By Jonathan Morales, SFSU
From “Blue Jasmine” to “Star Trek” and “Planet of the Apes,” San Francisco is a top destination for filmmakers these days. According to “The Hollywood Reporter,” the city is also home to one of the nation’s top film schools: SF State.
The university is ranked 23rd in the United States in the entertainment industry trade publication’s 2014 list of Top 25 Film Schools in the United States, published online July 31.
.“It’s great to see that others agree with what we’ve known for a long time: That the Department of Cinema at SF State is a top-notch department,” said Steve Kovacs, professor and chair of cinema. “One of our great strengths is the variety of programs and expertise we offer students. We have faculty who are award-winning filmmakers, an expert in sound design, a strong animation program, a top film critic and historian and more. We have incredible diversity. I think we are definitely at the top of the list when it comes to our faculty.”
Founded in the 1960s, SF State’s Department of Cinema is one of the oldest in the country and is focused on providing its students with a broad liberal arts education and practical experience to help them succeed in the professional world. Students are engaged in creative projects inside and outside class, and faculty work with them to line up jobs and internships throughout the Bay Area. The department also emphasizes critical thinking and social engagement.
The result is a distinguished list of student, faculty and alumni accomplishments. SF State alumni have received Academy Award nominations each year for the past 15 years.
Recent faculty achievements include Lecturer Jesse Moss’ documentary “The Overnighters,” which received the Special Jury Prize for Intuitive Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Gate Award for Best Feature Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and new professor Cheryl Dunye’s documentary “Black is Blue,” which won the audience award for best Short Film at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival in June.
“We have a wonderful crop of new faculty members who are energetic and already receiving acclaim for their work,” Kovacs said.
Notable cinema alumni include Oscar-winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian, Oscar-nominated and AFI-winning producer Jonas Rivera, Tony and Screen Actors Guild award-winning actor Delroy Lindo, Oscar-winning sound designer Christopher Boyes, Peabody- and Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Steven Okazaki, Sundance-winning director Jay Rosenblatt, and acclaimed independent filmmaker Lisanne Skyler.
To learn more about the Department of Cinema, visit http://cinema.sfsu.edu