Dramatically lit ballerina from the short film 'One Afternoon' by 2021 alumna Yumin Zhang
Dramatically lit ballerina from the short film 'One Afternoon' by 2021 alumna Yumin Zhang
CREDIT: PRODUCTION STILL FROM 'ONE AFTERNOON' DIRECTED BY YUMIN ZHANG, CLASS OF 2021
Direct Your Future
MPS Directing guides budding film directors towards finding their cinematic voice
SVA flower logo next to MPS Directing slate logo
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With hands-on instruction from our award-winning faculty and NYC as your classroom, you will graduate ready to jump into a career that could change your life—and, quite possibly, the world.
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Bob Giraldi
Chair

The MPS Directing program at SVA offers emerging filmmakers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the art and craft of directing film. Great directors are great storytellers. Our one-year master's program in film directing is designed to provide an extensive education in visual storytelling.

Our program challenges you to articulate your artistic vision utilizing the multifaceted medium of film.

You will develop the intellectual and practical tools for directing film. You will learn the art of visual storytelling, working under the tutelage of industry professionals to learn how to develop stories from script to screen, direct actors and employ an arsenal of cinematic tools to tell a compelling visual narrative. With the guidance of our award-winning faculty, you will cultivate original ideas for successful, inventive films that communicate a narrative in an aesthetically interesting and innovative manner. The course of study also addresses the historical and critical context of film as an art form, its political and sociocultural dimensions and comparative study of theories for understanding film and video.

Black and White image of an old man sitting in a chair at the edge of the sea, a production still from Dah Ming's film 'Wild Geese Returning'

Production Still from 'Wild Geese Returning' directed by Dah Ming, Class of 2021

Why We Stand Out:
  • No one stands on the sidelines, our students learn by DOING!


  • Working with industry professionals sets student directors up to become professional directors.

  • Boutique class sizes allow for exceptional attention to each student learning, and each story being told.


More About the Department

In less than one year, each student in the MPS Directing program directs a professionally-produced short film and attains a master’s degree. Over the course of nine months, we empower our students to direct their own short films by providing them with the latest technology, instruction from award-winning filmmakers and an experienced film crew.

High-level production values combined with strong storytelling equals success in the film industry; for this reason, the student films created in this program have gone on to be official selections at such prestigious institutions as Cannes Film Festival and Film Festival Internazionale di Milano.

Developed for the working professional, classes are held Monday through Thursday, 6–9 p.m., with Fridays reserved or studio time, guest lectures, critiques, demonstrations and/or field trips.


Degree candidates must successfully complete 30 credits, including all required courses. Thesis films will be screened in a juried film festival at the SVA Theatre. Each thesis film must be reviewed and approved by the thesis committee and the department chair in order for the student to be eligible for degree conferral.


This studio-based program is chaired by Bob Giraldi, the director who played a major role in the music video revolution and who continues to be a prolific creative force. As one of America’s legendary commercial and music video directors, Bob uses his considerable expertise and experience to introduce each of our students to the film industry. Bob has directed some of the world’s biggest icons, including Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Pat Benatar, Lionel Richie and Will Smith.

Alumnae

A blonde, Asian woman sits in a white marble room wearing a shirt that says Kindness
Class of 2021
Yoko Ye Zhang

Yoko Ye Zhang is a filmmaker based in Beijing, China. Yoko works part-time as a script supervisor and production assistant on local independent media productions in Beijing and Harbin. Yoko sometimes gets ideas for the characters in her films from her careful observation of everyday life. Being a rookie director, she is interested in depicting stories about family relationships. She came with a bachelor's degree in film and television studies in college, and she is currently a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. These experiences propelled her interest in filmmaking to new levels. Yoko enjoyed her film classes in the college and has been hooked ever since, and she is currently building her body of work as a director.

A man in a blue shirt stands against a grey wall
Class of 2021
Adam Mackie

Director, animator, graphic designer Adam Mackie, born in Beirut, Lebanon on March 15th, 1974, started his career as a freelancer in Graphic Design. His love of camera and film brought him to New York City to pursue a career in 3D Animation and film directing, where he got a Bachelor's Degree in 3D Animation from Pratt Institute and a Masters's in Film Directing from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

He wrote and directed his first short film 'Few Of Many' in 2020 and 2021.

