Denison has had a Cinema major since 1968, making it one of the oldest programs in the country. We believe that filmmaking and film studies are mutually sustaining, as the experience of researching and analyzing cinema provides the developing filmmaker with a sense of their place in film-historical tradition.

Denison’s Cinema program is unique

Our students are filmmakers. Cinema majors can take the first production course as soon as they set foot on campus. Majors shoot and complete at least seven film projects, and often many more. Students work collaboratively, often serving as crew members on one another’s films.

Denison’s Cinema House features an impressive inventory of production equipment and an extensive film library. Each cinema student is provided their own camera and lighting equipment in every production course, at no cost. In addition to our digital resources, including HD, 4K, and 6K cameras, we remain committed to teaching celluloid film, and have 16mm cameras, as well as a 35mm motion picture camera for advanced productions.

Our students work one-on-one with professors, who are professional filmmakers in their own right. Our small production courses provide weekly hands-on instruction from the pros. And whether working with a student on a screenplay or a film/video project, faculty members often teach as much out-of-class as they do in-class.

Our Curriculum

The cinema major is designed for the serious student who is interested in both the history and development of film and video as art forms and in the creative process of producing cinematic works.

The goals of the major are to provide students with a working knowledge of the principles of production in connection with an understanding of cinema as an art form. In this regard, an understanding of cinema theory, analysis and history is essential.

Nine courses cover film analysis, hands-on production, and the history and theory of cinema, with majors taking production and cinema studies courses in equal measure.

Outside the Classroom

Denison cinema majors gain hands-on experience in filmmaking, both on campus and off, right from the get-go.

What do cinema majors do after Denison?

Denison’s cinema majors have gone on to work as successful independent filmmakers with their own production companies, to writing, directing, shooting, or editing popular Netflix, Showtime, Amazon, Hulu, and Starz series, to working on major motion pictures starring actors like Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Viola Davis, Matthew McConaughey, Beyoncé, and many more.

A national network of Denison alumni have provided current cinema students and recent graduates with internships, jobs after graduation, and contacts within the field. Recent graduates are currently working as professional editors, cinematographers, and writers across the U.S. and abroad. Graduates who choose to pursue an M.F.A. or Ph.D. attend top graduate programs in production and film studies.