Film | BFA

The BFA in Film investigates the full range of moving-image genres, including experimental, narrative, documentary, animation, and hybrid forms.

At SFAI, students study filmmaking in the broader context of contemporary art practice. Students learn the craft of filmmaking in courses that teach skills of production and postproduction, enabling them to realize their ideas.

Our program is flexible, keeping current with the ever-changing digital arena from multi-platform to alternative distribution. Students are encouraged to push the boundaries of the medium by integrating film with gallery-based objects, performance, and sound-based works. Students leave the program having explored a variety of methods of display—from traditional theatrical screening to single- and multi-channel installation, to alternative contexts such as emerging small screen and interactive formats.


Summary of Required Credits

Liberal Arts Requirements (Examples: Global Social Movements, Un/Natural Ideologies, Concepts of Creativity, Mathematics: A Visual History, Extinction)33
Studio & General Elective Requirements 72
Art History Requirements15

Film Studio Requirements

Contemporary Practice3
Introduction to Film3
Film Production / Post Production I3
Film Production / Post Production II3
The Art of Screenwriting3
Personal Film 6
Film Electives (Ex: Stop-Motion, Filmmaker/Rebel, Soundscape 5.1)15
Senior Review Seminar3
Electives in any Studio Discipline (Ex: Three-Dimensional Collage, Expressionistic Drawing) 24
General Electives (Ex: Sacred and Profane Photo, Bookmaking, Nomadic Structures) 9
BFA Graduate Exhibition0

Art History Requirements

Topics and Foundations in Global Visual Culture3
Topics and Foundations in Contemporary Art3
History of the Major3
Art History Elective3
Art History Elective3

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students use production and postproduction tools to create personal and powerful works of art and communication.
  • Students use the tools and language of cinema to effectively convey creative ideas.
  • Students understand and discuss historical developments of the moving image as well as the essential theoretical issues of his/her filmmaking practice.
  • Students acquire historical and contemporary knowledge of the interrelationships between cinema and the other arts.
  • Students develop a commitment to artistic development through continuous production.
  • Students progress towards the creation of a singular body of work.
  • Students gain the ability to articulate how personal experience, contemporary issues, and theoretical concerns inform one’s work.
  • Students gain an ability to situate moving images within critical, conceptual, and historical frameworks.

Past Courses

  • Cinematography and Narrative Light
  • Documentary Production
  • Expanded Cinemas and Optical Anomalies Explored
  • Techniques of the Observer
  • Radical Directing
  • Editing for Sound and Image