schoolofvisualarts.jpgMost people would agree that there are few better places to study film than New York, which plays home to countless major and independent movies every year. With so many resources throughout the city, Manhattan-based film students have the opportunity to dive head-first into the indie movie world, and at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), the faculty of the graduate and undergraduate film programs make this a requirement. Students who pursue a BFA at the School of Visual Arts study every aspect of moviemaking from screenwriting and acting to cinematography and production design. At the graduate level, explains SVA director of communication Samantha Hoover, the curriculum tends toward an experimental and interdisciplinary approach, “challenging traditional assumptions of how the mediums of photography and video are taught.”

Though both programs incorporate cinema studies into their curriculum, the very names of each department—“Film, Video, Animation” for undergrad, “Photography, Video and Related Media” for graduate studies—belie SVA’s understanding of film as one of many artistic mediums that can be integrated for a deeper, and more well-rounded education. “We seek students of all ages, of all backgrounds, from all over the world who have a deep passion for storytelling, love working in a collaborative atmosphere, are hardworking and dedicated to learning the craft,” says Reeves Lehmann, chair of the BFA Film, Video and Animation department.

In addition to their current four-year BFA and two-year MFA tracks, SVA continues to expand with the addition of television production classes, a studio and a digital movie theater within the next several years in order to provide students with the most cutting-edge resources possible as they develop their artistic style. It is, above all, SVA’s mission to turn out a community of moviemakers who are engaged in the world around them and reflect this within their work. As Lehmann explains, “[Film] is an art form that can speak to the masses, therefore it is important that once they gain the knowledge and skills [students] use it responsibly and take their work seriously. We encourage this throughout their learning experiences at SVA.”

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Sound Off: With constant innovations in moviemaking technology, the lines between film and other artistic mediums are becoming increasingly easy to cross. What do you think are some of the benefits of integrating moviemaking with other art forms, such as animation and photography, particularly in an educational setting? Do you think being a “multidisciplinary artist” will make you a more experimental moviemaker? Talk back in the forums!