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About The M.F.A. Degree Program in Directing/Production

The UCLA TFT M.F.A. degree program in Directing/Production is a four-year graduate program designed to develop artists in film, television and digital media with an emphasis on humanistic visual storytelling. For more than half a century, UCLA TFT has trained students in the art and craft of filmmaking, while also expanding their understanding of the critical, theoretical and historical components of these art forms. The School’s goal is to infuse the highest standards of craftsmanship with the imaginative freedom, innovation and sense of social responsibility. Some of our distinguished alumni include:

  • Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
  • Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather)
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees)
  • Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean)
  • Valerie Red-Horse (True Whispers)
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees)
  • Patricia Cardoso (Real Women Have Curves)
  • Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine)

A breakdown of the M.F.A. degree program in Directing/Production is below.

First Year: The Art of Collaboration
The first year of the program is an intensive workshop in the collaborative process of production that culminates with each student completing a short (2-5 minutes) sync sound film. The curriculum includes film and television writing, directing, cinematography, editing, sound and production planning.

Second Year: Faculty Mentorship
The second year of the program allows for the development of a student-faculty mentorship, as the student completes an advanced directing project in narrative, non-narrative or experimental film and takes critical studies and advanced craft courses.

Third and Fourth Years: Thesis Production
No later than the second quarter of the third year, the student begins work on his or her thesis production, which is to be completed by the end of the fourth year. A thesis production can be in either medium, in any form, with a maximum length of 30 minutes.

Additional information about the M.F.A. degree program in Directing/Production can be found on the M.F.A. Production/Directing webpage.

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