Filmmaking Schools in New York City NY

Not in New York City? Check out our lists of Filmmaking Schools in Oyster Bay, Ramapo, Rochester, Smithtown, Syracuse, Yonkers, Albany, Amherst, and across New York.

Looking to break into the film industry?

Discover the top filmmaking schools in New York City, NY, where you can turn your cinematic dreams into reality.

This article covers standout institutions, their unique programs, and key details to help you choose the best fit for your filmmaking journey.

Whether you’re interested in hands-on training or industry connections, there’s a program for you.

New York Film Academy – Filmmaking Program

The New York Film Academy (NYFA) is a distinguished institution offering robust programs to cultivate aspiring filmmakers. Located in the heart of New York City, NYFA employs a hands-on approach to teaching filmmaking that prioritizes practical learning over theoretical instruction.

  • Diverse Programs: NYFA offers various degrees, such as BFA, BA, MFA, MA, and AFA, along with online degrees and 1-year or 2-year specialized certificate programs.
  • Experienced Faculty: The faculty consists of industry professionals who bring real-world expertise to the classroom.
  • Global Campuses: NYFA has campuses in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Gold Coast in Australia, Florence in Italy, and Paris in France.
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid: Several financial aid options, including federal aid, scholarships, and grants, are available to students.

NYFA’s blend of rigorous practical training, extensive faculty experience, and multiple global campuses ensures that students are well-prepared for a career in filmmaking. Find further details on the NYFA website.

New York University – Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film and Television

The Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts has been nurturing creative talents since 1965. This institution is celebrated for producing alumni who have substantially impacted the film industry, such as Chris Columbus and Melina Matsoukas.

  • Comprehensive Programs: The institute offers undergraduate and graduate programs with over 5,000 student films produced annually.
  • Industry Access: Located in New York City, the school provides excellent opportunities for networking and industry connections.
  • Experienced Faculty: The faculty includes prominent filmmakers, editors, cinematographers, and writers who mentor students through an immersive educational experience.
  • Financial Support: Scholarships, grants, and financial aid options are available to support students.

The combination of a strong curriculum, industry presence, and accomplished faculty makes the Tisch School of the Arts a top choice for aspiring filmmakers. Explore more on the Tisch School of the Arts website.

The School of Visual Arts Continuing Education – Filmmaking Program

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) Continuing Education in New York City offers a comprehensive filmmaking program. This program caters to a wide range of skill levels, making it a suitable choice for both beginners and seasoned professionals looking to refine their skills.

  • Flexible Scheduling: Evening, weekend, and online classes are available to accommodate working professionals and those with other commitments.
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: Students have access to advanced equipment and facilities that mirror industry standards.
  • Industry Professionals as Faculty: Courses are taught by industry professionals, ensuring that students receive current, real-world knowledge and skills.
  • Collaborative Environment: The program encourages collaboration, allowing students to work on projects together and learn from each other.

While the tuition costs may be on the higher side, SVA’s high-quality education and hands-on training make it a worthwhile investment. Discover more on the School of Visual Arts website.

City College of New York – BFA in Film & Video

City College of New York’s BFA in Film & Video program offers a well-rounded education that blends storytelling, historical context, and theory with practical media production in both fiction and documentary. The program aims to prepare students comprehensively for a career in filmmaking.

  • Diverse Coursework: The curriculum includes screenwriting, directing, producing, camera work, sound, and editing.
  • Hands-On Training: Students complete thesis film production in their second year, gaining practical experience.
  • High-Quality Equipment: Access to top-tier equipment, including Blackmagic Design, Panasonic, and Sony HD video cameras.
  • Historical Legacy: Established in 1941, the program prides itself on combining technical training with a humanities education.

The BFA in Film & Video at City College of New York empowers students with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. For more details, visit the City College of New York’s Film Program website.

Ghetto Film School – Fellows Program

The Ghetto Film School’s Fellows Program is a unique, free visual storytelling initiative for young artists in New York, Los Angeles, and London. This multi-year program emphasizes inclusivity and diversity.

  • Free Education: The program is completely free, making it accessible to a wide range of students.
  • Extensive Curriculum: Courses cover screenwriting, directing, producing, and other essentials of filmmaking.
  • Mentorship and Networking: Students benefit from professional development opportunities, industry connections, and career advancement.
  • Supportive Community: The school fosters a collaborative and inclusive environment for students to learn and create together.

This program’s emphasis on diversity and mentorship offers unparalleled opportunities for aspiring filmmakers from various backgrounds. Find more information on the Ghetto Film School’s website.

The City College of New York – MFA Program in Film

The City College of New York offers a two-year MFA program in Film that specializes in both documentary and fiction filmmaking. Situated in Harlem, this program provides students with a unique and diverse environment enriched by New York City’s vibrant culture.

  • Specialized Focus: Students can choose to focus on either documentary or fiction filmmaking, allowing for tailored educational paths.
  • Distinguished Faculty: The faculty comprises award-winning filmmakers committed to mentoring students.
  • Recognition: Student works often receive acclaim at prestigious festivals such as Cannes and Sundance.
  • Affordability: As part of a public university, this program is one of the more affordable graduate-level film programs in the area.

The MFA program at City College of New York is ideal for those seeking an affordable yet highly respected education in film. For more information, visit the City College of New York’s MFA Film Program website.

This section provides detailed insights into some of the best filmmaking schools in New York City, ideal for aspiring filmmakers looking to deepen their craft and build a successful career in the film industry.

Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema – M.F.A. Degrees in Cinema Arts

The Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College provides a rich and engaging environment for film students. Located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, this school features state-of-the-art facilities and a curriculum reflective of industry standards.

  • Diverse Degree Options: Feirstein offers M.F.A. degrees in live-action filmmaking, digital animation, visual effects, and sonic arts.
  • Modern Facilities: With a $30 million public-private partnership, the school boasts industry-standard equipment and cutting-edge technology.
  • Professional Faculty: Students are mentored by working professionals from the film, media, and music industries.
  • Collaborative Learning: The curriculum emphasizes hands-on, collaborative education that simulates real-world industry practices.
  • Affordability: Feirstein is known for being one of the more affordable options, charging about one-third of the tuition of other major film schools.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: The school promotes an inclusive environment where students can explore their authentic voice and creativity.

Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema’s blend of modern facilities and affordable tuition makes it a compelling choice for aspiring filmmakers. Visit their official website for more information.

Purchase College – Transnational Filmmaking Project

The Purchase College School of Film and Media Studies offers an interdisciplinary education through its Transnational Filmmaking Project. This initiative stands out because it fosters a dynamic and diverse creative environment.

  • Interdisciplinary Programs: With BA and BFA degrees in various fields such as Cinema and Television Studies, Media Studies, Playwriting, and Screenwriting, students receive a well-rounded education.
  • Collaborative Projects: The Transnational Filmmaking Project encourages global collaboration among students from different countries and film schools.
  • Professional Practice: Real-world opportunities, like the Storyline apprenticeship program, offer practical experience and potential employment.
  • Strong Alumni Network: Graduates are well-connected and have achieved notable success in the film industry.

Purchase College’s comprehensive approach and international focus make it a standout option for students interested in a multicultural perspective in filmmaking. Explore more about their program on the Purchase College website.

Pace University – Digital Cinema and Filmmaking BS

Pace University offers a Bachelor of Science in Digital Cinema and Filmmaking that seamlessly combines aesthetic filmmaking with technical training. Located in New York City, this program is ideal for students who want to integrate artistic vision with practical skills.

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: The program covers cinematography, lighting, editing, screenwriting, and on-set procedures.
  • Internships: Students have access to internships that provide hands-on experience and industry connections.
  • Professional Facilities: The school features a professional Communications Center with HD cameras, AVID, Adobe editing systems, sound stages, and a screening room.
  • Industry Connections: The location in NYC allows students to network with professionals and gain exposure to real-world filmmaking environments.

For those looking to develop a well-rounded skill set in digital cinema and filmmaking, Pace University offers an excellent blend of artistic and technical training. Visit Pace University’s Digital Cinema and Filmmaking BS page for more details.

Brooklyn College – Film Program

Brooklyn College offers a robust film program that emphasizes hands-on learning and collaboration. This program prepares students to excel in various facets of the film industry.

  • Diverse Curriculum: The program includes film studies, production, screenwriting, documentary filmmaking, and industry studies.
  • Experienced Faculty: Faculty members are professionals who guide students in all aspects of filmmaking.
  • Practical Experience: Students have access to internship opportunities throughout NYC.
  • Affordability: Recognized as one of the most affordable film programs in the country, Brooklyn College offers quality education at a reasonable cost.
  • Resilience and Adaptability: Even during the COVID-19 quarantine, students produced short films, showcasing their ability to adapt and create under challenging circumstances.

Brooklyn College’s blend of theory and practical experience, coupled with its affordability, makes it an excellent choice for aspiring filmmakers. Learn more on the Brooklyn College Film Program website.

The Cinema School – Filmmaking Programs

The Cinema School provides a comprehensive education in filmmaking, suitable for various skill levels. With experienced faculty and a focus on practical training, the school prepares students for diverse roles in the film industry.

  • Diverse Courses: Programs and courses include screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, and sound design.
  • Emphasis on Storytelling: The curriculum focuses on both technical skills and creative development in storytelling and visual aesthetics.
  • Hands-On Experience: Students work with professional-grade equipment and collaborate on projects.
  • Supportive Environment: The Cinema School fosters a diverse and inclusive community, encouraging the exchange of ideas and collaborative learning.

Detailed pricing and scheduling information are available on the school’s official website. For more information, visit The Cinema School.

Tips for Choosing the Best Filmmaking School in NYC

Choosing the right filmmaking school in New York City can significantly impact your career. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Curriculum Quality: Ensure the school offers up-to-date courses that cover all aspects of filmmaking.
  2. Faculty Experience: Opt for schools with faculty who are industry professionals, bringing real-world insights and connections.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Research how the school facilitates industry connections through internships, alumni networks, and collaborations with professionals.
  4. Location Advantages: NYC offers immense benefits with its vibrant film industry, cultural diversity, and access to a wide array of locations for shooting.
  5. Alumni Success: Look into the achievements of the school’s alumni to gauge the potential career success of graduates.
  6. Financial Aspects: Consider tuition costs, available financial aid, scholarships, and the overall return on investment.
  7. Resources and Facilities: A top filmmaking school should provide state-of-the-art equipment and facilities that mirror industry standards, ensuring practical, hands-on learning experiences.

Evaluating these factors can help you choose a filmmaking school that aligns with your career goals, financial situation, and learning preferences.


New York City offers a plethora of options for aspiring filmmakers, each with unique strengths and opportunities. Whether you seek hands-on practical experience, industry connections, or an affordable education, NYC’s filmmaking schools provide diverse pathways to achieve your cinematic dreams. Prospective students should explore each school further to identify the best fit for their aspirations and career goals.

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