A major in Film & Media provides students with a core foundation in moving image history, theory, and practice. Our courses help students develop the ability to think visually, as well as to discuss and write about cinema and the media arts with nuance and sophistication. Students in the program develop skills in media analysis, historical research, and theoretical application. Our students also make creative work in a range of modes and media, from storytelling with digital video to experimental forms on film. The program propels students to actively engage and explore social, cultural, and systemic questions and problems, to use cameras and screens to reconsider and deconstruct existing structures and norms. 

A Film & Media major consists of ten courses. 

Four foundational courses:

  • FLM 110 Intro to Film and Media
  • FLM 215 Motion Picture History
  • FLM 226 Motion Picture Production
  • FLM 311 Visual Thinking

One of two 300-level creative production workshops: 

  • FLM 320 Narrative and Collaboration
  • FLM 324 Alternative Forms and Practices

One of two 300-level hybrid history/production courses: 

  • FLM 330 Experimental Film and Video
  • FLM 332 Documentary Film and Video

One 400-level course in theoretical or practical methodologies: 

  • FLM 440 Advanced Topic in Film and Media

Three electives from the following options: 
ART 142 Digital Photography I; FLM 261 Writing for the Screen; FLM 320 Narrative and Collaboration or FLM 324 Alternative Forms and Practices; FLM 330 Experimental Film and Video or FLM 332 Documentary Film and Video; FLM 341 Special Topic in Film and Media (a second section); FLM 440 Advanced Topic in Film and Media ; GOV 318 Media and Politics; AMS 213 Black American Film; TND 345 Movement and Media; AMS 354 Race and Gender in Ethnic Studies Film; and other Film and Media courses approved by the academic advisor.

One DEI-designated course: 
Film & Media majors must include among these 10 courses, or in addition to them, at least one media-related course that focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion. The DEI course may overlap with another required course for the major: an elective or an appropriate topic in FLM 341 or FLM 440. Each student will work with their advisor to designate a course that fulfills this requirement. 

A minor in Film and Media consists of six courses.
FLM 110 Intro to Film and Media
FLM 215 Motion Picture History
FLM 226 Motion Picture Production
FLM 311 Visual Thinking
Two electives 

A joint major in Film and Media consists of eight courses.
FLM 110 Intro to Film and Media
FLM 215 Motion Picture History
FLM 226 Motion Picture Production
FLM 311 Visual Thinking
FLM 320 Narrative and Collaboration or FLM 324 Alternative Forms and Practices
FLM 330 Experimental Film and Video or FLM 332 Documentary Film and Video
FLM 440 Advanced Topic in Film and Media  
One elective 

Majors in Film & Media regularly study abroad at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, Czech Republic (CET Czech Republic Film Production or CIEE Prague Film Studies). Additionally, Film & Media students have recently studied at the following off-campus programs: DIS - Study Abroad in Copenhagen; NYU Spring at Tisch; DIS - Study Abroad in Stockholm.


Courses Offered

A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures; (WP) World Perspectives requirement.

110. Introduction to Film and Media. (A)
An introduction to the way movies are put together, to basic critical terms and concepts used in the study of movies, videos and television and to the complex roles that cinema and television play in society—as art, business, entertainment and a medium of information and ideology. Formerly TDF 165. 

213. Black American Film. (A)
An introduction to film studies using black film as a genre of Hollywood and independent film. Covers the work of Oscar Michaux through the “blaxploitation” films of the 1970s and beyond. Explores films as social commentary in their particular historical contexts, Particular attention is given to screen analysis of segregation, sexuality, class differences and more. Same as AFS/AMS/WGS 213.

215. Motion Picture History. (A)
An introduction to the history of motion pictures from the 1890s through the present day. Surveys both the evolution of popular movies and influential artistic and rhetorical counter-currents, including "national" film movements, experimental cinema, and documentary. Formerly TDF 267. Same as ART 215.

226. Motion Picture Production. (A)
This course teaches filmmaking fundamentals through a series of projects that focus on motivated camera work, lighting for moving image, video editing, and the creative use of sound with video. Students will also explore a range of conceptual and methodological approaches in creative film practice. Prerequisite for subsequent filmmaking courses, such as Narrative and Collaboration. Formerly TDF 262. Same as ART 226.  

245. The History of Photography: The First 100 Years. (A)
An examination of the first 100 years of the medium from its invention to the documentary photography produced under the Farm Security Administration in the late 1930s. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship of photography to the arts of painting and literature, as well as on contextualizing photographs as documents of scientific investigation, ethnographic research, social history and personal expression. Prerequisite: Strongly recommended that students have had at least one art history course. Formerly TDF 245. Same as ART 245. 

261. Writing for the Screen. (A)
Combining workshop, lecture, class discussion, and screenings, this course explores the fundamentals of the art and craft of writing for the screen. Over the course of the semester we will investigate the nature and content of three types of film scripting (documentary, experimental, and narrative), working out particular and common traits, strategies, and approaches to script making both in theory and practice. Formerly TDF 261.

303. As Seen on TV: History as Media Event. (H)
“Where were you when…?” Whether the Kennedy assassination, Richard Nixon’s resignation, the shooting of Ronald Reagan or the fall  of the Berlin wall, most Baby Boomer Americans would answer: “I was watching it on TV.” This course will explore the representation of history- making moments in the mass media, with a focus on the second half of the 20th century. We will explore how television covered the event at  the time, how that coverage shaped the first draft of history, and how it has participated in shaping the cultural memory of the event in the years since. Course units include Edward R. Murrow’s duel with Senator Joe McCarthy, the JFK assassination, Vietnam, Watergate, the O.J. Simpson case, and 9/11. Formerly TDF 303. Same as AMS 303.

