Why study Film Studies?
Film shapes the way we view a culture. What our Film Studies Program hopes that students take away from a study of cinema is an understanding of the cultural, artistic and humanistic perspectives that have gone into the creation of the best films in the repertoire since the inception of the artistic form.
We offer a range of courses, some dealing with the hands-on creation of documentary and narrative film. Others introduce the student to specific periods in film history or expound on themes often having to do with social justice issues. Our courses are also designed to give students an understanding of national and international forms of political and social consciousness. Ideally students in our department will gain an appreciation of film as both an art form and as popular entertainment.
The Film Studies Program helps students find his or her own niche and interest in film. Many students immerse themselves in film production. They learn to make short films early on in Filmmaking I and then move on to more developed story-telling in Filmmaking II. In Filmmaking III, each student writes, shoots, and edits his/her own short film. Then, at the end of the semester, each film is projected for an audience at an on-campus screening. Cinematography courses and Adobe Premiere editing capabilities assist students who wish to become more involved in semi-professional filmmaking.
A second group of students view the film history courses as a means of learning more about our culture and society. The program offers courses on American and international film history such as Film Noir, Political Fiction Film or World Cinema. The students learn to see the directors’ perspectives on global issues and come to appreciate film as dramatic story-telling as well as entertainment.
A third group of students have taken to screenwriting and adaptation. Studying the art of writing a screenplay and exercising this craft offers a means of creating a solid basis to the filmmaking process. Adaptation furthers the creative process leading a student to grasp the essence of a written narrative, dialogue, story arc and translate that for the screen.
Students who take Film Studies courses go on to pursue a number of careers. Some become documentary filmmakers, producers or film editors. Others go into film marketing and advertising. Some work in industries such as television or media production houses. On occasion, a film student works with museum education and outreach staff as a videographer. Some students are accepted into graduate programs such as those at USC, UCLA, NYU, BU, Emerson, etc. Other students study and make films for the sheer passion of doing so while they pursue other disciplines.
Internships are available to help students discern what avenue of the media world they would like to pursue. Here at BC, the Film Studies Program helps students take advantage of the very successful Eagle Internship offerings of stipends for unpaid film internships. The Jacques Salmanowitz grants program has provided a means for students to make international documentaries relating to social justice issues to share with the BC community at the annual Arts Festival.
The faculty who teach film courses are both filmmakers and scholars. BC faculty have written, produced and/or directed both documentary and narrative feature films, as well as short films. Other faculty members are scholars who research and publish books and articles on film history and filmmaking.
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Jacques Salmanowitz Program
The Jacques Salmanowitz Program for Moral Courage in Film is devoted to encouraging the production of film concerned with acts of moral courage, providing role models for youth worldwide. The Salmanowitz Program serves as a resource for student filmmakers across the disciplines who wish to create documentaries that will inspire future generations.