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From their first day, SVA BFA Film students are immersed in the aesthetic and technical aspects of visual storytelling. The curriculum focuses on the essential elements of a well-crafted screenplay, techniques for working with actors and being a part of a professional production set, the visual and psychological choices for cinematography and the structure and rhythm of editing. Students specialize in directing, cinematography, editing, screenwriting or sound and have access to industry-level equipment and facilities.

2016 – 2017 student population

376 matriculated students

Acting Department chair

Mary Lee Grisanti

Some notable faculty members

Joan Brooker-Marks (director and producer, Larry Flynt: The Right to Be Left Alone, The Loud Ladies of South Fork, The Silent Truth); Dejan Georgevich, ASC (cinematographer, Gossip Girl, Mirrors, Satan's Little Helper); Vincent LoBrutto (author, Gus Van Sant: His Own Private Cinema, Martin Scorsese: A Biography, Stanley Kubrick: A Biography); Bill Moore (electrician, The Bourne Ultimatum, Hide and Seek, The Shawshank Redemption); Kathrine Narducci (actor, A Bronx Tale, The Sopranos, Workaholics); Chris Newman (Academy Award-winning sound mixer, The Exorcist, The Godfather, The Silence of the Lambs); James Strouse (writer, Grace is Gone; New York, I Love You; The Winning Season); Patrizia Von Brandenstein (production designer, Amadeus, Limitless, Silkwood).

Some notable alumni

Michael Cuesta (director and producer, Dexter, Homeland, L.I.E.), Randall Emmett (executive producer and producer, 2 Guns, End of Watch, Lone Survivor), Michael Giacchino (composer, John Carter, Lost, Up), Daniel Minahan (director, Game of Thrones, The Newsroom, True Blood), Crystal Moselle (director, The Wolfpack), James Muro (Steadicam operator, The Fast and the Furious, Titanic, X-Men: The Last Stand), Gillian Robespierre (director and writer, Obvious Child), Andrew Rona (executive producer, Brothers Grimm, Equilibrium), Harris Savides (director of photography, American Gangster, Milk, Zodiac), Mark Ulano (sound mixer, Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds, Titanic), Ti West (director and writer, The House of the Devil, The InnkeepersV/H/S), Kate Hetland (editor, HBO Special Lady Gaga Presents: The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden)

Student exhibitions

For the past 25 years, with support from the film and animation industry, BFA Film and BFA Animation have sponsored the Dusty Film & Animation Festival. This weeklong showcase includes screenings of thesis projects—from short films and videos to traditional and computer-generated animations—and culminates in an awards ceremony, with distinguished presenters recognizing students and alumni for outstanding achievements.

Department website

More information

SVA Admissions: 212.592.2100 | [email protected]

Media requests

SVA Communication: 212.592.2010 | [email protected]


209 East 23 Street, New York, NY 10010-3994 | 212.592.2000 | sva.edu

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587