School of Theatre, Film & Television

The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television film program ranked No. 7 among public universities and moved up to No. 25 overall in the latest rankings from The Wrap.

The Wrap’s sixth annual ranking of the top 50 film schools in the U.S. was assembled through an anonymous poll of more than 1,200 entertainment industry insiders, educators, deans, filmmakers and film pundits, along with experts tasked with evaluating each school.

“It’s gratifying to receive this industry recognition as our film program, with its longstanding focus on mentoring diverse voices, continues its rise and produces alumni who excel across the industry,” said TFTV Director Andy Belser.

Film program ranks No. 7 ... I Dream in Widescreen image
“I Dream in Widescreen 2021,” photo by Julius Schlosburg.

Film program ranks No. 7

The film program ranking is just the latest in a standout year of achievements for the School.

Film program ranks No. 7 ... Lisanne Skyler headshot
Lisanne Skyler, photo by Julius Schlosburg

When the pandemic hit and the gala couldn’t take place last year, LACMA turned to Lisanne Skyler to create a film looking back on the extraordinary history and impact of the Museum’s signature event.

Skyler’s A Few Things about Art + Film tracks its decade-long history from its early days as an initiative to revitalize the film program to becoming known as “the Met Ball of the West.” The film spotlights the 18 diverse artists and filmmakers the Gala has honored from 2011 through 2019: John Baldessari and Clint Eastwood, Ed Ruscha and Stanley Kubrick, David Hockney and Martin Scorsese, Barbara Kruger and Quentin Tarantino, James Turrell and Alejandro Iñárritu, Robert Irwin and Kathryn Bigelow, Catherine Opie and Guillermo Del Toro, George Lucas and Mark Bradford, and Alfonso Cuaron and Betye Saar. The film was edited by FTV alum Jeanna French (’12).

This year, TFTV enrollment jumped 42% and student films completed during COVID-19 earned more than 30 invitations from festivals as diverse as BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest, and the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York. And in a School first, class of ’20 filmmaker Faye Ruiz’s thesis short The Lights Are On, No One’s Home was acquired for national distribution through Dedza Films/Kino Lorber.

When Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s 2020 Art+Film Gala was put on hold due to COVID-19, LACMA Productions tapped Lisanne Skyler to create a film in lieu of an in-person event; Michael Mulcahy wrapped a horror short A Dutiful Spouse debuting at the Loft Film Festival later this month; and Jacob Bricca (The Bad Kids) and Lisa Molomot’s Missing in Brooks County will debut on PBS/Independent Lens after an award-winning festival run that brought renewed attention to the humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border. Meanwhile, Beverly Seckinger launched the Human Rights Practice Program, an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program bringing together aspiring human rights workers and documentary filmmakers.

Elisa Gonzalez will graduate with a BA in Film & Television this year and has been hand-selected by the trail-blazing producer Frida Torresblanco to join her company Braven Films. “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Braven Films after graduation. I wouldn’t have gotten this incredible opportunity without the support of the TFTV faculty,” says Gonzalez. “The School of Theatre, Film & Television at the University of Arizona has been integral to my personal and professional development. I’m so proud to be part of the TFTV community.”

The community includes students and grads mentored by working faculty and a diverse, multi-generational alumni of creative leaders. In 2021, Robbie Hyne (’15) moved up to story editor on DC’s Stargirl and Scott Silver (’09) was named VP of VFX at Fox Seachlight. Christina Oh (’09) earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination for producing Minari; director Tyler Gillett (’04) wrapped filming on Scream, the latest film of the multimedia franchise; showrunner Sierra Teller Ornelas (‘05) premiered the ground-breaking Peacock comedy series Rutherford FallsPaul Pennolino (’85) was nominated for an Emmy for directing Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Netflix’s feature division run by Scott Stuber (’91) scored the most Oscar nominations of the season.