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Filmmaking Schools in New York

Looking for classes in a specific city? Check out our lists of Filmmaking Schools in Albany, Amherst, Babylon, Brookhaven, Buffalo, Hempstead, Huntington, Islip, New York City, and North Hempstead.

Do you dream of making it big in the film industry?

Discover the top filmmaking schools in New York tailored to launch your career. From hands-on learning to expert mentorship, find out what each school has to offer and how they can help you achieve your cinematic dreams.

This guide covers the essential information you’ll need to choose the best fit for your aspirations.

New York Film Academy – Filmmaking Programs

The New York Film Academy (NYFA) is renowned for its hands-on approach to learning, known as “learning by doing.” Students have the opportunity to work on actual filmmaking projects from day one. The faculty comprises industry professionals with extensive experience.

NYFA offers diverse programs such as:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA): A comprehensive curriculum focusing on practical industry skills.
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA): Blends filmmaking with a liberal arts education.
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA): Advanced studies for those seeking to deepen their filmmaking knowledge.
  • Master of Arts (MA): Combines theory and practical training.
  • Associate of Fine Arts (AFA): Aimed at those pursuing quick entry into the film industry.

Additionally, NYFA provides online degrees, short-term workshops, and study abroad options, making education flexible and tailored to various career goals.

NYFA partners with prestigious institutions like Warner Bros. Movie World, providing students with opportunities to gain practical industry experience. The tuition is on the higher side, but the comprehensive curriculum, industry connections, and practical experience make it worthwhile for many students. Scholarships, grants, and private loans are available to help manage costs.

Overall, NYFA stands out due to its immersive and practical approach, experienced faculty, and valuable industry partnerships, positioning it as a top choice for aspiring filmmakers.

NYU Kanbar Institute of Film and Television – Filmmaking Program

Part of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, the NYU Kanbar Institute of Film and Television is a prestigious institution with a long history of influencing the visual storytelling landscape since its inception in 1965. The institute offers an extensive curriculum covering:

  • Directing: Learn the intricacies of guiding a film’s creative vision.
  • Editing: Master the art of post-production.
  • Cinematography: Study the technical and artistic aspects of visual storytelling.
  • Independent Filmmaking: Develop the skills to produce and market your own projects.

With the production of over 5,000 films annually, students gain ample practical experience. The program promotes interdisciplinary collaboration with other artistic departments, including dance, drama, and performance studies.

One of its strengths is access to industry professionals and networking opportunities. Experienced faculty members, who are leaders in their fields, provide mentorship and guidance.

However, admission to this program is highly competitive, and tuition costs are on the higher end. But for those who make it, the NYU Kanbar Institute offers an enriching and intensive educational experience that prepares students with the skills and creative vision needed to excel in the industry.

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) – Filmmaking Programs

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City is celebrated for its hands-on learning and practical training in filmmaking. SVA’s curriculum includes:

  • Screenwriting: Develop compelling scripts and narratives.
  • Directing: Learn how to bring visions to life.
  • Cinematography: Gain technical skills in filming.
  • Editing: Edit and polish film footage.
  • Sound Design: Understand the audio components of filmmaking.

Students benefit from working with industry-standard equipment and facilities. SVA also offers various programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as continuing education courses. The school’s location in New York City gives students access to a vibrant film industry and numerous networking opportunities.

While the tuition fees can be high, and the cost of living in New York City may pose a financial challenge, the immersive education and practical skills gained make SVA a solid option for aspiring filmmakers.

Ghetto Film School – Fellows Program

Ghetto Film School (GFS) offers a free, multi-year visual storytelling course aimed at young artists, especially those from underserved communities in New York, Los Angeles, and London. The Fellows Program provides high-quality instruction and mentorship from industry professionals, helping to bridge the industry gap.

Key features include:

  • Experienced Mentors: Connect with professionals who guide your artistic development.
  • Roster Program: This feature connects alumni with job opportunities.
  • Showcase Events: Various events throughout the year for showcasing and celebrating students’ work.

The program emphasizes accessibility and community support, making it a valuable pathway for young, aspiring filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds. While program availability is limited to specific locations, GFS’s commitment to accessible education in filmmaking and the high-caliber mentorship provided make it an excellent choice for aspiring filmmakers dedicated to their craft.

International Film Institute of New York – Filmmakers Collective

The International Film Institute of New York has been a prominent filmmaking school for over 25 years, offering hands-on programs focused on storytelling. One of the standout programs is the Filmmakers Collective, a five-week intensive course that teaches the art of translating scripts to screen. They also offer the Filmmakers Week, providing a quick yet thorough overview of the filmmaking process.

The Institute emphasizes a supportive, collaborative environment, featuring:

  • Workshops: Learn specific skills in focused settings.
  • Collaborative Projects: Partner with peers on creative projects.
  • Networking Opportunities: Engage with industry professionals.

Students can earn college credits, and assistance for housing and meal plans is available. The conservatory setting fosters a nurturing atmosphere where students can hone their filmmaking skills. Although specific tuition details are not provided, the comprehensive education makes the International Film Institute of New York a leading choice for those passionate about film.

By exploring the unique strengths of each school, such as NYFA’s practical approach, NYU Kanbar’s interdisciplinary collaboration, or SVA’s hands-on training, you can find the best fit for your career aspirations in the filmmaking schools in New York.

Ready to take the next step towards your filmmaking dreams? Click on the links provided to learn more about each program.

