Cinematography and Film at Vanderbilt University

Reporting from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, the first thing The Professor has to say to film buffs and aspiring directors is, “Lights! Camera! Action!”

Here at “Vandy,” the College of Arts and Science offers both a major and a minor in Film Studies and encourages the study of film from all angles. There’s instruction in film history and theory, hands-on practice in skills and techniques, and a wide range of extracurricular activities and opportunities, both on campus and off.

Scholars, movie critics, and filmmakers often visit. A series called International Lensscreens foreign films on campus. Another series, FLiCX (Faculty-Led interactive Cinematic eXplorations), screens foreign, independent, and classic films followed by professor-led discussions at Nashville’s historic Belcourt Theatre. Film students also stay up to date on new films at the Nashville Film Festival, one of the nation’s oldest-running film festivals.

The faculty encourages film students to create work outside of the classroom and to submit senior projects to academic journals, film festivals, and conferences. Click here to view recent student films. Students also compete in the annual Vanderbilt Student Film Festival, featuring films up to 10 minutes long in all genres, and the related 10 Second Film Festival.8.2014_VanderbiltStudentFilmFestival

For even more hands-on experience in the film business, the Vandy-in-Hollywood Summer Internship Program places students at networks, studios, agencies, film distributors, and production companies in Los Angeles. Lifetime Networks, FX, Lionsgate, and Miramax are just few of the many places where students have interned recently.

Vanderbilt film graduates pursue careers in fields such film and media production, communications, academic media studies, and community and social relations.

Vanderbilt has about 13,000 students and is a top-ranking research university featured in US News & World Report’s Top 20 and Kiplinger’s Best Values in Private Colleges.

Admissions are competitive but “need-blind.” That means applicants are considered on merit alone, regardless of financial status.

Surrounding the university, Nashville — where students have access to just about any kind of music, sports, and culture they can think of — is a city of 600,000, one of the largest that consistently ranks on best-college-town lists. The Professor found Vandy’s gorgeous campus, a 330-acre oasis of architectural treasures, an ideal place to relax after a long day of experiencing the city.

For students new to this bustling region, one treasure trove of information about where to go in Nashville and how to get there is the Admissions Department’s blog. That’s where The Professor learned, for example, that Vanderbilt students aren’t allowed to bring cars to school during freshman year, but that all Vanderbilt students ride Nashville busses for free.

To learn more about Vanderbilt University’s application requirements and deadlines for Film Studies and other programs, please visit

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