About Us

Our mission is to encourage students to engage in scholarship and to pursue all forms of cinema production. The School of Cinema is committed to providing students with a broad liberal arts education focused on three intertwined values.

Creative Expression

Our faculty places a high premium on fostering the creative voice of the individual student. Although we teach the “rules” of fictional, documentary, experimental, and interactive cinema using all media platforms — from 16mm celluloid to high-definition digital video; from screenwriting to animation — we encourage our students to take creative risks, engage the subject of their work with an artistic sensibility and resist the compulsion to fit their work into established approaches and paradigms to telling stories and experimenting with moving images.

Critical Expression

Our faculty places an equally high premium on developing the critical consciousness of our students, be they interested in production, animation, and screenwriting or history, theory, and criticism. We encourage our students to challenge their assumptions and the assumptions, methods, and traditions of others. Our curriculum emphasizes the rigorous study of cinema as an art form, an industry, a technology, and a form of mass entertainment that reflects and shapes culture.

Social Engagement 

The School of Cinema is vested in San Francisco State University’s core values of equity and social justice. Like our faculty and alumni, our students can expect to engage in meaningful discourse and activity, to connect with their communities, and to challenge the artistic, social and political practices of their audiences. In other words, we encourage our students to channel their creative expression and critical thinking toward the communities and audiences they are engaging in their work. We believe this is equally possible for students aspiring to enter Hollywood and for those engaged in experimental film or critical theory.

Student with video camera
facilities soundstage