Filmmaking Schools in Virginia Feature Image

Filmmaking Schools in Virginia

Looking for classes in a specific city? Check out our lists of Filmmaking Schools in Alexandria, Arlington, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, and Virginia Beach.

Ever wondered where to start your journey to become a filmmaker? Explore the top filmmaking schools in Virginia.

This guide highlights programs tailored for aspiring filmmakers, offering practical skills and industry connections.

Find the right school to kickstart your filmmaking career.

Virginia Commonwealth University – VCUarts Cinema

Virginia Commonwealth University’s VCUarts Cinema provides an intensive three-year undergraduate program for a full immersion in narrative filmmaking. This curriculum is tailored to equip you with a strong grasp of theory, screenwriting, production, and distribution.

Key Features

  • Hands-on Learning: Faculty members serve as executive producers, guiding students through the entire filmmaking process.
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: You’ll have access to a 4000 sq. ft. cinema studio, a digital cinema lab, and an array of professional filmmaking equipment, including the Arriflex 535 Motion Picture Camera system and the Canon Cinema EOS C300 Mark II.
  • All-Inclusive Cost Structure: All essential equipment and materials are provided, giving you a seamless educational experience without additional financial burdens.
  • Industry Preparedness: Graduates have proceeded to prestigious MFA programs at institutions like NYU and Columbia and have been involved in high-profile productions such as “Harriet” and “The Walking Dead.”

VCUarts Cinema offers practical experience, consistently preparing students to excel in the filmmaking industry.

Liberty University – B.F.A. in Film Production & Creative Development

Liberty University’s B.F.A. in Film Production & Creative Development delivers a robust curriculum that immerses you in producing high-quality films, TV series, corporate videos, and documentaries.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Covers all aspects of filmmaking from screenwriting and directing to lighting, camera work, and sound design.
  • Industry-Experienced Faculty: Learn from seasoned professionals who bring real-world insights into the classroom.
  • Focus on Real-World Projects: Gain practical experience through hands-on projects, ensuring you’re ready for the industry.
  • Robust Alumni Network: Graduates have worked on major projects like “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: Access cutting-edge facilities and the latest filmmaking technology.

Liberty University’s program stands out for its depth, hands-on experience, and a strong network that facilitates real-world connections.

Hollins University – Film Program

Hollins University’s Film Program offers a rich blend of technical training and creative exploration in film studies and production, tailored for women in the industry.

Key Features

  • Diverse Curriculum: Engage in various genres such as narrative, experimental, documentary, and animation.
  • Unique Focus: One of the few programs emphasizing 16mm filmmaking.
  • Supportive Environment: Hollins hosts the only all-woman undergraduate film program in the U.S.
  • Small Class Sizes: Benefit from personalized mentorship from industry-active faculty.
  • Hands-On Experience: Participate in internships and showcase your work at events like Sundance and the Virginia Film Festival.
  • Career Readiness: Graduates thrive in roles across content creation, production, and marketing.

Hollins University fosters a supportive and inclusive educational environment, making it an exceptional choice for women aiming to make their mark in the filmmaking world.

Marshall University – Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking

Marshall University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking is a pioneering program scheduled to launch in Fall 2024, positioned to support West Virginia’s growing film industry.

Key Features

  • Collaborative Curriculum: Gain skills in cinematography, animation, screenwriting, acting, audio engineering, and post-production, taught by faculty from various disciplines including Music, Theatre and Dance.
  • Strategic Timing: Aligns with West Virginia Film Office initiatives to attract more productions to the state, enhancing local employment opportunities.
  • Real-World Applications: Emphasizes practical courses and industry-standard practices.
  • Local Industry Integration: Leverages the state’s requirement for productions to hire local talent, bolstering job prospects for graduates.
  • Media Studies Major: Offers an additional pathway through the Television and Video Production major, broadening your media production skills.

Marshall University’s program promises an interdisciplinary approach and well-aligned industry opportunities, catering effectively to the evolving demands of the film industry in West Virginia.

These top filmmaking schools in Virginia provide distinct programs catering to various aspects and career paths in filmmaking. By evaluating these choices based on your career goals and preferences, you can find the best fit to launch your filmmaking career.

NOVAarts – Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) in Cinema

NOVAarts offers an Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) in Cinema program, creating a strong foundational groundwork for students aspiring to enter the film industry or continue their education in a four-year program.

Key Features

  • Hands-On Curriculum: The program covers directing, digital editing, and cinematography, ensuring a practical approach to learning each aspect of filmmaking.
  • Experienced Faculty: Industry professionals lead the courses, sharing their real-world experiences and insights.
  • Internships and Industry Exposure: Cinema internships provide valuable practical experience and networking opportunities, preparing students for real-world challenges.
  • Affordability: The program is cost-effective, with potential scholarships available to help offset tuition costs.
  • Pathway for Further Education: The AFA degree is structured to facilitate smooth transitions to bachelor’s programs in cinema, film, or media production.

NOVAarts focuses on making education accessible and practical, giving students the skills and knowledge necessary for successful careers in the film industry.

Virginia Tech – Cinema Program

Virginia Tech’s Cinema Program offers a balanced education in cinema history, art, technology, and production methods, set within a broader exploration of theatre arts.

Key Features

  • Diverse Curriculum: Courses cover film history, criticism, and production, integrated within theatre performance and production fundamentals.
  • Practical Experience: Hands-on projects ensure students gain essential skills in cinematography and filmmaking.
  • Collaborative Opportunities: Internships, study abroad options, and participation in community events such as guest lectures and film screenings enhance learning experiences.
  • Small Class Sizes: The program boasts a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio, ensuring personalized instruction and mentorship.
  • Showcase Opportunities: The annual Progeny Short Film Festival provides a platform for students to showcase their creative work and network with peers and industry professionals.
  • Industry-Experienced Faculty: Professors passionate about the industry guide students through comprehensive coursework and hands-on learning.

Virginia Tech’s Cinema program emphasizes a balanced curriculum and extensive collaborative opportunities, preparing students for diverse careers in the film industry.

What to Consider When Choosing Filmmaking Schools in Virginia

When choosing a filmmaking school, several crucial factors can guide you to the best fit for your career goals and educational needs.

  1. Curriculum Alignment: Ensure the program covers essential topics such as screenwriting, directing, cinematography, and post-production. The curriculum should match your career aspirations.
  2. Faculty Expertise: Instructors with industry experience can provide valuable insights and mentorship, enriching your learning experience.
  3. Facilities and Resources: Access to professional equipment, film studios, and editing labs is vital for hands-on learning and skill development.
  4. Internships and Industry Connections: Real-world experience through internships and strong industry connections can significantly impact career prospects.
  5. Alumni Success: Graduates’ success stories indicate the program’s effectiveness in preparing students for the film industry.
  6. Location: Proximity to film hubs or active film industry cities enhances opportunities for internships and jobs.
  7. Cost and Financial Aid: Research the program’s tuition and additional expenses for materials and equipment. Availability of scholarships and financial aid can ease financial burdens.
  8. Program Reputation: Each school has unique strengths. Research graduates’ pathways and reviews about the school to gauge the program’s quality.
  9. Campus Visits: Visiting campuses, attending open houses, and meeting with faculty and students can provide deep insights into the school’s culture and environment.

These considerations can guide you in making an informed decision about the best filmmaking school for your needs, ensuring you receive quality education and training.

Filmmaking Schools By State

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California
Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming


Each of these top filmmaking schools in Virginia offers unique strengths and opportunities for aspiring filmmakers.

Prospective students should explore these options, visit campuses, and meet with faculty to find the best fit for their filmmaking journey.

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