BFA in Cinematic Arts

What you'll learn

  • aesthetic and technical basics of cinematic production
  • contemporary industry practices
  • visual theory, cinema history and seminal films, global trends and platforms of distribution
  • to write, direct, shoot, edit, post-produce and distribute a short film

This is a preferred admission program with a competitive application process. You’ll apply for this program during your sophomore year.

BFA Cinema Thesis: Production and Post-production

To complete this degree, you’ll be required to write, direct, shoot, edit, post-produce and distribute a short film. This capstone project will be completed over the course of two semesters. These films will be publicly screened, and you’ll defend your work before a faculty board. 

Advanced Collaborative Workshop: Double Exposure

During this course, you'll collaborate with music students to create a short film that will be screened with live music at the IU Cinema. Students will work on all stages of production, but working with sound and producing a film that will be publicly screened will be the main focuses. 

Student work

Description of the video:

Indiana University The Media School

A dinner table is shown with two plates. Someone looks up into the camera. A man takes a drink and puts his glass on the table. A couple kisses. A girl plays with dolls. A lightbulb turns on. A man carries a barrel across a parking lot. A light floats away. A man lights a cigarette while laying on a bed. A woman sinks into a bath while holding a cigarette. People put books on shelves in a library. A ballerina stretches her foot. A child plays. Waiters stand behind a bar. A man walks away. A couple runs up the stairs laughing. A man runs down stairs. A waiter pours wine into a glass. A woman walks in front of a tent in a field. Dancers dance. A man walks toward another man. A child stares at the camera. A doll comes to life. A woman looks at herself in the mirror and puts on lipstick. A woman lays down in the bath. A couple fights. A couple dances. A man puts his face in his dinner plate. A woman puts her cigarette out in her mashed potatoes.

60 seconds


Your professors will include nationally recognized filmmakers and award-winning producers with expertise in many key areas of the film industry.

Meet Media School faculty


Black Film Center/Archive

The Black Film Center/Archive is a resource for scholars, students and researchers studying films and related materials by and about African-Americans. Included are films that have substantial participation by African-Americans as writers, actors, producers, directors, musicians and consultants, as well as those that depict some aspect of black experience.

Visit the BFC/A’s website

Center for Documentary Research and Practice

The Center for Documentary Research and Practice supports faculty and students who make documentaries; serves as a research hub for historical, theoretical and critical research on nonfiction film and video; and hosts visiting artists and scholars who are working on projects with nonfiction media components. The center provides direct assistance in the form of technological and creative support for projects, and it also serves as a forum for faculty and students to present completed and in-process work.

Visit the CDRP’s website


This degree will give you the theoretical and aesthetic knowledge to excel in the film industry and allow you to gain valuable hands-on experience. Through production classes and a capstone project, you’ll go through the process of creating your own short film from writing to distributing the final product.

With a vast alumni network and connections with industry professionals and local production companies, you’ll have resources to guide you in finding internships and throughout your career.  

Learn about careers in production

Austin Francalancia

Breaking into the entertainment industry takes patience and persistence. It will take time and a ton of effort, but if you stay hopeful and proactive, it'll be worth it for your own mental well-being and future career.

Austin Francalancia, BA'09, founder and film producer of SERA Films