Courses

Courses being offered in the current academic year can be found on the York Courses website. Under “Search by….” click on “Subject” and look for FILM courses (FA/GS). Graduate courses are numbered in the 5000, 6000, and 7000 series.

Cinema and Media Studies Graduate Courses

Courses Offered in Cinema and Media Studies: 2018-19


FILM 6220 [3.0] Methods and Research in Cinema and Media Studies
(Fall 2018)
A discussion of the various methodologies developed by film critics and historians to understand the moving image and its contextual relationship to the social world. Influential examples from the critical and historical literature are examined. The course also includes practical experience in bibliographical and research methods.
(required course for MA students)


FILM 6230 [3.0] Contemporary Cinema and Media Theory
(Winter 2019)
This course is intended as an in depth study of major theoretical schools and debates within contemporary film theory. The course is divided into three key units, each of which will focus on the historical development, methodological principles and philosophic underpinning of a specific school. This is a required course for all Critical and Historical Studies students.
(required course for MA students)


FILM 6245 [3.0] Future Cinema
(Fall 2018)
This course examines the shift from traditional cinematic spectacle to works probing the frontiers of interactive, performative, and networked media. Drawing upon a broad range of scholarship, including film theory, communication studies, cultural studies and new media theory, the course will consider how digital technologies are transforming the semiotic fabric of contemporary visual culture. Our focus will be on the phenomenon Gene Youngblood described three decades ago as ‘expanded cinema’—an explosion of the frame outward towards immersive, interactive and interconnected (i.e., environmental) forms of culture.


FILM 6246 [3.0] Future Cinema II: Applied Theory
(Winter 2019)
This hands-on course gives you an opportunity to learn about new screen technologies, approaches and techniques in a lab environment, and participate in the evolution of emerging media. This course will give you the opportunity to engage with wearable immersive VR technology (the Oculus Rift headset) on both practical and theoretical levels to understand, create and imagine new kinds of worlds. What does the imminent explosion of virtual reality (VR), soon to be available as consumer technology, mean for the future of cinema? Theories, methods, and unique modes of expression have yet to be established by the collision of gaming technology with cinema. As with any emerging medium, a willingness to break rules, abandon habits and re-learn is necessary.


FILM 6247 [3.0] Feminist Film & Cultural Theory
(Winter 2019)
This course introduces feminist film and cultural theory to critical thinkers who are interested in the strategic deployment of sexual difference in contemporary film and media culture. The course considers the canon that pays special attention to visual culture’s invitations to desire, consumer culture’s, choreographies of the gendered body, and cinema’s orchestrations of the maternal voice.


FILM 6251 [3.0] The Essay Film
(Fall 2018)
This course investigates cinematic modes of the essay through approaches such as autoethnography and experimental documentary, hybridized fiction, poetry and performance, and is both a study in theory and a primer in practice.


FILM 6252 [3.0] Living Archives: Curatorial Approaches to Mediated History
(Summer 2019)
Focusing on new theoretical models of the archive, digital experiments with moving image archives along with diverse curatorial approaches to archives, students will develop scholarly and curatorial projects that help to imagine new ways of curating and presenting moving image archives in the public sphere. Such approaches might be defined through site specific exhibitions, video mapping projections and other forms of media activation that recast history to encompass diverse community perspectives and needs: indigenous, LGBTQ, diasporic, differently abled and feminist. Numerous guest curators and programmers will present their projects and experiences working with archival elements.


FILM 7000 [3.0] Key Concepts in Cinema and Media Studies
(Fall 2018)
The course will explore key concepts, texts and debates in the field of contemporary cinema and media studies. While maintaining a focus on the intellectual and material histories of cinema studies and media studies as disciplines (and their recent convergence), including epistemological and ontological frameworks, methodological approaches, and institutional and technological supports, the course will emphasize recent developments in cinema and media studies. Three broad areas of study will structure the course: cinema and cultural theory; national and transnational cinema; cinema and technologies of the image.
(required course for PhDs students)


Other courses include:

  • FILM 6231 [3.0] Canadian Cinema: Production, Distribution, Exhibition & Marketing
  • FILM 6232 [3.0] Contemporary Documentary
  • FILM 6233 [3.0] Dziga Vertov and His Legacy
  • FILM 6234 [3.0] Documentary Personalities: Werner Herzog and Errol Morris
  • FILM 6235 [3.0] Issues of Film Authorship: The Case of David Cronenberg
  • FILM 6240 [3.0] City as Cinema: Film and City Space
  • FILM 6241 [3.0] The Architecture of Cinema: Theories of Urban Space, Architecture and Film
  • FILM 6248 [3.0] Red Hollywood: Marxist Cultural Politics and Popular Film
  • FILM 6249 [3.0] Still/Moving: Cinema and Photography
  • FILM 6250 [3.0] First Nations in Film and Television
  • FILM 6255 [3.0] Canadian Documentary
  • FILM 6310 [3.0] Selected Topics in Canadian Cinema
  • FILM 6320A [3.0] World Cinema Around the Millennium
  • FILM 6320B [3.0] Media Archaeology: Science, History, and Method
  • FILM 6320B [3.0] Selected Topics in History & Criticism: Chinese Cinema
  • FILM 6320C [3.0] History & Criticism: Cinema Vérité
  • FILM 6320D [3.0] History & Criticism: Cinema Vérité in Canada
  • FILM 6320G [3.0] Special Topics: Classical Hollywood
  • FILM 6320H [3.0] Race & Gender in Digital Technology
  • FILM 6320J [3.0] Marxism, Culture and Film
  • FILM 6320K [3.0] Selected Topics: Film & Sexual Deviancy
  • FILM 6320L [3.0] Discourses of Race/Racist Discourses
  • FILM 6320M [3.0] Film in Canada
  • FILM 6320P [3.0] Documentary Narration
  • FILM 6320Q [3.0] Early Cinema to 1915

Production Graduate Courses

Courses Offered in Production: 2018-19

FILM 5010 [3.0] Production
(Fall 2018)
A required course in film and video production techniques which includes both lectures and studio practicum. Practical experience in production and production management is covered as is the language of production.


