Is there value in creating art that is socially aware? The educators at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) certainly think so as they’ve recently announced a new MFA program in Social Documentary Film to begin in Fall 2009. “It’s our goal that graduates leave this program with films which engage larger issues, and perhaps even impact public policy,” says accomplished moviemaker and chair of the program, Maro Chermayeff.

Chermayeff, an Emmy-award nominated producer and director whose credits include the 10-hour PBS series “Carrier,” is the crown jewel of the new program. “SVA is extremely fortunate to have a filmmaker of Maro’s caliber lead the College’s new graduate program,” declares Provost Christopher Cyphers.

As the third film program at SVA, “the MFA in Social Documentary Film will provide students with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of non-fiction filmmaking, as well as an immersion into the critical and analytical processes necessary to conceptualize and develop films with content of significant social relevance.” It is a two-year, 60-credit program that will feature award-winning lecturers, curriculum focused on both the journalistic and practical aspects of documentary moviemaking and a weekly screening series. Each MFA student will create a thesis film to distribute or use as a basis for post-graduate projects.

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