Adam is currently writing a screenplay based on a story that he wrote while he was living in Dubai, his goal is to turn it into a feature film once it's finished.

A man dressed in black stares intensely at the camera against a blue background
Class of 2021
Adrian Stanley Thomas

Born and raised in South Carolina, a B.F.A from NYU, M.L.S. from Queens College, and M.P.S. in Directing from The School of Visual Arts. Adrian is currently in the psychology program at Columbia University working on requirements for the PhD program.

He believes that persistent research on the complexity of the mind provides the freedom necessary for dimensional perceptions to create art without boundaries.

A woman with a black eye and cheek wound is wearing a gold dress and matching hat
Class of 2021
Alexa Winter

Alexa Wynter is an Indigenous-Caribbean artist-filmmaker based in New York, who is of mixed Yamaye Taino and Maroon descent from the Island nation of Yamayeka (Jamaica). Her tribal affiliation is: Yukayeke Yamaye Guani (Taino tribe of the Jamaican Hummingbird). Wynter’s work is heavily influenced by philosophical connections to her deep ancestral past, framed by her overarching interests in re-indigenization, ethnocentrism, and resurgence. She has screened at Tribeca Film Center, Anthology Film Archives, and DCTV. Wynter also works as a project-based curator and instructor teaching Advanced Video at the School of Visual Arts. She has a strong skill set acquired through work with Lane Crawford and Hugo Boss at Tank Magazine, London, 2016; and freelance roles on various productions for Bon Duke at Art+Commerce’s New Light Films.

A man with shoulder length hair and a mustache is wearing black
Class of 2021
Bruce Guanning Liang

My name is Guanning Liang (go by Bruce as well), and I was born and grew up in Beijing, China. I came to America in the fall of 2013 and graduated from Seattle University with a bachelor's degree in film studies in the summer of 2020. Now, I have just earned my Masters's Degree in directing from the School of Visual Arts. It is really hard to tell where my next step is at this moment, especially during this turbulent time. I hope my short film ‘The Butcher’ will be critically acclaimed and help me find further work in the film industry.

Movie poster black and white image of an older woman walking with a younger man with red flowers in the foreground
Class of 2021
Khalid Seña

Khalid Seña was born in New York City and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood. Khalid always had a passion for films, as it’s something he gets from his father who introduced him to the films of Bruce Lee and many other greats like Shaft and the

Terminator franchise to name a few. Khalid has always been an artist since a young age he had a knack for painting and writing poetry as well as short stories. His interest in film began

to take hold when he would watch DVD special features and watch behind-the-scenes featurettes, it’s an experience he described as an early film school giving him the knowledge of different departments and how much goes into making a single film. through his youth, Khalid attended various artistic programs that allowed him to express himself through film including making a documentary short with DCTV and a superhero short film with Wingspan and imagine me. In college, Khalid got a broader sense of media as he majored in communications and got a deeper understanding of Radio, TV, and Film. Once out of college

he began to work as Production Assistant where he worked on everything from Web commercials to network Tv to Netflix projects. Feeling burnt out and desiring more Khalid took a chance and applied to SVA MPS directing program to further tell stories on the next level and make connections with faculty and classmates. Khalid’s Film Concrete Rose is a coming-of-age drama about a recently released ex-convict looking to integrate back into a

world that has moved on without him. The film is set in the Lower East side and Khalid considers it to the first of many stories he wants to tell set in the neighborhood “what entices me about telling stories in my neighborhood is the fact that it’s a part of New York people have seldom. seen We have all seen the stories of the great shiny olympus that is New York but what about the average person that’s on the ground living in an ever-changing environment. what type of stories are there to be told in a neighborhood filled with diversity that’s being priced out by people who know nothing about its rich cultural history?