311. Visual Thinking. (A)
Advanced seminar devoted to applying classical and contemporary film theory to particular problems and movies. Topic varies from term to term. Formerly TDF 363.

318. Media and Politics. (S)
Examines the role of the mass media (including print, broadcast, and new media) in American politics, giving particular attention to the ways in which the media both influence and are influenced by political actors and the political process. Prerequisite: GOV 100. Formerly TDF 318. Same as GOV 318.

320. Narrative and Collaboration. (A)
An intensive workshop in visual storytelling. Students work in teams to develop, shoot and edit short narratives. This course requires an unusual amount of outside-of-class work. Prerequisite: FLM 226 or TDF/ART 262, “Fundamentals of Motion Picture Production.” Formerly TDF 362. 

324. Alternative Forms and Practices. (A)
A rotating topics course that explores alternative moving image media, technologies, and exhibition models. Students in this workshop will be exposed to a range of skills and techniques that filmmakers and artists continue to practice beyond the mainstream. The course may cover one or more of the following practices: filming with 16mm cameras, hand-processing film, editing film by hand, direct animation, digital video art, and/or found footage filmmaking. 

330. Experimental Film and Video. (A)
An intensive workshop in experimental filmmaking politics and poetics, this course focuses on avant-garde movements from the early 20th century to present-day. Experimental film generally strays from conventional forms and narratives, alternatively emphasizing painterly, expressive, political, and lyrical tendencies in moving images. Student projects will engage specific aesthetics and approaches studied in class through the creation of a series of original works. Prerequisite: FLM/ART 226 or TDF/ART 262 or permission of the instructor. Formerly TDF 367.  

332. Documentary Film and Video. (A)
Documentary films aim to represent reality on screen. Dealing with actuality on camera poses a range of questions and challenges, from the aesthetic (e.g., how to show what can’t be filmed), to the ethical (e.g., how to be fair to subjects), to the practical (e.g., how to engage audiences). This course will address these questions through weekly film screenings and discussions, theoretical and historical readings, and practical exercises. Students will complete the course through either a documentary project or a research paper. Formerly TDF 364. Same as ART 332.

341. Special Topic in Film and Media. (A)
A film and media seminar that applies methods of historical, theoretical, and/or cultural analysis to a specific genre, period, movement, group, or place. The topic and focus of the seminar will change for each new iteration and may be repeated for credit. Formerly TDF 343.

354. Gender and Race in Ethnic Studies Film. 
“Gender and Race in Ethnic Studies Film” examines the concept of Ethnic Studies as an educational curriculum emerging from social movements. In an effort to understand Ethnic Studies, we will explore the media productions by and about people of color in relation to U.S. social unrests of the late-1960s, 1970s, and the aftermath of these decades. We will focus on three groups: U.S. Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans. Same as AFS/AMS/WGS 354. 

356. Italian Film History. (A)
Introduction to Italian film history, with an emphasis on the relationship between cinema and society and culture. May include  influential  auteurs (Visconti, De Sica, Antonioni, Pasolini, Fellini) and movements (Neorealism, cinema politico), as well as popular forms (commedia all’italiana), genre films, experimental filmmaking, and documentary. Taught in Italian. Prerequisite: ITA 310 or permission of the instructor. Formerly TDF 356. Same as ITA 356. 
G. Lerner

366. Italian Cinema and the Arts. (H)
Cinema has presented itself, since its very origins, as a synthetic form   of art that could incorporate painting, architecture, sculpture, as well as music, literature, and dance. This course aims to explore the different ways in which inter-artistic dialogue has influenced the development of Italian cinema, determining the style of its major auteurs and contributing to the complexity of their films. A series of critical and theoretical readings will help us develop a solid interpretive approach to the films, which will include works by Fellini, Antonioni, Pasolini, Visconti, Rossellini, and other filmmakers. Normally taught in Italian. Prerequisite: ITA 310 or permission of the instructor. Formerly TDF 366. Same as ITA 366.
G. Lerner

387. Writing for Television. (A)
Combining workshop, lecture, class discussion, and in-class writing exercises, this course explores the fundamentals of the art and craft of writing for television.  Over the length of the semester we will investigate the nature and meaning of "drama" and "visual narrative" as functioning on the small screen.  We will do this in part through the examination of format, style, structure, and needs of the network/streaming sites for both a comedy (30 minute) and a drama (60 minute) series.  We will also study the basics of scene building, conflict, character, and dialogue by writing a draft of both a “spec” script and an original pilot.  Students will develop and complete an outline and first draft of a television pilot on their own and in collaborative groups. Same as TND/ENG 387.     

440. Advanced Topic in Film and Media. (A)
An advanced film and media seminar or workshop that applies theoretical and/or practical methodologies to a specific mode, technology, or sequence of ideas. The course may function as a seminar in film/media theory or as a practical filmmaking workshop. It primarily serves as a capstone for Film & Media majors, yet it is open to students with sufficient training and experience. The topic and focus of the seminar will change for each new iteration and may be repeated for credit. Moss

490. Independent Study.
Independent study directed by the Film & Media staff. Permission of chairperson.

Topics Courses Expected to be Offered in 2022-2023 


  • Film Comedy.
  • Race & Gender in Med. Migrant Film.
  • Writing for Television.
  • Multi-Media Memoir: Race, Class, Sex in Movies.