FILM 5022 [3.0] Activating the Archive
(Summer 2019)
This course explores a creative tradition of found footage filmmaking and remixing in alternative filmmaking that depends on archival materials. Drawing upon a range of readings and screenings, students will explore a method of working with found materials through practical exercises and research projects with a focus on analogue moving image archives.


FILM 5050 [3.0] Documentary Workshop
(Winter 2019)
Advanced production techniques and production management skills are practised through short workshop projects designed to prepare students for thesis work.


FILM 5080 [3.0] Directing New Short Narratives
(Fall 2018)
This graduate production course will focus on the learning, comprehension and creation of the signs and codes of new narrative cinema, understood as an exploration of psychological and societal breakdown through unconventional narrative structures.


FILM 5081 [3.0] Directing Actors for Screen Performance
(Winter 2019)
This graduate studio course critically explores the theory and practice of directing actors on screen. Each week in a hands-on workshop setting, graduate students will study diverse methods for scene study, auditioning, rehearsing, visualizing relationships, blocking for the camera, directing and re-directing actors in a variety of filmed scenes.


Other courses include:

  • FILM 5020B [3.0] Activist Video–Making
  • FILM 5021 [3.0] Process Cinema
  • FILM 5030A [3.0] Cinematography
  • FILM 5031 [3.0] Technical Workshop/Advanced Production
  • FILM 5040 [3.0] Documentaries Without Borders
  • FILM 5041 [3.0] Technical Workshop/Advanced Post–Prod.
  • FILM 5060 [3.0] Editing
  • FILM 5290 [3.0] Principles & Practice of Digital Stereoscopic 3D Cinema

Screenwriting Graduate Courses

Courses Offered in Screenwriting: 2018-19


FILM 5110 [3.0] Screenwriting

This course analyzes the writing of fictional and non-fictional scripts from the perspectives of script idea, story, character, dialogue and background atmosphere and includes practical assignments in scriptwriting and student presentations of work in progress.


FILM 5120 [6.0] Feature Screenwriting II
Develops the student's existing story outlines into full feature-length screenplays and through several rewrites. The course will also examine the realities of working as a writer in the Canadian and international film industries.


FILM 5122 [6.0] Writing for Television
This course is an intensive introduction for aspiring screenwriters to the subtle but encompassing problems they may expect to encounter when writing for series television. Students will study the form and format of half-hour and one hour episodic comedies and dramas intended to be encompassed as part of a television series. They will also undertake the pitching, outlining and drafting of a single episode; the creation and development of a series proposal; the make up and function of a story department; plus an overview of the industry as a whole. Long form drama including television movies and mini-series will also be examined.


FILM 5126 [6.0] Story Editing
The aim of this course is the development of solid story editing skills (problem solving strategies, critical narrative analysis and a comprehension of the elements of story) and the completion of a portfolio of professional editorial work, working both independently and in collaborative editorial teams to assist with the development of both undergraduate and graduate thesis film projects. The course provides a forum for both critical analysis and the dynamic exchange of ideas, and is expected to foster healthy and rigorous debate and supports the student through the polishing and improvement of existing work and the development of one’s own aesthetic point of view.


FILM 5130A [3.0] Selected Topics in Screenwriting
A continuation from FILM 5110: Screenwriting, where the students will be developing their thesis proposals.


Other courses include:

  • FILM 5112 [3.0] Graduate Acting for Writers
  • FILM 5123 [3.0] Screenwriting and the History of Ideas
  • FILM 5126 [3.0] Story Editing
  • FILM 5127 [3.0] Reading in the History of Screenwriting
  • FILM 5128 [3.0] Screenwriters' Cinema I
  • FILM 5129 [3.0] Screenwriters’ Cinema II
  • FILM 5320E [3.0] Selected Topics: Script Editing

Miscellaneous Film Graduate Courses

FILM 5400 [3.0]  Graduate Seminar
Seminars include presentations by faculty and visiting lecturers and presentations by students of thesis proposals and thesis research. This is a full-year course that meets every other week, and it a required course for MA/MFA students.


FILM 5600 [3.0] / FILM 5600A [3.0] Field Placement
Students may have an opportunity to seek out internship opportunities either on their own or apply for one offered during the school year. Any field placements taken must be approved by the Graduate Program Director(s).


FILM 5700 [3.0] / FILM 5700A [3.0] Student Initiated Collaborative Inquiry
Students may design, in collaboration with other students in the Cinema and Media Studies, Production, or Screenwriting programs, a particular course of study with a faculty member(s) provided it is not available in the current curriculum and does not overlap significantly with a course previously taken. All Student Initiated Collaborative Inquiry courses must be approved by the applicable Graduate Program Director(s).

  • Download form for FILM 5700: Student Initiate Collaborative Inquiry

FILM 5800 [3.0] / FILM 5800A [3.0] Directed Reading
Students may design an individual course of study with a faculty member provided it is not available in the current curriculum and does not overlap significantly with a course previously taken. Students are normally allowed two half reading courses during their Master’s tenure in the Program. All Directed Reading courses must be approved by the Cinema and Media Studies Graduate Program Director(s).