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

Located in Downtown Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema offers affordable, high-quality education with a strong focus on diversity, creativity, and collaboration. This institution is ideal for those who are serious about making a mark in the entertainment industry.

M.F.A. Degrees

Feirstein provides several M.F.A. degrees including:

  • Cinema Arts: This covers extensive areas ranging from directing to producing.
  • Live-Action Filmmaking: Focuses on narrative cinema.
  • Digital Animation and VFX: A gateway for aspiring digital artists.
  • Media Scoring: Tailored for those interested in film music composition.

Key Highlights

  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: Modern equipment and facilities that mirror industry standards.
  • Professional Faculty: Courses taught by working professionals who bring valuable real-world insights.
  • Collaborative Learning: Hands-on programs encourage team projects.
  • Mentorship Opportunities: Receive guidance from industry leaders.
  • Affordable Education: Beneficial due to a $30 million public-private partnership, keeping costs at about one-third of other major film schools.

Feirstein is recognized for its commitment to offering a practical and inclusive education, providing students with essential skills, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

Brooklyn College – Film Department

The Film Department at Brooklyn College offers a comprehensive education that is both accessible and affordable. With a focus on liberal arts and practical training, students can immerse themselves in a broad range of film-related studies.

Program Details

Brooklyn College’s Film Department provides:

  • Film Studies: Analyzes film history and theory.
  • Film Production: Covers technical aspects including shooting and editing.
  • Screenwriting: Fosters skills in writing compelling narratives.
  • Documentary: Focuses on non-fictional storytelling.
  • Industry Studies: Offers insights into the business side of filmmaking.

Key Highlights

  • Experienced Faculty: Composed of industry professionals.
  • Hands-On Experience: Practical exposure through projects and internships.
  • Networking Opportunities: Located in New York City, providing ample opportunities to connect.
  • Affordable Tuition: Ranked as the most affordable film school for 2021 by
  • Creative Showcase: Initiatives like the “Made in Quarantine Showcase” reflect resilience and innovation.

The Film Department at Brooklyn College equips students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to thrive in the motion picture industry.

Purchase College School of Film and Media Studies – Cinema and Television Studies

Purchase College School of Film and Media Studies offers interdisciplinary programs that combine extensive research with hands-on training. The school’s reputation for excellence is complemented by its diverse course offerings.

Program Options

Students can pursue various programs including:

  • Cinema and Television Studies (BA): A broad curriculum covering multiple aspects of film and TV.
  • Media Studies (BA): Explores various forms of media and their impacts.
  • New Media (BA): Focuses on emerging technologies and digital storytelling.
  • Playwriting and Screenwriting (BA): Tailored for those interested in writing for the screen and stage.
  • Film BFA: Provides conservatory-style immersion in filmmaking.

Key Highlights

  • Collaborative Projects: Emphasis on working with peers from other programs.
  • Resources: Access to the Center for Production Services for hands-on learning.
  • Transnational Filmmaking Project: Encourages cross-cultural collaboration.
  • Strong Alumni Network: Graduates have made notable contributions across various media platforms.
  • Diverse Learning Environment: Encourages innovation through cultural exchange.

Purchase College stands out for its interdisciplinary approach and collaborative learning environment, providing a robust education in film and media studies.

How to Choose the Best Filmmaking School in New York

Selecting the right filmmaking school in New York can feel overwhelming. Here are key factors to consider:

Program Offerings

Analyze the specific programs each school offers:

  1. Comprehensive Curriculum: Ensure the school covers areas like screenwriting, directing, and editing.
  2. Hands-On Training: Look for institutions that focus on practical experience.
  3. Specialized Fields: Check if the school offers specialized programs that match your career goals.

Faculty Experience

Consider the experience and background of the faculty:

  • Industry Professionals: Teachers with real-world experience can provide valuable insights.
  • Mentorship Opportunities: Evaluate the availability of mentorship programs and faculty support.

Industry Connections

Networking opportunities and industry connections are crucial:

  • Internships: Programs that offer internships can provide valuable real-world experience.
  • Alumni Network: A strong alumni network can open doors to job opportunities.
  • Industry Partnerships: Schools with ties to major studios or production houses offer added advantages.

Resources and Facilities

Evaluate the school’s resources and facilities:

  • State-of-the-Art Equipment: Access to modern equipment and studios is vital.
  • Support Services: Look for schools that provide comprehensive student support services.

Budget Considerations

Consider the cost of tuition and other fees:

  • Tuition Fees: Compare the tuition costs of each institution.
  • Financial Aid: Check for scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options.
  • Living Costs: Factor in the cost of living in New York City.

Success Rate and Alumni Network

Research the success rate and strength of the alumni network:

  • Successful Graduates: Schools with notable graduates indicate strong programs.
  • Career Support: Look for institutions that provide robust career services.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the filmmaking school in New York that best aligns with your career goals and personal circumstances.

Filmmaking Schools By State

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Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming


Choosing the right filmmaking school in New York involves careful consideration of various factors including program offerings, faculty experience, industry connections, resources, and budget. By evaluating these aspects, you can find the best institution that aligns with your career aspirations. Whether it’s the hands-on approach of NYFA, the interdisciplinary collaboration at NYU Kanbar, or the affordability of Brooklyn College, each school offers unique strengths to help you succeed in the film industry. Explore these options and take the first step towards your filmmaking dream.

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