September 7, 2007

CCA Launches New Graduate Program in Film

California College of the Arts (CCA)

Academy Award–Winning Filmmaker

Rob Epstein to Chair New Program at

California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts

1111 Eighth Street

San Francisco CA 94107

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Academy Award–winning filmmaker Rob Epstein has been appointed chair of the new Graduate Program in Film at California College of the Arts (CCA), Provost Stephen Beal announced today. The all-digital program will launch in fall 2008 and will be located on the college’s San Francisco campus. Film students will have the opportunity to work in documentary, fiction, and experimental forms, with narrative serving as a common foundation.

Rob Epstein commented on the new program: “More than ever, there is crossover and interplay between the modes and methods of narrative documentary filmmaking and those of narrative fiction filmmaking. We will be preparing students to be well versed in both, making the CCA film program unique. Also, we will be one of very few all-digital programs in the country, which will put us ahead of the curve.”

The Graduate Program in Film aims to nurture a new movement in American cinema. The goal is to teach the elements of narrative storytelling and film aesthetics while giving students the tools to develop new forms for communicating their ideas. The program will look to various models of filmmaking, including independent and international models, as well as film work made for gallery and museum contexts.

“We are very fortunate to have Rob in this capacity at the college,” commented Beal. “Interest in film has increased significantly over the last few years, and we are particularly excited about the possibilities of a narrative film program within the context of CCA’s broad curriculum of art, architecture, design, and writing. Rob’s stellar filmmaking credentials and deep knowledge of the film industry make him the ideal person to lead this program.”

Applications for the Graduate Program in Film will be accepted beginning in fall 2007.

About Rob Epstein

Rob Epstein, one of the most acclaimed nonfiction film directors today, won his first Oscar for the classic 1985 documentary The Times of Harvey Milk and a second for the 1990 film Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt. He has also received three Peabody Awards, four Emmys, and a Guggenheim fellowship.

Epstein and Jeffrey Freidman established their own film company, Telling Pictures, in 1987. In addition to Common Threads, they have produced, directed, and cowritten several nonfiction features, including Paragraph 175 (2000), The Celluloid Closet (1995), and Where Are We? Our Trip through America (1993). Currently in production is Howl, a feature-length film on Allen Ginsberg and his legendary poem. Their recent television work includes producing and directing seven episodes of the NBC prime-time series Crime and Punishment, a nonfiction spin-off of NBC’s Law and Order. They produced and directed Gold Rush, an episode of the History Channel series “Ten Days that Unexpectedly Changed America” (which won the 2006 Emmy for outstanding nonfiction series), and were series directors and segment producers for the PBS newsmagazine Life 360 with Michel Martin.

Epstein has taught in the graduate program at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and is currently an instructor in CCA’s undergraduate Media Arts Program, where he is assisting in revising the curriculum. In 2006-7 he is CCA’s Viola Frey Distinguished Visiting Professor.

About CCA

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (formerly California College of Arts and Crafts) is the largest regionally accredited, independent school of art and design in the western United States. Noted for the interdisciplinary nature and breadth of its programs, CCA offers studies in 19 undergraduate and six graduate majors in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. The college offers bachelor of architecture, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of arts, and master of fine arts degrees. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,600 full-time students.

Noted alumni include the painters Nathan Oliveira and Raymond Saunders; ceramicists Robert Arneson, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; filmmaker Wayne Wang; conceptual artists David Ireland and Dennis Oppenheim; and designers Lucille Tenazas and Michael Vanderbyl.


Karl Petzke, Digital still (2006)

Courtesy of CCA, San Francisco, CA

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