Top 10 Best Film Schools in the World

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“I think one of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.” – Edward Zwick

Millions of people dream for a bright career in the spectacular world of film industry. What could be better than to turn this dream into reality under the guidance of the masters in film making? A film school thus acts as a platform that provides exposure, guidance and an environment where you can learn all about what it takes to make movies. Be it their wide alumni network, strong faculty or diversified courses, one can make use of the best of resources to realize their dream of building a successful career in silver screen industry. So here we present you the best film schools in the world:

10. University of Texas, Austin: Department of Radio-Television-Film

university of texas

The department of Radio-Television-Film was founded in 1965 at the University of Texas. It is one of the world’s premier film schools that offers courses in a variety of disciplines from editing, directing and producing to screenwriting, sound and cinematography. The university boasts of notable alumni like the famous Spy Kids franchisee director Robert Rodriguez, Moonrise Kingdom and Mr. Fantastic Fox director Wen Anderson and many more.

9. Emerson College


Emerson College has an extensive film making program, known as Department of Visual and Media Arts, which is one of the largest in the United States.  Originally, Emerson College was founded as “school of oratory” in 1880 by Charles Wesley Emerson that now offers over three dozen degree programs in the field of arts and communication. The institution has structured a well-developed community of the comedy genre, that includes specializations like sketch comedy, improvisation and short films. Screenwriters Brent Simons and Alan Schoolcraft of Dreamwork’s Megamind and producer of The Fighter Dorothy Aufiero are some of the notable alumni of this institution.

8. Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Chapman University


Dodge College of Film and Media Arts was founded in 1996 under Chapman University. The college is housed within a 76000 square foot building called Marion Knott Studios that is designed to replicate a working production studio that boasts of state of the art facilities. Apart from offering various undergraduate and post graduate courses in film making, PR, production, direction and screen writing, it actively organizes film festivals like Busan Film Festival, Sikh Arts and Film Festival and student produced Cecil Awards commemorating the best work of the year by its students.

7. Columbia University School of the Arts

columbia university

Columbia University School of Arts, also called SoA, is a world renowned film school that offers degrees in film screenwriting, directing, courses in theatre art, visual arts and creative writing. SoA boasts of a strong faculty of working professionals esteemed in both Hollywood and the independent film community. The acceptance rate of their flagship program MFA (Masters in Fine Arts) is about 6%, thus selecting roughly 60 out of 1000 applicants. Work done by students of this reputed institution have won many awards and recognitions globally because of originality and outstanding storytelling capabilities. Many reputed directors and screenwriters have graduated from this reputed University, namely Kathryn Bigelow (director/ producer and two time Academy Award winner for The Hurt Locker), Nicole Holofcener (director and screenwriter of Friends with Money, Sex and the City), Kiran Desai (Booker Prize winner for her novel The Inheritance of Loss) and many more.  Mira Nair (director of Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala), Richard Howard (Pulitzer Prize winning poet) and James Schamus (producer of Hulk and Brokeback Mountain) are some of its notable faculty.

6. California Institute of Arts


CalArts, a colloquial name for California Institute of Arts, was founded by one of the most creative people on earth, Walt Disney, in early 1960s. It offers degrees in film and video, art, dance, music, animation, puppetry, creative writing and theatre. Students here are offered admission based solely on their creative talent and potential, without considering SAT scores and GPA in the application process. CalArts’s alumni network include Stiffen Hilenburg, creator of the adorable Spongebob Squarepants; Brad Bird, director of two of the best American animated features of the past decade, Iron Giant and The Incredibles; Pete Docter, director of Monsters, Inc. and Up; and Andrew Stanton, director of Finding Nemo.

5. University of California, Los Angeles


UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television is considered one of the best film schools in the world and the admissions to this institute are very competitive. It has the largest university-based archive of motion picture and television titles and newsreel footage, called Geffen Playhouse, which is second to Library of Congress, Washington D.C. The advantage it has over other film schools is its theater department, which has been ranked as world’s one of the best drama programs. Apart from undergraduate and postgraduate program, the school offers UCLA Professional Programs in Screenwriting and Producing. Notable alumni include Justin Lin (director of Fast and the Furious series), Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (director of Little Miss Sunshine).

4. Beijing Film Academy

beijing film academy

Beijing Film Academy, situated in capital of China, is Asia’s largest institution that’s provides higher education in film and television production. Given to its competitive admission process, the acceptance rate for students here is the lowest among the film schools in the world. For more than last four decades, BFA students have won various national and international awards and recognition for their contributions to film and television. Zhao Wei, Huang Xaoming and Chen Kun are some of the successful film actors from this Academy.

3. Tisch School of the Arts at New York University

nyu tisch

Tisch School of Arts is a leading artistic center in the world that offers courses in acting, dance, drama, theater, dramatic writing, interactive telecommunications, photography and imaging . It was founded to provide extensive training in the domain of films and theater in the context of a research university. It has also opened its first branch in Asia in Singapore, which is the country’s first graduate arts school. The School has given the industry some of the best filmmakers and actors of the world including  Academy Award winner directors Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, director of Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi , M. Night Shyamalan, director of The Sixth Sense and James Franco, well known for his roles of Harry Osborn in Spiderman trilogy and Aron Ralston in 127 Hours.

  2. American Film Institute


American Film Institute was established in 1969 with an aim to preserve the legacy of American film heritage. AFI Conservatory is the founding program of the Institute. The ‘Fellows’ (AFI’s students) are exposed to its world-renowned unique curriculum, that is centered on a hands-on, production-based training environment. Mirroring a professional production environment, Fellows are encouraged to collaborate to make more films than any other graduate level program, under the guidance and tireless efforts of their strong faculty and administration.  Admission to AFI Conservatory is highly selective, with a maximum of only 140 graduates per year. Edward Zwick, director of The Last Samurai and The Elephant Man director David Lynch are some of the famous alumni of this great Institute.


1. USC School of Cinematic Arts


USC School of Cinematic Arts, a school within University of south California is the oldest film school In United States that was established as a joint venture with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929. The School has become a virtual laboratory for future Hollywood talent, training students not only in the field of production, screenwriting, animation and digital arts, but also the business aspect of entertainment, in collaboration with USC Marshall Business School of Business MBA program.  Since 1973, annually at least one SCA alumnus is nominated for Academy Award Its glittering parade of alumni include Star War director George Lucas, Laura Ziskin (producer of popular films Spiderman series and Pretty Woman), writer, director and producer of Mad Men.


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