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The 25 Best Film Schools in America

The 25 Best Film Schools in America

The Hollywood Reporter has released the fourth edition of its list of the top 25 film schools in the United States. The list is derived from a survey distributed to the industry guilds, American Cinematheque, Film Independent and finally, the schools in contention.

READ MORE: What’s the Best Film School for Cinematographers? Sundance Cinematographers Tell Indiewire What They Think.

According to THR, this year’s list, which is based on the results of more than 2,300 responses, has “resulted in a less Hollywood-centric list.” Unsurprisingly, the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts (which THR dubs “the uncatchable Moby Dick of film schools”) takes the top spot, followed by New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts at number two and the University of California, Los Angeles at number three. The American Film Institute and California Institute of the Arts round out the top five.

Less Hollywood you say?

Besides the usual suspects — USC, NYU and AFI — Columbia University, UT Austin, Wesleyan University, Florida State University, Colorado Film School, Syracuse and UNC appear further down on the list. But it’s going to take a couple more years to convince us that Hollywood has lost its hold on film education.

Take a a look at THR’s full list and decide for yourself.

Meanwhile, though the film industry is trimming costs left and right, aspiring filmmakers are vying to attend film school — with applications to Loyola Marymount, for example, tripling in the past year despite the increase in tuition costs. While it’s possible for an in-state undergraduate at UCLA to as little as $14,966 for tuition, at some of the top schools on the list, tuition can cost as much as $50,000 — or even more.

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+1 Carl. The schools teach their stuff very differently. If you want to go to a film school, you shoul try to find out how they teach and what they demand from the students. The best thing of course is to interview former students. Maybe a task for Indiewire to check out students from different schools? That would be an interesting read. :)

Carl Schoenfeld

Am I the only one who wonders if the ‘best of…’ approach to looking at film schools is the right one to take? Different filmmakers may want very different kinds of support. Just as in the pop charts, such league tables contribute to bland conformity of ideas, rather than diversity that independent cinema needs.

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