MFA-Film and Media Arts

MFA - Film and Media Arts

The School of Creative Arts offers an MFA in Film and Media Arts program. This innovative program spans traditional film modes for theatrical, broadcast, and streaming platforms, including emerging and expanded documentary forms. Instruction includes exploration of the theory, history, and craft of filmmaking. Students work in a tight-knit, collaborative environment with small classes dedicated to their development as moving image storytellers. The program is a full-time, two-year, five-term program offered at the downtown campus at the University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts. 

Faculty in the MFA in Film and Media Arts have expertise in fiction, experimental film, and documentary from observational and cinéma-vérité approaches to expanded, ‘i-doc’ models that push the boundaries of emerging interactive and participatory forms. Faculty work has been broadcast and exhibited at festivals, galleries, and museums and across North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. School of Creative Arts faculty members are working on a range of externally funded projects in documentary cinema models ranging from theatrical to streaming models, as well as multimedia performance and expanded documentary to fiction and innovative border-crossing modes. Our award-winning School of Creative Arts film production faculty screen films regularly at Academy award-qualifying festivals across the globe. University of Windsor Film MFA graduates have gone on to rewarding careers in film production and post-production and have accepted positions as full members of IATSE and the Directors Guild of Canada.   

We encourage applications from filmmakers interested in traditional and emerging film practices.

Philosophy and Objectives

The MFA in Film and Media Arts program at the University of Windsor is focused on the development of the student’s studio practice across all genres of film production and media arts. Our program provides a critical and theoretical framework that fosters dialogue and experimentation by providing a challenging environment to expand definitions of contemporary creative practice. Students spend twenty months (five semesters) in full-time study, taking graduate level coursework leading to the thesis screening or exhibition and oral defense at the end of the program.

The objective of the MFA Film and Media Arts program is to produce artists that are self-critical and culturally aware, capable of engaging in the contemporary art world independently and self-reliantly both in terms of technical abilities and expanding professional opportunities encountered beyond the university context. The work of the graduate students encompasses a broad range of practices, aesthetic issues, personal concerns and technical means. Our program typically attracts a select group of students who pursue studio work that dissolves the boundaries of traditional areas of specialization.

Program Structure

The MFA Film and Media Arts program provide two years of advanced education and creative development in the student’s chosen area of research. The curriculum consists of studio practice and critical research seminars, accompanied by the student’s production work. These are supported by critical dialogue among students, faculty, visiting artists, lectures and conferences. Students are required to complete the following courses: two studio practice seminars, one seminar on contemporary issues, and one seminar on graduate research and writing. After the completion of the above, students prepare their thesis proposal and their final support paper and individual thesis screening or exhibition, which is examined through oral defense.

Course descriptions

All graduate studio courses are directed individual studies courses. Projects will be planned and carried out in conjunction with a faculty supervisor.

VSAR-8650 Studio Production I: Through discussion, exercises and hands-on work, students explore the concepts, technologies, theories and production techniques of film and video creation and cinematic storytelling. (Lab fees may apply.)

VSAR-8660 Studio Production II: This course explores experimental and innovative approaches to media arts. The focus of the course is on experimental video, animation, video installation art, interactive art, audio/sound art, audio responsive installation, multimedia performance, and any fusion thereof. Time-based media arts environments may include sound, video, images, text and/or alternate physical feedback as triggered by interaction. (Lab fees may apply.)

VSAR-8620 – VSAR-8640: Studio Practice II-IV: Directed individual research in the form of studio projects supervised by a committee comprised of a principal advisor and two or three faculty members.

MACS-8600 Seminar on Contemporary Issues: This course covers current issues in contemporary art and critical theory.  Through presentations, reflective papers, and the establishment of a research archive, students develop an individual dialogue with contemporary theory that is pertinent to their studio practice.

MACS-8000 Directed Individual Studies: Graduate Research Seminar: This seminar is based on research methodologies and writing strategies that enable students to gain proficiency with advanced level research and writing.

VSAR-8970 Thesis: The thesis consists of an exhibition of a body of original creative works within the MFA candidate’s area of studio research. The thesis is planned and executed in conjunction with the candidate’s advisory committee. This final exhibition is regarded as the equivalent of the scholarly thesis of an academic discipline, and is examined by an oral defense conducted through a committee of internal and external examiners. The MFA candidate will also prepare a substantial research paper that acts as a support document for the thesis exhibition.

Applications for the September 2024 intake are now closed. Please visit our website at a later date for updates on September 2025 intake.

Apply Now!