Film and Media Culture
The Film and Media Culture Department is dedicated to the study of film and audiovisual media as vital aspects of a liberal arts education. Our students study a wide range of media, including cinema, television, and digital media, considering them as aesthetic forms and in relation to the cultures that produced them.
Our curriculum fully integrates the creation and critical study of film and media in a manner appropriate to a liberal arts education. Students combine the critical studies of film and media with the creation of media work, often within the same course. Our courses situate media within national and global contexts and examine transnational and transcultural media flows, and our classes incorporate numerous screenings of films and media texts, with scheduled evening sessions and hands-on lab sections.
Faculty and Facilities
The faculty in the Film and Media Culture Department are active scholars and creators, writing books, creating films, and contributing to the vibrant academic field of film and media studies. We are housed in the Axinn Center, with state-of-the-art digital video production facilities and high-end screening rooms.
We believe that Middlebury is a leader in teaching film and media studies in a liberal arts context, with alumni finding success within the film and media industries, as well as in a wide variety of other fields.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q Can film and media majors study abroad?
Yes. FMMC majors often spend a semester away from Middlebury on a range of programs. Many of the Middlebury Schools Abroad offer courses on local or regional film and media that can be transferred as elective credit. We also run an exchange program with the Universities of Nottingham and East Anglia in the United Kingdom, both of which have strong film and media programs. Some students also look to spend a semester at an American film school, such as NYU or USC. Your advisor can help arrange this, but students should be aware that financial aid does not transfer to these programs. Students interested in studying a full year abroad must plan early to complete all core courses in the major prior to their junior year.
Q How can you make films at Middlebury?
The Film and Media Culture Department has high-end production facilities for creating digital videos. We do not support production using actual film, due to the expense of equipment, film stock, and processing; we have found that teaching videography and digital editing is the most effective way to prepare undergraduates who want to become film creators within the liberal arts context. Students in FMMC have opportunities to produce creative projects in a range of media forms, and can choose to work toward a creative senior project of a video, screenplay, or other media form.
Q What does it mean to study film at Middlebury?
Middlebury’s Film and Media Culture Department treats film as an aesthetic form to be analyzed critically, as well as an art form to be created. We explore films from around the world, spanning over a century of film history. A student graduating with an FMMC major will have in-depth knowledge of a broad range of cinematic traditions, critical approaches, and aesthetic movements.
Q Does Middlebury have a film school?
The Film and Media Culture Department is the place at Middlebury to study film production as well as criticism and history. We do not see ourselves as a “film school,” as we do not specialize in production and our curriculum is not primarily designed to prepare students for jobs in the industry. Instead, we believe that film and media are a key part of a liberal arts curriculum, and the creative process in all art forms strengthens a student’s education. Students can get hands-on education in video production, animation, digital art, and writing for the screen as components of a broader education in film and media.
Q Can I take film classes without being a major?
Yes. None of our courses are restricted to majors or minors. Most intermediate and advanced courses do have prerequisites of introductory courses, however, as students need a background in the core concepts and vocabulary of studying film and media before studying production or advanced critical studies.
Q Why do film and media courses have so many hours scheduled?
Most FMMC courses have specific screening times scheduled in our course registration system—screenings are a core component of a course and are not optional. If students have a conflict with screening times, they may contact the professor in advance of registration to request a waiver allowing them to make up the viewing on their own, but waivers will be issued by discretion of the professor. Some courses have designated labs, which are required hands-on sessions for production-centered courses.
Q What can I do after graduating with a film and media major?
FMMC students often do go into the film and media industries. In recent years, graduates have found jobs working for film production companies, television stations and networks, and advertising agencies, and as freelance writers and editors. Students have also gone into other career areas, from teaching to banking, as all Middlebury graduates can use their liberal arts foundation to explore an array of career options. Film and media students have also pursued graduate education in top MFA and PhD programs. See our alumni section for some profiles of recent graduates.