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Film Studies

For a list of requirements for the major or minor in Film Studies, please click here.

The advent of cinema internationally in the late 19th century changed forever our ideas about art, representation, entertainment, communication, education and mass culture. Films (and all the forms of moving image culture that have developed since, from television to the internet) have become a great art form and a huge business. The cinema has influenced fashion and all the other arts, brought about changes in the law, made billions of people laugh and cry, inspired philosophers and theologians, invaded our dreams, disseminated culture and education, and stirred up controversy, uniting and dividing peoples around the world.

Film studies as a discipline within the academy—with its focus upon film history, theory and criticism, analyzing works of various genres and filmmakers from around the world—dates back to at least the 1920s. It became especially prominent during the past 50 years, as scholars from many areas of study brought their expertise to various approaches to studying the cinema. With its emphasis on how films have been made, distributed and exhibited; who has made them and who its audiences have been; and how they convey a broad range of feelings and meanings about our world, film studies finds application for anyone who enjoys the movies.

Those who work in film and other media know its history and how to closely read a film's visuals, editing and sounds. Thus, a background in film studies, combined with the film festivals, museums, internships and screening venues New York City and Westchester County have to offer, provides invaluable training for those aspiring to work in the media or go on to graduate study in this area.