions drawn to one of the most charming places in the South (or anywhere). You can cut your teeth in Savannah or work in Atlanta’s booming film community. The school’s motto is “we learn by doing,” so expect lots of opportunities to put classroom theory into practice, through student-produced shows and short films. These turn into networking opportunities at the esteemed SCAD Savannah Film Festival, the largest university-run film festival in the country, which attracts a bevy of A-listers and averages 63,000 attendees every year. The school boasts excellent facilities and experienced faculty, headed by actor and director D.W. Moffett, chair of the film and television department. “We do it just like the pros. All student sets, protocols and procedures that we call out in our classes… all of them are modeled on and directly mirror the professional world,” Moffett tells MovieMaker. “Theory, as such, is really devoted to storytelling. We emphasize story over everything else. All classes must reference what is being taught to how that impacts the storytelling. Story first… execute like the pros… never stop working.”

University of Miami (Miami, Florida) – Outstanding screenwriting training

University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) – Outstanding screenwriting training

Best Film Schools in the US and Canada 2021

Continue for the Canadian schools on our Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Canada list

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