Film Studies is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts program that focuses on the history, theory, criticism, and artistic creation of cinema and other moving-image media. Courses examine cinema's role as a unique art form that now spans three centuries, as well as the contributions of moving-image media as practices of enduring cultural and social significance. Film Studies aims to develop critical and creative minds that can astutely view, analyze, and conceptually think about cinema within history and society. Majors complete required courses that introduce the breadth of film studies. They also pursue a concentration of courses in film studies or production leading up to the senior essay or project, which can include a film or a screenplay.
Film Studies courses originate in many other programs and departments, including African American Studies, American Studies, Art, Literature, East Asian Languages and Literatures, French, German, History of Art, Italian, Portuguese, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Theater Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The Film Studies program is also associated with the Yale Film Study Center, which houses a collection of over 17,000 films, DVDs, videotapes, and laser disks. All Yale students may view films and videos at the center. In addition, the Film Studies program helps support many film screenings and film-related events on campus that are open to the Yale community.
The prerequisite for the major is FILM 150, Introduction to Film Studies, a survey of major films and methods of analysis, which should be taken during freshman or sophomore year. Majors must also take FILM 320, Close Analysis of Film, at least one course in film theory, and a course in the creative process in film.