Film studies regards video material in all its formats and platforms as vital art forms and cultural artifacts that can be rigorously analyzed. Explore the history, analysis and interpretation of video as a key form of modern culture.

Develop a background in the theory and criticism of moving images to engender a deeper level of enjoyment while examining the technical, stylistic, and rhetorical devices that films employ to create and convey meaning. You'll also have the opportunity to create and showcase your own art in a top-of-the-line film studio.

  • Representations and explorations of identity in film and other visual media
  • Writing your own scripts or filming your own YouTube videos
  • Storytelling and creative writing
  • Community arts
  • The global language of film from German Expressionism to Fifth Generation Chinese cinema to U.S. blockbusters and more
  • Anthropology and visual culture
  • Advertising and marketing


Life After Lawrence

Lawrentians can enjoy careers in...

Film production and photography, art direction, global media production, investigative journalism, digital content management, documentary film and television instruction, photo and film research, television and film scoring

Recent employers include...

NPR, BET, Fox News, Kirk Douglas Theater, Twin Cities Public Television, VICE, Facets Multimedia, Northwest Film Forum, The Film School Seattle

Lawrentians can earn advanced degrees in...

Film, fine arts, documentary, photography and new media

Recent schools include...

Northwestern University, Salt Institute for Documentary Studies

Create with amazing tools

You’ll have amazing tools in the Hurvis Center for Film Studies. From a state-of-the-art 35x40 studio with green screen, DeSisti LED Fresnel lighting, Videssence softboxes all controlled by a DMX lightboard, to Canon 7D MKII cameras, Arri lighting kits, Sennheiser microphones, and a Pro Tools mixing suite with a C24 control surface. Stocked editing labs will help you prepare your work for screening in one of three small theaters and one large cinema.

Make your own documentary that addresses community issues

The Civic Life Project leads a group project in documentary film making based on local issues in the Appleton area. You and a small group of Lawrentians identify an issue in the community to be the focus of a documentary-style film, encouraging you to engage with the local community while gaining practical, hands-on film making experience.

Premiere your work at a film festival

The Biannual Associated Colleges of Midwest Film Conference and Film Festival gives you the opportunity to showcase your films or research and provides a forum to exchange perspectives and learn from distinguished media artists and industry professionals.

Build your knowledge of film theory and history

With a focus on history, analysis and creation of film as a key medium of contemporary culture, you will develop a deep understanding of how filmmakers create images and explore the technical, stylistic and rhetorical devices that films employ to create and convey meaning—all of which you can integrate into your own filmmaking. 

Components of the Major

Introduction to Film Studies
Film History I & II
Film Theory and Criticism
Avant-Documentary or Documentary Forms
Six courses from Film History, Film Theory, or Filmmaking, including:
16MM Filmmaking; Principles of Editing; Sound Design; Hollywood Goes to High School; Writer vs. Director; Masculinity in American Film; New Media in Art; Francophone and Lit & Screen Adaptations; Emergent Film/Media Markets
 Senior Experience project 

Course descriptions and more courses

The Chandler Senior Experience

Drawing on expertise not only in film studies, but also the departments of anthropology, education, gender studies, history, languages, music, and studio art, Senior Experiences may be researched-based or they may involve the production of film, video or animation. 

Recent Senior Experiences include:


Women in 20th Century Horror Films

Avant Garde in Animated Films

Narrative-driven Virtual Reality

Sustainable China: Exploring the Water and Pollution Epidemic

Shocking Conduct: Sexual Assault, Masculinity, and Creed's Monstrous Feminine in Four Danish Films

Nobody’s Perfect (full-length screenplay)

Nollywood in Africa: Globalization of the Cinematic Nigerian Identity in Nigeria and Sierra Leone

Coco Puffs (Short film and artist’s statement)


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