San Francisco State University Among Top 25 Film Schools in SF Weekly by Jonathan Ramos

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 11:23

The future looks bright for the next generation of San Francisco filmmakers — and the bigwigs in Hollywood have taken note.

The Hollywood Reporter, the renowned trade publication for all things showbiz, has selected San Francisco State University as one of the top 25 film schools in the nation. This marks the University's first appearance in the list's four-year history alongside the usual suspects like University of Southern California and the American Film Institute.

Ranked at a respectable number 23, SF State earned major kudos for producing multiple Oscar nominees — 15 years straight — in various fields, including screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Schindler's List) and producer Jonas Rivera (Up).
While those accolades point to an enviable success in the mainstream, the cinema department at SF State primarily views itself as an innovative independent film school where students are taught to embrace the experimental and avant-garde and develop a keen knowledge of animation, documentaries and critical thought, according to Daniel Bernardi, former chair of cinema and interim dean of the College of Liberal & Creative Arts.

"Hollywood is always looking for cutting edge storytellers with unique styles and that's what a program like ours offers," Bernardi says. "That said, you have to hand it to The Hollywood Reporter for stretching beyond its traditional focus and considering us and other schools".

More than 2,300 ballots were submitted including the votes of the schools themselves, however, the SF State faculty weren't even aware of the poll until after the deadline. Makes you wonder how much higher the university could've placed had their own votes been accounted for. Guess we'll find out next year but until then it's nice to know that Hollywood likes us — they really like us.