Film Studies Program

Film Studies at Union

Film strips off a reel

The Film Studies minor at Union College is designed to develop a conscious awareness of film as a basic and widespread medium of cultural communication. It provides students with the tools necessary for critically and historically analyzing and evaluating film texts, for understanding film technologies within the broader context of the liberal arts, and for beginning to master the art of telling stories cinematically. It also prepares students to pursue academic and creative paths for advanced study and professional interests in film.

Students can choose from more than 40 courses, on topics as varied as the history of Hollywood film, gender and identity in Brazilian film, Chinese film, digital art, cinematic montage and documentary filmmaking.

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 Davy Chou (Golden Slumbers); Penny Lane and Brian Frye (Our Nixon); Parvez Sharma (A Jihad for Love); Cynthia Wade (Freeheld); and John Cameron Mitchell (Shortbus and Rabbit Hole).

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.