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Film is more than the sum of its moving images. It’s a way to understand ourselves by becoming other people, a way to understand others by becoming more fully ourselves.
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Mary Lee Grisanti

Independence is the key word in filmmaking. It means having a personal vision. It means having choices in your career—whether that’s working for a company or being on your own—or both. It means being able to do what you love for life.

Student Work
A Day at SVA

More About the Department

As an SVA undergrad, you can specialize in Directing, Screenwriting, Cinematography, Editing or Sound. You can create a body of work that rivals most graduate schools. Our immersive program has many special features designed to educate you better and faster—like courses which are taught in collaboration by writers and directors, and an integrated curriculum which means you develop work in writing classes, fine-tune it with professional actors in directing, prepare and shoot it in production and edit in post-production.

While you get a solid start in your specialty, you also gain knowledge in all aspects of filmmaking. The essential experience of SVA Film is collaborative and your teachers and classmates quickly become your partners in creativity. All of our faculty do what they teach—actively contending in today’s high tech media marketplace. The relationships you form with your mentors now mean you are already connected to the film industry. When our teachers need to fill a slot on the set or in the studio—who better than the people they have trained themselves? Our students intern at the top production and post-production companies, among others, and are often working before they graduate.

Because your education isn’t just academic but hands-on right from the beginning, you learn early what you love and what you’re good at. You share your skills working on your classmates’ films. Bonds are formed during the intense days and nights of shooting that not only contribute to fine work during school but to career opportunities after graduation.

At SVA Film “independent” is not just a trendy pre-fix for “filmmaker.” It’s the creative DNA that makes SVA artists different. We’re not just about getting a job, but having a life. A life in which you can keep making the work you love.

Film and television are New York’s fastest growing industries—employing more than 100,000 workers. The reason for this explosive growth is the talent pool—New York is the place to find the right people with right skills. SVA has long contributed to the city’s artistic resources.

SVA gives you many advantages as a budding filmmaker. You’re in an atmosphere with a rich tradition of innovation and originality. You’re surrounded by the best image-makers in media. You’re part of the art and idea capital of the world.