Seattle’s Newest “Film School”

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By Molly Michal, Northwest Film Forum

For twenty years, Northwest Film Forum has supported working filmmakers in the Pacific Northwest region. As Seattle’s most comprehensive film arts center – offering year-round film screenings, filmmaking classes and direct grants and services for local filmmakers – the Film Forum champions opportunities for filmmakers to view, learn and make, discovering their own voice along the way.

In 2015, Northwest Film Forum is embarking on an exciting new venture to train the next generation of independent filmmakers. The new One-Year Film Comprehensive, launching in September, is a unique alternative to traditional “film school” for aspiring film and media makers.

The program’s practical, project-oriented curriculum was developed to provide students with the thorough fundamentals for filmmaking, including writing, cinematography, audio production, editing and producing—but a real highlight of the program is built-in opportunities outside the classroom that range from professional placements to exhibition of student work.IMG_0669

“One of the things I’m most excited about in this new program is the opportunity students have to embed themselves in the resources and culture of Northwest Film Forum,” says Education Manager Craig Downing.

“What makes our training unique is that we’re offering not just a progressive core curriculum in the technical, business and creative aspects of filmmaking. We’re also opening our doors for students to be ‘in residence,’ and work collaboratively with our staff on professional projects, throughout their year with us. We will be proud to include accepted students as part of our team, allowing them access to everything we do here at the Film Forum.”

Professional opportunities for enrolled students will align with the comprehensive nature of the Film Forum’s mission and facilities. While interning at the Film Forum, students might learn about film fundraising and development, work on a professional shoot in collaboration with their instructors, and/or showcase a final film at the Local Sightings Film Festival in 2016 (to list just a few possibilities).IMG_0765

As a non-profit organization with a mission to serve and develop emerging filmmakers, Northwest Film Forum is committed to keeping the One-Year Film Comprehensive financially accessible. Tuition costs are just $12,500 for the year, which includes all equipment fees (students in the one-year program may also attend any Film Forum a la carte workshop during the year for free).

May 15 is the application deadline for the inaugural One-Year Film Comprehensive, and admission is competitive (limited to 12 students).

Northwest Film Forum will be holding an Open House for prospective students to learn more and tour classroom facilities on April 26 and May 11—details online here.

Read a thorough overview of the One-Year Film Comprehensive on Northwest Film Forum’s website here.

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