Lights, camera, action!
The spotlight will be on CUNY Brooklyn College this fall as the 85-year-old institution welcomes an inaugural class to its Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema.
The first public graduate school of cinema in New York and the only one in the country to be housed on a working film lot, according to the school, celebrated a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, October 6.
“We are one of the great capitals of film and television in this country and on this earth. We got that way by continuing to innovate,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We got that way by never sitting still. Feirstein students, you’re going to enlighten, and inform, and uplift. [This is going] to mean there’s more and more talent – more and more talent to keep building this extraordinary industry here. Now, this amazes me. This is the nation’s only film school on a working lot, situated right where the action is.”
Operating out of Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Steiner Studios, a 580,000 square-foot facility situated on Washington Avenue, the school will feature state-of-the-art production and post-production facilities, one of the largest student sound stages in the country, and a full complement of lighting, grip and electrical equipment, according to Brooklyn College.
“By any standard, this is an extraordinary accomplishment and speaks to our intention to create a space for new and emerging voices,” said Jonathan Wacks, founding director of the school and an award-winning director and producer. “Feirstein offers a unique opportunity to go to film school on a working film lot. From the moment you arrive here, you will be immersed in film-making in a facility that is second to none.”
According to the school’s website, the M.A. in Cinema Studies Program provides a “comprehensive education in cinema history, theory, criticism and aesthetics, and encourages the scholarly exploration of cinema as a form of art and a means of social communication.”
In the program, students are required to complete 36 credits, which can be taken on a full-time, two-year basis or on a part-time basis. The school also offers an M.F.A in Cinema Arts —a three-year program that accepts students on a full-time basis only.
“Feirstein is the first public graduate school of cinema in New York City, and that means that once again, CUNY is growing and adding to our city and moving with the times,” added de Blasio. “You’d figure someone might have done it a long time ago, but New York City did it first. And we are very, very proud of that fact. Students [will] get the best and most cutting edge approaches, but they [will] also get the opportunity see the work being done and to do it themselves hands-on. This is what’s going to make them so able to go right into this extraordinary job market around film and TV.”