September 11, 2014

New MFA in Filmmaking

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
Photography: Julia Pitch.

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has launched its MFA in Filmmaking for fall 2015. The program will be located at 10 E. North Avenue, the future home of the MICA and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) film center. The center, located in Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District, represents the colleges’ commitment to offer nationally competitive filmmaking programming by combining complementary strengths. Further enhanced by a Maryland Film Festival (MFF) partnership, the new MICA MFA program continues the College’s tradition of creating groundbreaking educational programs at the forefront of emerging art and design practices by responding to a technology-driven realignment and democratization of the film and media industry.

“MICA is committed to helping define Baltimore as an international center for filmmaking,” said Samuel Hoi, MICA President. “We aren’t thinking small. Our aim is to create a nexus that enables all of the region’s film, cinema and animation resources to achieve synergy and grow dramatically.”

MICA’s MFA in Filmmaking has been designed to take advantage of a revolutionary shift in the industry that reframes the ways films are distributed, produced, funded and consumed. In addition to teaching practical filmmaking skills, the curriculum positions students to play a vital role in developing new cinematic communities and building a sustained filmmaking career anywhere in the world—including Baltimore, itself a burgeoning location for films such as Lotfy Nathan‘s 2009 documentary 12 O’Clock Boys, and shows such as HBO’s Veep and Netflix’s House of Cards.

“The MFA in Filmmaking emphasizes collaboration and sustainability. Filmmaking is a team sport with a number of key creative positions, including director, writer, editor, producer and cinematographer. One person cannot do everything, so the program fosters teamwork,” said Patrick Wright, Director of MICA’s MFA in Filmmaking and chair of the undergraduate Film and Video Department. “The industry is changing, and one has to be smart and flexible to sustain a career in filmmaking.”

Students from MICA and the JHU undergraduate Film and Media Studies program will share a state-of-the-art center located steps away from MFF’s future home of the MFF Parkway Film Center. Together this collective network gives students access to faculty and resources from two world-class educational institutions as well as connections to the professional world of international films and filmmakers.

MICA’s MFA in Filmmaking allows students to pursue a personalized curriculum while learning all aspects of filmmaking. The curriculum integrates a broad understanding of cinematic history with diverse technical experience—from generating ideas and writing to production, post-production and delivering a film to its intended audience. The program has an emphasis on the business of filmmaking and is ideal for students interested in visual storytelling in either nonfiction or fiction, with first-year students working on short film projects and crewing for second-year student thesis films.

“The goal is for film students from both MICA and JHU to work on projects together, to have access to classes in both programs and to form the same kind of collaborative environment we’ve created in the past,” said Linda DeLibero, director of the JHU Film and Media Studies undergraduate program, which will also be housed at 10 E. North Avenue. “Working together under one roof means that we’ll finally have what we’ve dreamed of for a decade: a hub of collective filmmaking and film education that draws on the best of what each school has to offer.”


Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 48 states and 61 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.

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