Southampton Patch: Stony Brook Southampton Adds First MFA Degree in Film in The SUNY System

The program will focus on screenwriting, directing, and producing.

By Priscilla Korb | Southampton Patch

Stony Brook University announced recently that the NY State Education Department has approved SUNY’s first ever Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film.

Stony Brook Southampton’s three-year graduate program in narrative film is led by Graduate Director Christine Vachon, Co-Founder of legendary indie production company, Killer Films.

“The coming year marks milestones for Killer Films and Stony Brook Southampton. We’ll celebrate the official launch of our MFA in Film as well as the 20th Anniversary of Killer Films,” Vachon said. “These are great achievements for us as an independent film company and a graduate school. We’re excited to continue re-inventing the traditional film school model and turning it on its head.”

Students in the 45-48 credit MFA program have worked on several Killer Films’ productions, including ‘Still Alice’ starring Julianne Moore and the forthcoming ‘Nasty Baby’, starring Kristen Wiig and Alia Shawkat.

Killer has produced over 80 acclaimed features, from Academy Award winning ‘Boy Don’t Cry’ and Academy Award nominated ‘Far From Heaven’ to Emmy Award winning HBO mini-series ‘Mildred Pierce’, and soon-to-be released ‘Carol’, directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

“We believe affordable, project-driven, in-the-practice programs are the future of graduate arts education,” Robert Reeves, Associate Provost of Southampton Graduate Arts, said. “The new MFA in Film is the ideal fit for the advanced training we already offer in creative writing and theater. Our programs emphasize original storytelling and are taught by a faculty of the most distinguished practicing artists in the country.”

The MFA program focuses on screenwriting, directing, and producing, with production cycles culminating in a feature screenplay, a portfolio of short films including an MFA thesis film or a final producer’s package.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Deadline to qualify for financial aid is March 15, 2015 and for domestic students not applying for aid, the deadline is July 1.