Bachelor (BFA) Film


Program Description

The moving image is today’s leading form of communication. That’s why understanding the art and craft of filmmaking is more important than ever.

Make Films -- Make Them Matter

In the Film Program at CCA, mastering the fundamentals is only the beginning. We help you move beyond convention to break new ground in storytelling and the art of filmmaking -- on the big screen, on small screens, and beyond. Your BFA in Film prepares and inspires you to become a creative visionary of the future.

Create the Future of Filmmaking

You’ll make many films at CCA, from your first semester through your final senior project. You’ll be challenged by cutting-edge methods and ideas. You’ll experience life as an artist in the dynamic creative community of the San Francisco Bay Area. CCA’s interdisciplinary environment lets you collaborate with students in other programs such as Photography, Painting/Drawing, and Writing and Literature to develop innovative ways of making and learning.

Renowned Faculty, Guest Artists & Lecturers

Co-chaired by Academy Award-winning director Rob Epstein and filmmaker/composer Brook Hinton, the Film Program’s expert faculty of working filmmakers and media artists are shaping the future of cinema and media art. Interdisciplinary artists such as Jeanne C. Finley and Lynn Marie Kirby bring a diversity of practices that benefit students. Our program also attracts world-class visiting artists and lecturers, including maverick film industry leaders who engage students in our unique master classes. Past visitors have included Gus Van Sant and John Waters.

Learning Outcomes

The requirements, reviews, and curriculum for CCA's Film program are designed such that graduating students successfully achieve the following program learning outcomes:

  • Think broadly about film as a medium (inclusive of film-based installation, performance, and new media), considering narrative and non-narrative modes of making, and different contexts of exhibition, dissemination and dialogue.
  • Apply narrative and storytelling concepts and dynamics when appropriate to critiquing, analyzing and making fiction and non-fiction work.
  • Depart from habitual, traditional, and comfortable modes of thinking and making in a manner that allows for new discoveries, innovation, and the continued growth of their practice.
  • Make a film from start to finish, either alone or as part of a group effort.
  • Apply comprehensive knowledge of cinema history and theory to problem-solving and creative decisions in their own work, and in discussing the work of others.
  • Use the tools of cinema, including production and post-production equipment, to experiment with new processes, techniques, and aesthetic possibilities, as well as to perform practice-standard work on their own and others’ projects with acceptable technical facility.
  • Perform research using a variety of methods, with the depth and scope necessary to realize a work to its fullest potential.
  • Create work that exhibits a distinctive voice and/or contributes to further development of the moving image and sound arts.


CCA Film students have the opportunity to intern with leading film and media arts organizations here in the Bay Area:

  • Frameline, produces of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film Festival
  • San Francisco Film Society (SFFS), produces of the San Francisco International Film Festival
  • SoMArts
  • Telling Pictures

Additionally, Film students often intern for professional San Francisco Bay Area filmmakers and artists, often working directly on films and exhibitions.

Last updated Feb 2018

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About the School

Founded in 1907 by Frederick Meyer, a German cabinetmaker, whose vision was shaped by the Arts and Crafts movement, California College of the Arts (CCA) is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadt ... Read More

Founded in 1907 by Frederick Meyer, a German cabinetmaker, whose vision was shaped by the Arts and Crafts movement, California College of the Arts (CCA) is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadth of its programs. California College of the Arts educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Read less
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