This week The Wrap 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) ascended to No. 6 in public film schools. UArizona was ranked No. 25 overall, making the top half of the competitive list alongside heavy hitters USC, UT Austin, UCLA and NYU.
The Wrap’s seventh annual ranking of film schools was compiled via data points from each school on the list on class size, student body diversity, scholarships and networking opportunities, along with updates since last year’s rankings on new facilities, new faculty and new programs. Other considerations included input from former and current film school deans and an assessment of the alumni each school generates.
Significant achievements by the School of Theatre, Film & Television over the past year:
- Films created by TFTV students attracted global industry attention. With strategy and mentorship provided by TFTV’s Festival and Awards office, Sasha Reist’s documentary about gendering in ballet, Changement, screens this month at the Academy Award-qualifying Leeds International Film Festival in the UK. Alexandra Cerna’s fantastical Treasures Beneath My Tree screened at Comic Con International in July, along with fifteen festivals in the U.S., France, Switzerland, and Australia. And Martin Olloren’s drama TWIXXX, which took the top prize at I Dream in Widescreen 2022, won the “Best Performances” award at the LGBTQ+ Toronto Film Festival.
- In a first, this year TFTV filmmakers earned student Emmy recognition. Brett Jones (’22) received a National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Student Production Award for Something to Fear, his short film about the basketballer Kennedy Brown.
- Working to increase sustainability, TFTV joined the Green Film School Alliance (GFSA), a collaboration of leading film schools united to integrate industry-level sustainable production practices into their programs. Students are taking the lead: the efforts of seniors Kaleigh Brown and Jason Lee to reduce waste on the set of their film Ferb and Lou Play a Game, including banning all plastic water bottles and switching to LED lights, earned an EMA Green Seal.
- Speaking to the University’s land-grant mission, TFTV partnered with the Kinlani Film Project, an after-school filmmaking program for Diné, Hopi, Tohono O’odham, and Havasupai high school students, and digital movie camera manufacturer BlackMagic Design to provide support for the Indigenous students to create their own short film. BlackMagic supplied camera equipment and TFTV alum Kristian Jackson (’19) edited the film, mentoring the student filmmakers during the editing process. With a festival strategy put together by TFTV, the resulting film, Tsiiyééł, has been seen at festivals from New York to London, including the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the American Indian Film Festival.
- TFTV’s Film & Television Internship and Early Career program, led by Lisanne Skyler, expanded student placement through personalized professional career mentoring, and increased industry partnerships and collaboration with alumni working in all aspects of the industry. In 2022, TFTV students were selected for competitive internships at Warner Bros. Discovery. Recent graduates are working at top tier agencies, studios and innovative platforms such as Tubi and XTR.
- The Hanson FilmTV Institute was re-launched under the new directorship of Mia Farrell. Film consultant, publicist and a veteran of the Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance Film Festivals, Farrell joined the School in 2022 from the British Film Institute (BFI), where she led the LFF Critics Mentorship Programme, an initiative to expand diversity in film criticism and media. Hanson provides tailored programs for students that generate additional industry connections and employment opportunities.
- TFTV launched a new online program allowing students to earn a BA in Film & Television 100% remotely. Headed by filmmaker Nicole Koschmann, the degree is part of AZ Online, the University of Arizona’s top-ranked undergraduate accredited online degree program.
About the 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.
Director, Advancement and External Relations
School of Theatre, Film & Television