November 2, 2021: The Wrap today published its annual ranking of the top 50 Film Schools in the U.S. and this year The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television (TFTV) moved up to No. 25 overall and No. 7 among public universities. The overall ranking is up one spot from last year. The Wrap’s sixth annual ranking of film schools was assembled through an anonymous poll of more than 1,200 entertainment industry insiders, educators, deans, filmmakers and film pundits, along with experts tasked with evaluating each school.
This year, TFTV enrollment jumped 42% and student films completed during COVID-19 earned more than 30 invitations from festivals as diverse as BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest, and the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York. And in a School first, class of ’20 filmmaker Faye Ruiz’s thesis short The Lights Are On, No One’s Home was acquired for national distribution through Dedza Films/Kino Lorber.
“I’m incredibly proud of our TFTV family and this standout year for student, faculty and alumni achievements despite the ongoing pandemic,” said TFTV Director Andy Belser. “It’s gratifying to receive this industry recognition as our film program, with its longstanding focus on mentoring diverse voices, continues its rise and produces alumni who excel across the industry.”
The School’s BA and BFA degrees are hands-on all the way, offering small production classes and helping students land jobs across the industry, from A24 to UTA. Students and grads are mentored by working faculty and a diverse, multi-generational alumni of creative leaders. In 2021, Robbie Hyne (’15) moved up to story editor on DC’s Stargirl and Scott Silver (’09) was named VP of VFX at Fox Seachlight. Christina Oh (’09) earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination for producing Minari; director Tyler Gillett (’04) wrapped filming on Scream, the latest film of the multimedia franchise; showrunner Sierra Teller Ornelas (‘05) premiered the ground-breaking Peacock comedy series Rutherford Falls; Paul Pennolino (’85) was nominated for an Emmy for directing Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Netflix’s feature division run by Scott Stuber (’91) scored the most Oscar nominations of the season.
Faculty also had a busy year. When Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s 2020 Art+Film Gala was put on hold due to COVID-19, LACMA Productions tapped Lisanne Skyler to create a film in lieu of an in-person event; Michael Mulcahy wrapped a horror short A Dutiful Spouse debuting at the Loft Film Festival later this month; and Jacob Bricca (The Bad Kids) and Lisa Molomot’s Missing in Brooks County will debut on PBS/Independent Lens after an award-winning festival run that brought renewed attention to the humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border. Meanwhile, Beverly Seckinger launched the Human Rights Practice Program, an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program bringing together aspiring human rights workers and documentary filmmakers.
Elisa Gonzalez will graduate with a BA in Film & Television this year and has been hand-selected by the trail-blazing producer Frida Torresblanco to join her company Braven Films. “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Braven Films after graduation. I wouldn’t have gotten this incredible opportunity without the support of the TFTV faculty,” says Gonzalez. “The School of Theatre, Film & Television at The University of Arizona has been integral to my personal and professional development. I’m so proud to be part of the TFTV community.”
About the UA School of Theatre, Film & Television
The School of Theatre, Film & Television, a member of the Arizona Arts division at the University of Arizona, nurtures and develops outstanding artists and scholars via rigorous training and mentoring by internationally recognized faculty, high-level internship opportunities, industry-standard resources, and hands-on production experience. TFTV offers comprehensive training programs that aim to prepare students to succeed in a wide range of careers – in the industry, the arts, and higher education. Each year through Arizona Repertory Theatre productions, Next Performance Collective productions, and Film & Television screenings, students of TFTV are able to showcase their talents, tell compelling stories, and provide clear results of what happens in their classrooms and studios. TFTV’s Film & Television program regularly ranks in The Wrap’s “Top 50 Film Schools,” and the School’s Theatre programs regularly rank in Onstage’s “Top 30 College Musical Theatre Programs” and “Top 30 College Theatre Design & Tech Programs” making UA one of the country’s top institutions to study theatre, film and television. More at tftv.arizona.edu.
For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Kerryn Negus