Master of Fine Arts Film and Television Directing

The Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Directing at DePaul's School of Cinematic Arts is a highly selective program designed to cultivate a filmmaker’s voice through a rigorous filmmaking curriculum. Students will be educated in every discipline involved in the filmmaking process, as well as the business facets of the film industry, enabling them to be best prepared for a career in the industry following graduation. Graduates of the program will emerge with a rich portfolio, including numerous original short films and a complete significant thesis film.

DePaul was recently named a top film school by both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety for giving students real-world opportunities to work on Chicago’s film and television sets. Students have access to unparalleled resources including a dedicated 32,000 square foot production space at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the second largest production studio in North America and home to over thirty major Hollywood productions including Empire, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and more. Students also have access to state-of-the-art camera gear, including Alexa, Amira and Red Cameras, as well as a fully stocked Grip Truck and other production vehicles.

DePaul CDM Cinema Student Reel 
Alex Thompson on set outside

Alex Thompson (MFA '17)

Alex Thompson is a director, writer, and producer working in Chicago. Saint Frances, directed by Thompson, received both the Audience and Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice awards at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. The film was selected by Variety as one of the best movies at the festival and by RogerEbert.com as a standout, powerful film. Thompson’s upcoming projects include more work with the team behind Saint Frances.

SCA Alumni

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  • Alireza Khatami

    Alireza is an independent filmmaker whose trademark is folding fantasy elements into otherwise realistic narratives. His first feature film, Oblivion Verses won the Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay, the FIPRESCI Award for Best Debut Film, and the Interfilm Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue at the 74th Venice International Film Festival.      

  • Anuradha Rana

    Anu’s work focuses on ideas of representation, identity, and varied perspectives in a global environment. Her award-winning films have been produced and directed in India, Ecuador, Japan, South Africa, and the US, and have also screened internationally.      

  • Meghann Artes

    Meghann is an award-winning filmmaker whose films have played in festivals around the world. Her most recent two films were both selected as Vimeo Staff Picks and have been viewed over half a million times.      

  • James Choi

    James’s films have screened widely on the festival circuit. His first feature, Made in China, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative at SXSW and was distributed by IFC Films. His second feature, Empty Space, was recently released nationally on Xfinity On Demand.      

      
 

Cinespace Studios

Shoot your films and take classes at this 32,000 square-foot professional facility formed in alliance with Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

 

Premiere Film Festival

Our annual Premiere Film Festival showcases the best of student work in cinema and animation with awards covering all facets of filmmaking, from screenwriting to post production.

 

Project Bluelight

Work as a crew member on a professional independent film or television pilot.

 

LA Quarter

Experience the inner workings of Hollywood first hand by living in LA, taking classes on a historic studio lot, and interning at high profile companies aligning with your professional aspirations.

 

Visiting Artist Series

Gain valuable insight into the industry from established professionals in the field.

 

Digital Cinema Collaborative

The DCC is a student organization that fosters new collaborations, arming students with focused information, industry opportunities, closer proximity to guest lecturers, and a better sense of what it takes to succeed in the industry.

Application Deadlines

Enrollment QuarterDomestic Student DeadlineInternational Student Deadline
Fall (Priority Deadline)December 15December 15
Fall (Final Deadline)June 15June 15

Admission Process

The graduate application process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts and submitting any supplemental material (e.g., letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.). To learn more about your program specific requirements, visit our Graduate Admission page.

Admission Requirements

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