Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema Announces New Programs in Animation & Visual Effects and a Redesigned MA in Screen Studies

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Graduate programs offer advanced study and training, complimented by unique Steiner Studio Lot location in Brooklyn Navy Yard

Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema announced two new programs aimed at preparing its diverse student body for innovative new roles in the film and television industries – a redesigned MA in Screen Studies, formerly called Cinema Studies, and an MFA in Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE).

The new programs complement Feirstein’s state-of-the-art facilities on the Steiner Studios lot in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, making it the only college in the United States to offer graduate students the opportunity to learn within a working film lot.

“DAVE is an opportunity for Feirstein students to develop professional skills in an area of the industry that is exploding and where there is a significant shortage of talent, especially in NYC,” explained Jonathan Wacks, Founding Director of Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. “Our newly reenvisioned Screen Studies program is an opportunity for students to situate their research and scholarly pursuits in a context and in a place where moving image production is actively taking place on a daily basis.”

The two-year MA in Screen Studies was redesigned from the Cinema Studies program to be current and relevant to diverse aspects of media and have a greater focus on a connection to production. The program offers an exciting and diverse examination of the past, present, and future of film and other screen-based media in New York City. The coursework incorporates a broad definition of screen studies, looking at more conventional narrative feature filmmaking and the latest in web-based media, and prepares students for a variety of professions connected to today’s multiplicity of screens: teaching, curating, working with archives, festivals, writing, as well as preparation for PhD programs in related fields.

Students in this program benefit from interacting with MFA students in shared classes with state-of-the-art resources on the distinctive Steiner Studio lot location.

Beginning in fall of 2017, an MFA in Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE), offers cutting-edge training in the digital technologies that have transformed the media and cinematic landscapes. With an emphasis on experimentation and imagination and a foundation in narrative structure, the program bridges the worlds of technology-based innovation and cinematic storytelling. Courses and workshops are taught by industry professionals culminating in the completion of a portfolio of personal and collaborative work in visual effects and animation. In addition to an intensive engagement in creative production, the program offers opportunities for professional internships and networking to facilitate the transition into the industry.

These two new programs, combined with Feirstein’s ongoing efforts to elevate diverse voices in the film and television industries, are quickly raising the college’s place among the top choices for graduate film studies in the country.

About Feirstein

Founded in 2015, Brooklyn College’s Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema is committed to cultivating diverse new voices in cinema and providing students a pipeline to the industry. Feirstein is backed by a star-studded advisory council, which includes producer Steven Soderbergh, director Darren Aronofsky, producer Celia Costas and actor Ethan Hawke. The school offers specialized programs in: Screenwriting, Directing, Producing, Cinematography, Post Production, Media Scoring, Sonic Arts, and recently announced the addition of a program in Digital Animation & Visual Effects starting next fall. The school currently has 170 students enrolled, of which 50% are women and 45% are from underrepresented groups. Another 130 students are expected to enroll in fall 2017 with the first class graduating in 2018.


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Lisa Sherman-Cphen