Hollywood Reporter Names Columbia One of Nation's Best Film Schools

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The Hollywood Reporter named the School of the Arts Film Program to its annual list of the 25 best film schools in the country, placing Columbia at number five. That is one spot higher than last year, when the Film Program was ranked sixth in the United States.

The ranking this year called particular attention to the outstanding success of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, which was written and directed by alumna Moira Demos ’08 and Laura Ricciardi ’07, with Program Chair Maureen Ryan serving as its production adviser. “Columbia is so focused on story, character and narrative—it played a major role in helping us turn thousands of hours of footage into something a layperson could follow,” Demos told the magazine.

Making a Murderer was recently nominated for six Emmys, including best documentary series, best writing for a documentary series and best directing for a documentary series. Demos and Ricciardi are not the only Columbians nominated for Emmys this year: Playwriting alumnus Beau Willimon ’03 and TV Writing Concentration Head Frank Pugliese also received nominations for their hit Netflix series House of Cards, which was nominated for 13 Emmys, including Outstanding Drama Series.

The past year marked another massively successful one for Columbia students, alumni and faculty. Most recently, current student Mounia Akl’s short film Submarine screened at the Cannes Film Festival and received one of three KODAK Motion Picture Product Grants; recent graduate Clara Roquet ’16 won the 2016 BAFTA US Student Film Award for her short film El Adiós; and seven films by Columbia students, alumni or faculty members were chosen to screen at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, including Professor Katherine Dieckmann’s fourth feature film, Strange Weather, and recent alumnus Johnny Ma’s ’15 first feature film, Old Stone. Professor and veteran producer James Schamus’ directorial debut, Indignation, recently opened to rave reviews after a successful festival run.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.