Tian Tang (MPS 2017) on set.
Tian Tang (MPS 2017) on set.
Make Your Dream Film
MPS Directing guides aspiring filmmakers toward cinematic excellence
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.
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.

Why We Stand Out:
  • We focus on the craft of directing and the art of visual storytelling

  • Connect with industry professionals: working directors, screenwriters, editors and producers

  • A practical, hands-on curriculum where students gain experience in every aspect of directing film

Student Work

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.

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    Enclosure Trailer
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    The Fiddle Player Trailer
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    Show & Tell Trailer
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    Pete’s Valve Trailer