MFA in Film & Digital Technology | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Chatham's accelerated, one-year MFA in Film & Digital Technology program is focused on advanced project work in a range of media production areas, principally film/video, interactivity, and the web. It is designed to extend and develop students' experiences and knowledge in the field of media production and their understanding of creative and critical practice within the media industries.

Chatham's program is one of the few accelerated MFA programs in the United States that includes both film and digital technology. Students in this graduate program are encouraged to explore project work in a range of media production areas to explore the blurred boundaries between previously separate media production forms. Students will focus on developing their understanding of how emerging concepts such as interactivity, connectivity and convergence of emerging technologies such as DVD and interactive video are creating new creative possibilities, production processes, and delivery systems for more traditional forms of media production, such as film and video.

 

FILMMAKING

At Chatham, filmmakers have the environment to create. Our curriculum allows students to collaborate and customize their learning according to their personal interests and areas of specialization to get the most out of their filmmaking processes. Combining screenwriting and technical skills, the program helps students gain a solid understanding of narrative structure while developing a unique approach to storytelling. Through their work in the program, students are also challenged to think about how the convergence of technologies encourages innovative techniques in the development and distribution of stories with original themes.

Hallmarks of our program

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Production Focused

Our project-based approach instructed by industry-recognized filmmakers gives students the chance to hone their craft in ways that best utilize their talents and interests. Media Project courses comprise more than half of the curriculum in order to maximize students' project choices to broaden their skillsets. From this, our MFA graduates emerge industry ready with a realistic and informed sense of their career possibilities.

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Digital Convergence

Everyday, the merging of different technologies creates new streams for media to be produced, shared, and consumed. A specialty of our MFA program is the focus on the intersections between traditional and new media, giving students a deeper understanding of interactivity, connectivity, and the convergence of new technologies that allow for new creative possibilities, production processes, and delivery systems.

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Social Justice

One of the powerful uses of film and digital media is its ability to create awareness and serve as a catalyst for change. Our curriculum includes research components that position student work within broader social, historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts. This provides students with a platform to engage with stories of sustainability, women's issues, global perspectives, or other pressing concerns that deserve a voice.


Community

The film community in Pittsburgh is booming, and our own film community at Chatham is thriving as well. In addition to collaborative MFA students and supportive faculty, the program hosts panel discussions and Q&As to discuss the work of filmmaking. These extend students' learning opportunities and knowledge of filmmaking while better connecting them to the larger Pittsburgh film, literary, and arts scenes to create connections and continue the development of their craft.

An Evening with Women Filmmakers

  • An Evening with Women Filmmakers Panel photograph
  • An Evening with Women Filmmakers Panel photograph
  • An Evening with Women Filmmakers Panel photograph
  • An Evening with Women Filmmakers Panel photograph
  • An Evening with Women Filmmakers Panel photograph
  • An Evening with Women Filmmakers Panel photograph
  • An Evening with Women Filmmakers Panel photograph
  • An Evening with Women Filmmakers Panel photograph
  • An Evening with Women Filmmakers Panel photograph

 

Program Event Participation

▶ Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project

Each year, the Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project challenges filmmaking teams to produce four- to seven- minute films in only a two-day period, with each team vying for the "Best Film of the City" award or the Audience Award. Supporting the Project's mission to advance filmmaking and encourage creativity, Chatham has been a past sponsor of the event and has donated the cash prize.

▶ Silk Screen Film Festival

The Silk Screen Film Festival is one of the largest Asian-centric festivals in the U.S. Sponsored in part by Chatham University, the event screen dozens of films per year, bringing award-winning and recognized films to Pittsburgh.

▶ Three Rivers Film Festival

Sponsored in part by Chatham University, the Three Rivers Film Festival is one of the oldest and most highly anticipated film festivals in the region. The festival features foreign-language films, experimental works, American independents, shorts, documentaries, and local works.

▶ Just Films

Sponsored in collaboration by Chatham University, Just Films screens documentaries dealing with social justice to educate, inspire, challenge, and move viewers to action. Chatham hosts the monthly film series and integrates the topics and themes of the series into academic discourse.