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MFA in Film

About the Program

film students groupMFA in Film

The Stony Brook MFA in Film is the only graduate program in the SUNY system fiercely dedicated to independent filmmaking. Our approach is simple — roll up your sleeves and dive in. With today's technology, all you need is a well-crafted story, a realistic plan, and the drive to make it happen. At Stony Brook, you will learn how to craft a tightly woven script, operate state-of-the art camera equipment, develop a realistic budget and production plan, become skilled at working with actors and crew members, and navigate legal, marketing, financing, and distribution. Get it made, make it right, get it seen, live to tell about it… that is our mantra.

The Stony Brook MFA in Film is a two-plus year program in screenwriting/TV writing, directing, and producing, with production periods culminating in two feature screenplays, a TV writing portfolio, an MFA thesis film, or a feature producer’s package. Killer Films founders and faculty Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler, along with top industry professionals and our working-in-the-field faculty, mentor and guide students through the essential elements of independent film and digital content production and TV writing. Hands-on, experiential, in-depth, and project driven.

The curriculum requires 45-48 credits and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

We are located in both Manhattan and Southampton. Our facilties operate as indie production offices and film studios. We have an array of industry standard camera, lighting, sound and grip equipment. Some highlights include the RED Epic-W Helium, Canon C100, Canon XC10, Canon Cinema Prime lenses, ARRI and Kino lighting systems, Tascam, Rode and AT audio equipment and four 1-Ton grip packages. When it comes to post-production, the program has a top of the line edit suite containing iMacs equipped with Adobe Creative Cloud, Avid Media Composer and Pro Tools.

Students in the Stony Brook MFA have received top notch industry scholarships, awards including Sundance Institute / Sloan Commissioning Grant, the New York Women in Film & Television Scholarship, and NYWIFT’s "From Script to Pre-production" internships. Plus their work has showcased at film festivals across the world including the Atlanta Film Festival, DOC NYC, Loft Film Fest, Miami International Film Festival, New York Short Film Festival, NewFilmmakers New York, Nottingham International Film Festival, and the Zero Film Festival.

Each one of our faculty are active working professionals in the field and understand first hand what it takes to make a living as creatives and content-makers. Check out our Faculty page.

The University Library holds in excess of 15,000 items comprised of books, eBooks, videos, periodicals, music scores, dissertations, and audio files related to the study of film, which are easily accessible through interlibrary document delivery. Our book collection contains over 7,500 volumes.

Special collections, such as the recently endowed Sklar Collection, are being developed continuously.

Our Manhattan Facility is located at 535 Eighth Avenue. The Facility is an easy commute by train, bus, or car, and Manhattan’s many movie theatres, film festivals, openings, screenings, premieres, exhibitions, archives, and libraries are easily accessible.

Interested students should request information from the department and find application information here.

Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible, especially if they plan to apply for financial aid.

The MFA in Film program accepts applications for admission on a semi-rolling basis.