The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television is ranked No. 6 among public film schools by The Wrap, which released its annual ranking of the Top 50 Film Schools in the U.S. on Oct. 31. That’s up one spot from last year.
The school is ranked No. 25 overall, making the top half of the competitive list alongside heavy hitters like the University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, UCLA and New York University.
The Wrap’s seventh annual ranking of film schools was compiled based on data regarding each school’s class size, student body diversity, scholarships and networking opportunities, as well as the addition of new facilities, new faculty or new programs since last year’s ranking. The ranking also takes into consideration input from former and current film school deans and an assessment of each school’s alumni.
The School of Theatre, Film & Television had several significant achievements in the past year.
- Films created by students in the school attracted global industry attention. With strategy and mentorship provided by the school’s Festival and Awards Office, Sasha Reist‘s documentary about gendering in ballet, “Changement,” screens this month at the Academy Award-qualifying Leeds International Film Festival in the United Kingdom. Alexandra Cerna‘s film “Treasures Beneath My Tree” screened at Comic Con International in July and at 15 festivals in the U.S., France, Switzerland and Australia. Martin Olloren‘s drama “TWIXXX,” which took the top prize at the university’s I Dream in Widescreen 2022 film showcase, won the Best Performances award at the LGBTQ+ Toronto Film Festival.
- Student filmmaker Brett Jones received a Student Production Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for “Something to Fear,” his short film about the basketballer Kennedy Brown. This was the first student Emmy recognition for the school.
- The school joined the Green Film School Alliance, a collaboration of leading film schools united to integrate industry-level sustainable production practices into their programs. On the set of their film “Ferb and Lou Play a Game,” seniors Kaleigh Brown and Jason Lee worked to reduce waste by banning all plastic water bottles and switching to LED lights. Their efforts earned an EMA Green Seal from the nonprofit Environmental Media Association.
- In line with the university’s land-grant mission, the school partnered with the Kinlani Film Project – an after-school filmmaking program for Diné, Hopi, Tohono O’odham and Havasupai high school students – to provide support for Indigenous students to create their own short film. Digital movie camera manufacturer BlackMagic supplied camera equipment, and UArizona alumnus Kristian Jackson edited the film, mentoring the student filmmakers during the process. With a festival strategy put together by the School of Theatre, Film & Television, the resulting film, “Tsiiyééł,” has been seen at festivals from New York to London, including the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the American Indian Film Festival.
- The school’s Film & Television Internship and Early Career program, led by professor Lisanne Skyler, offered personalized career mentoring to students while also increasing industry partnerships and collaboration with UArizona alumni working in the film industry. This year, students were selected for competitive internships at Warner Bros. Discovery. And recent graduates are working at top-tier agencies, studios and innovative platforms such as Tubi and XTR.
- The school re-launched its Hanson FilmTV Institute under the direction of Mia Farrell, a film consultant, publicist and veteran of the Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance Film Festivals. Farrell joined the school this year from the British Film Institute, where she led the LFF Critics Mentorship Programme, an initiative to expand diversity in film criticism and media. The Hanson Institute provides tailored programs for students that generate additional industry connections and employment opportunities.
- The School of Theatre, Film & Television launched a new online program allowing students to earn a bachelor’s degree in film and television 100% remotely. Headed by filmmaker and assistant professor of practice Nicole Koschmann, the degree is offered through Arizona Online.
This press release was originally published by University Communications on Oct. 7, 2022.
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