FSU College of Motion Picture Arts continues to rise among the best film schools in the nation
BY: ANNA PRENTISS , LILY CHAILOSKY | PUBLISHED: | 12:21 PM |
Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts has climbed to No. 14, up one spot from last year, on The Hollywood Reporter’s list of the Top 25 American Film Schools.
Recognized as one of the entertainment industry’s premier publications, The Hollywood Reporter measures film schools on the success of their alumni, reputation among film professionals and the quality of faculty, facilities and filmmaking equipment.
Reb Braddock, dean of the College of Motion Picture Arts, said the rise in the rankings demonstrates the college’s commitment to preparing aspiring filmmakers for success in the entertainment industry.
“We are so proud of our film school family, especially our great alums who are out there working in every aspect of the movie business,” Braddock said. “They are the real reason why The Hollywood Reporter continues to recognize FSU as a force in our industry.”
The publication cited the college’s training initiatives, tight-knit alumni network and affordability as key factors in distinguishing it as one of the nation’s most prestigious film schools.
The College of Motion Picture Arts is also noted as having one of the finest production facilities in the world, dedicated exclusively to motion picture education. The college functions as an industry-grade production studio, with writers’ rooms, sound stages, post-production suites, animation labs, screening rooms and more.
Its Torchlight Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship educates students in current and emerging business practices of the industry and seeks to provide students with internship opportunities to gain in-depth experience in these areas, which helps with the post-graduation transition into Hollywood.
The film school created a $10,000 Torchlight Diverse Voices in Cinema Grant to amplify the voices of alumni who seek to overcome injustice through the power of storytelling, and it hopes to open the application in 2023. In addition, the college is establishing a second Equity Scholarship that supports first-year students of color.
“These initiatives, along with our annual faculty and staff workshops and diversity events, are continuing our efforts to promote a feeling of inclusion for students of all backgrounds,” Braddock said.
The Torchlight Center also provides opportunities for the faculty members to produce their creative work. Notable faculty productions include: “Rachel,” a new feature film by Professor Victor Nunez; the feature documentary “Courtroom 3H,” directed by Professor Antonio Mendez Esparza; and two documentaries produced by Professor Valerie Scoon, “Invisible History: Middle Florida’s Hidden Roots” and “Daring Women Doctors: Physicians in the 19th Century.”
Noted as one of the most affordable film schools by The Hollywood Reporter, the College of Motion Picture Arts has ensured that tuition covers core production costs of all students’ films, including but not limited to industry-standard camera/sound equipment, lights and electric, production vehicles, catering/craft service, a professional post-production facility and entry fees/expenses for finished student work shown at film festivals.
The list of film school students earning elite honors is also growing.
This year, Taylor Ross, Chase Davis, Costa Karalis and Jack Owen were invited to screen their films at the Cannes Film Festival. Last year Alex McFry and William Stead received the same opportunity at Cannes. In 2019, Shae Demandt, an animation and digital arts major, won a Student Academy Award and became one of only 19 student filmmakers from around the world to earn that honor. Last year Skyler Theis and Will O’Neal were semifinalists in the Student Oscar Documentary competition, and this year, a student documentary directed by Ryan Joiner and Landon Watford was a semifinalist in the same competition.
As for FSU alumni, that list is getting longer, too. In addition to Oscar winners Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski and Jonathan King, other successful graduates include Marvel Studios executive producer Stephen Broussard, who worked on “Iron Man 3,” “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “The Incredible Hulk”; Melissa Carter, showrunner of “Stargirl” and “Queen Sugar,” currently executive-producing the series “The Cleaning Lady; Wes Ball, director of the “Maze Runner” movies, who is working on two new projects; Allison Carter, producer of “Zola,” “American Honey” and “The Dinner”; and Ali Bell, executive producer of “Baywatch” and “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.”