A man is backlit by city lights in front of a tunnel
Class of 2021
Lingming Lu

Director, singer. Lingming Lu born in China, grew up in Shanghai and New York. He has had a unique enthusiasm in visual arts and music from childhood. Lingming Lu got a master's degree at the school of visual Art after graduation from the film department of Binghamton University.


Whether in the field of music or film, humanity and society are the topics that he cares about most. Art comes from life, however, what he wants to do is to integrate the joys and sorrows of life into his own art.


In 2021, he directed his first film “Nightingale”.

Black and White Image of a man with shoulder length hair wearing sunglasses
Class of 2021
Dah Ming

Dah Ming (Ming Zhang) is an artist and filmmaker, a nomadic cultural drifter who has a constant interest in the relationships between Philosophy and Literature and Art. Having maintained a

nomadic way of living— being a nomad geographically, culturally as well as in art and language, Ming is attracted to the language of moving images and through moving images to the language

of phantoms and spirits. Regarding his life and work as multidimensional, reversible, non-linear, and sensational (rooted

in feeling), Ming has in recent years devoted himself to invest in the surreal, the uncanny, and the unconscious to explore the possibilities of moving image, of space & time — including

processing art and realtime performances, poetry involving time, memory and language & silence. He is currently pursuing his master’s in film Directing at the School of Visual Arts in New York

City.

Selfie of a casual dude taken in a mirror with a striped wall in the foreground
Class of 2021
Dua Phattarapon Varophas

Born in Thailand, graduated from Silpakorn University.

Phattaraphon Varophas (Dua) graduated from Silpakorn University, Thailand. Even though he earned a communication arts degree, he excels in sounds and musical storytelling. He is behind many famous shows and TV programs in Thailand. To fulfill his dream of making sound as important as other visual arts he has undertaken his Masters in Directing at the School of Visual Arts in New York.


For his directing works, he chooses to focus on the value of simplicity. Even though human emotions are much more complicated, Dua believes everyone can relate in some way to the struggles of human nature. His storytelling is intent on exploring life from this point of view. He intends to continue working in cinema as well as sound design and is currently exploring life for his next story.

A man wearing glasses and a blue shirt stands in front of a white wall trying not not smile
Class of 2021
Xupeng Frank Feng

After finishing my Master's degree in Material Formation and Control Engineering, I gradually developed an intense interest in filmmaking. I intend to continue making films and hope to see my knowledge of engineering married with my passion for cinema as my career matures.


Even though I was an engineering student I had a tremendous passion for literature and writing, I have persisted in keeping all types of journals. I am sure all the words I have taken down will be an invaluable treasure for me to recollect when I need to visualize them. I am currently finishing my first narrative short film, Birth, as I earn my Masters in Directing from SVA in New York City.


Keep asking myself: why am I giving up a promising future in my career and devote myself to filmmaking? I believe that filmmaking is the only way to visualize the dreams in my head and the stories in my drawer. Join my journey to the film’s world.

A woman wearing a white dress and pig tail braids leans on a white fence
Class of 2021
Yumin Zhang

Yumin Zhang (Director) graduated from Boston University with a bachelor's degree in Film and

Television, she has worked as an experienced producer but recently stepped into the ranks of directing. With curiosity and enthusiasm, she further her studies of film at the School of Visual Arts in New York.


Being a director, she pursues the ultimate aesthetic control, especially with the smallest details. Highly sensitive to the relationship between emotions and colors narrated by stories, she is keen on exploring the beauty of atmosphere in the film, creating visual impact.

A man with a beard wearing a white shirt and dark blazer stands in front of a white wall
Class of 2021
Eduardo Lytton

A highly-motivated Writer/Director/Producer with over 20 years of experience in TV and film production, production management, interactive media and general fun art video weirdness, Eduardo Lytton has produced and directed several award-winning shorts, music videos, documentaries as well as large-scale immersive video installations. Distinctions include recognition at film festivals worldwide, HBO, Showtime, a nomination for a regional Student Academy Award and exhibition at the Central American Art Biennial (BAVIC). He’s been preparing for this moment for a long time—While it looked like he was just staring out of windows daydreaming, he was doing Linda Hamilton-like pushups the whole time.