The major in film studies is scholarly, international in scope, and writing-intensive. Students choose to major in film if they want to learn more about the art form, from technology to cultural significance; want to work in the film industry; or are interested in a major that combines arts and humanities. Students usually declare the major toward the end of the second year by meeting with the departmental adviser; together, they create a program of twelve required courses within the major, supplemented by three related courses outside the department. Students have the opportunity to gain additional experience by taking advantage of internship opportunities with film companies, working on graduate student films, and participating in the Columbia Undergraduate Film Productions (CUFP), an active, student-run organization that provides filmmaking experience to Columbia undergraduate producers and directors.
Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart; Goodbye Solo), Anna Boden (Half Nelson; Sugar), Tze Chun (Children of Invention), Daniel Harris (Imaginary Heroes) and Henry Alex Rubin (Murderball) are all graduates of Columbia's Film Studies major. In addition to careers in screenwriting, directing, and producing, graduating seniors have gone on to work in film distribution, publicity, archives, and festivals, and to attend graduate school to become teachers and scholars. For more information, see here.
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Columbia University School of the Arts kicked off its collaboration with the Columbia University Middle East Research Center in Amman, Jordan in June 2010, with a series of screenings of American films about the Iraq War curated by School of the Arts Professor and Director of Lincoln Center Film Society Richard Peña. The five-night film series was free and open to the public, and featured panel discussions with local and regional filmmakers and scholars.