Film Studies

Film Studies at Union College expands one’s understanding of this basic medium – now a crucial part of the liberal arts education. 

The program strengthens knowledge of film histories and cultures, introduces the tools for critical analysis of film texts, and provides hands-on training in film production technologies.

Students can choose from more than 40 courses, on topics as varied as the history of Hollywood film, gender and identity in Brazilian film, the origins of cinema, Chinese film, digital art, cinematic montage and documentary filmmaking (taught by documentary filmmaker Jim de Sève). 

Students share their work at campus screenings organized throughout the academic year; attend international film series and festivals, many of them at Schenectady’s historic Proctors Theater; and meet filmmakers invited to Union to talk about their work, screen their latest projects and teach hands-on workshops. Visitors have included Penny Lane and Brian Frye, who presented a rough-cut of their documentary Our Nixon; Parvez Sharma, director of the international phenomenon A Jihad for Love; Cynthia Wade, director of the Academy Award-winning short documentary Freeheld; and John Cameron Mitchell, director of Shortbus and Rabbit Hole (starring Nicole Kidman).

A Film Studies minor prepares students for advanced study, creative film production, and professional employment.  Film Studies students can also use their critical knowledge and technical skills to complement and enhance their work in any number of academic disciplines or professional careers.