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Filmmaking Schools in Seattle WA

Not in Seattle? Check out our lists of Filmmaking Schools in Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Spokane Valley, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, and across Washington.

Can’t decide which of the many Filmmaking Schools in Seattle WA is right for you?

This guide breaks down top programs in the city, highlighting unique offerings and career advantages.

From hands-on experience to industry connections, find out what sets these schools apart.

Seattle Film Institute – Filmmaking Programs

Seattle Film Institute (SFI) has an unparalleled reputation in the Pacific Northwest. Known for its rigorous approach to filmmaking education, SFI is the only nationally accredited film school in the region. Here, students can expect a rich blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Key Features:

  • Diverse Programs: Choose from Filmmaking, Acting, Digital Arts, and Animation.
  • Accelerated Degrees: Both undergraduate and graduate options are available, including BA in Film, MFA in Filmmaking and Producing, MA in Producing for Film, and MM in Film Composition.
  • Flexible Learning: Opt for on-campus or online courses that fit your schedule.
  • Mentorship: Learn from faculty who are current industry professionals.
  • Career Support: Extensive career services and coaching to ease your transition into the industry.

Located at 3210 16th Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119, SFI is dedicated to developing your filmmaking skills and facilitating your entry into the professional world. For more details, you can contact them at (206) 568-4387 or [email protected].

NW Film Forum – ACTION! Narrative Apprenticeship Program

Situated at the heart of Seattle, NW Film Forum fosters a vibrant filmmaking community. This inclusive space is ideal for filmmakers who crave a collaborative and supportive atmosphere.

Key Features:

  • Festivals and Workshops: Participate in festivals like the ByDesign Festival and Children’s Film Festival.
  • Narrative Apprenticeship Program: Gain hands-on experience under the guidance of industry veterans.
  • Community Support: Benefit from services like fiscal sponsorship, gear rentals, and editing labs.
  • Accessibility: Enjoy screenings with closed captioning and other accessibility features.

NW Film Forum is more than just a school; it’s a dynamic environment where you can grow your skills and network with like-minded creators.

Seattle University – BA in Film & Media

At Seattle University, the BA in Film & Media program offers an immersive educational experience. The curriculum not only hones technical skills but also places film within broader cultural and historical contexts.

Key Features:

  • Broad Curriculum: Subjects range from screenwriting to advanced production techniques.
  • Interdisciplinary Opportunities: Integrate your film studies with journalism, creative writing, and more.
  • Social Justice Focus: Emphasis on storytelling that highlights social issues.
  • Career Prospects: Graduates often find roles with major companies like Amazon and NBC or pursue further studies.
  • Internships: Opportunities for real-world experience through collaborations with Seattle International Film Festival and Northwest Film Forum.

Seattle University’s balanced program prepares you for a wide range of career opportunities in the film industry, blending technical education with a mission-driven approach.

University of Washington – Certificate in Film and Video Production

The University of Washington‘s Certificate in Film and Video Production offers an extensive program for aspiring filmmakers. This academic course provides the skills needed to create compelling visual narratives and is ideal for both novices and those with some filmmaking experience.

Key Features:

  • Visual Storytelling: Learn narrative techniques to create engaging content.
  • Technical Skills: Gain knowledge in cinematography, sound recording, and editing.
  • Hands-On Learning: Collaborate on projects with guidance from experienced instructors, including some Emmy Award winners.
  • Flexible Schedule: Classes are held in the evenings to accommodate working professionals.

This eight-month program provides a well-rounded education in filmmaking. It involves three main courses: Production Principles, Refining Skills, and a Capstone Project. Students are expected to have basic filmmaking experience, intermediate English proficiency, and access to specific technical resources. The program is reasonably priced at $6,345, payable quarterly. Scholarships may be available to aid financial needs.

For more details about this robust program, visit the University of Washington’s program page.

Film Connection – Film Production School

Film Connection offers an innovative approach to filmmaking education in Seattle, WA. This school excels by integrating students directly into the film industry through hands-on training and mentorship.

Key Features:

  • Real-World Training: Work alongside industry professionals in actual production environments.
  • Cost-Effective: Avoid the high costs of traditional film schools while gaining invaluable industry connections.
  • Flexible Learning: Benefit from multiple facilities and flexible class hours to suit your schedule.
  • Scenic Backdrop: Enjoy Seattle’s diverse locations and vibrant cultural scene for filmmaking projects.

Film Connection’s program focuses on key areas such as directing, cinematography, and screenwriting. It’s a practical option for those looking to build skills through experience and networking rather than conventional classroom settings.

For more information, visit the Film Connection’s Seattle page.

What to Consider When Choosing a Filmmaking School in Seattle

Choosing the right filmmaking school in Seattle is crucial for your career. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Program Curriculum: Ensure the courses align with your career goals. Look for schools offering subjects that interest you and cover essential aspects of filmmaking.
  2. Faculty Expertise: Experienced instructors provide mentorship and networking opportunities that can be pivotal for your career.
  3. Equipment and Facilities: Practical experience with professional-grade tools is vital for skill development. Visit schools to check out their facilities.
  4. Cost and Financial Aid: Tuition fees, scholarships, and financial aid can greatly impact your decision. Understand the full financial commitment before enrolling.
  5. Industry Connections: Internships and networking opportunities with industry professionals can significantly enhance employment prospects after graduation.
  6. Program Flexibility: Evening classes or online options can be beneficial if you need to balance studies with work or other commitments.

By evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your personal and professional aspirations.


Seattle provides a vibrant backdrop for aspiring filmmakers, with several top-notch schools offering diverse programs. Whether you’re drawn to the extensive curriculum of the Seattle Film Institute, the collaborative community at the NW Film Forum, the comprehensive education in film and media at Seattle University, the hands-on Certificate in Film and Video Production at the University of Washington, or the industry-centric training from Film Connection, you’ll find a program that caters to your ambitions.

Taking the first step in researching and choosing the right filmmaking school in Seattle, WA will set you on a path to success in this exciting and dynamic industry.

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