Berkeley offers an innovative, interdisciplinary undergraduate program leading to a BA in Film. This rich and diverse program offers rigorous engagement with the entire culture of moving-images in the larger context of humanistic studies, teaching students to think historically, theoretically and analytically about a wide range of cinematic and para-cinematic forms. At the same time, it encourages students to look at moving-images from the vantage point of other disciplines.
The core courses for Film majors include a two-semester sequence in the history of silent and sound film, a course on the documentary and the avant-garde film, a course in film theory, and a selection of courses on specific film genres, filmmakers, national cinemas and new media. Although film production is not a focus of this program, department electives include introductory film and video production and a course on screenwriting. Other production courses are also available in the Department of Art Practice and the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, which are affiliated with the Department of Film and Media in the Digital Media Labs Consortium, a cooperative effort to combine digital-media production equipment, labs, and courses of instruction. The Department of Film and Media is especially fortunate to be affiliated with the Pacific Film Archive, an internationally known cinematheque that screens films six nights a week and often brings filmmakers to campus. Students may also take advantage of internship opportunities at the Pacific Film Archive, with the journal Film Quarterly and with local film and video production companies. Many students go on to graduate school in film or the humanities, others enter Law School or Business Administration, and others find work in media. All acquire a high level of visual literacy, analytic ability, and writing skill.
Students who are interested in declaring the Film major, or who wish to obtain information about the major, should consult with the Undergraduate Adviser. The Undergraduate Adviser is responsible for advising students regarding all requirements for the major, maintains students’ records, handles the distribution of adviser codes, and certifies that students have completed all the major requirements and are eligible for graduation. Students who have declared the Film major should plan to see the Undergraduate Adviser, Lisa Fox, at least once a semester to discuss their progress in the major, courses planned for the next semester, and to receive an adviser code. Please note: advising must be done in person, during the hours of 9-12 and 1-4, M-F. Adviser codes will not be given out over the phone. The Faculty Adviser, Marilyn Fabe, is available to answer questions about film courses, faculty areas of expertise and interest, course equivalents, internships, and other related topics.
If you are considering graduate study, please see Step by Step.