Film and Media Studies

Film and Media 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 and Media 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.

Students interested in the major usually begin with FILM 150, Introduction to Film Studies, which is a prerequisite for most production seminars and many critical courses. This survey of major films and methods of analysis should be taken during freshman or sophomore year. Majors must also take FILM 320, Close Analysis of Film, at least one course in theory, and a course in production.

As an interdisciplinary program, Film and Media Studies shares courses with a dozen programs and departments ranging from Art and Anthropology to Slavic Languages and Literatures and American Studies. Regardless of the departments from which the courses originate, students work closely with a dedicated group of faculty and with each other.

Beyond the classroom, Yale has a vibrant film culture. The archives of the Film Studies Center house over 20,000 motion pictures on DVD, VHS, and celluloid, which are available for study and classroom use. Rare and new films are frequently screened at the Whitney Humanities Center and other venues, sometimes accompanied by a discussion with the filmmaker. Production students can take advantage of the Digital Media Center for the Arts at Yale or study in Prague at the Czech national film school (FAMU). The department also regularly helps majors find internships and provides opportunities to network with alumni.