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: 2019-20

FILM 6220 [3.0] Methods and Research in Cinema and Media Studies
(Fall 2019)
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 2020)
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 6242 [3.0] Space and Cinema
(Fall 2019)
Examines a variety of ways that space is created and experienced in film, television and video art with a consideration of themes such as the spaces of production and exhibition, location shooting and realism, cultural industries and real estate, special effects and virtual spaces, cognitive maps and habitus, and moving images as monuments. Featured theorists include Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, Henri Lefebvre, Andre Bazin, the Situationists, Fredric Jameson, Laura Mulvey, Jean Louis Baudry, Stephen Heath, Paula Massood and David Harvey.

FILM 6245 [3.0] Future Cinema
(Fall 2019)
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 2020)
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 7000 [3.0] Key Concepts in Cinema and Media Studies
(Fall/Winter 2019-20, bi-weekly)
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 PhD students)

Other courses include:

  • FILM 6231 [3.0] Canadian Cinema: Production, Distribution, Exhibition & Marketing
  • FILM 6232 [3.0] Contemporary Documentary
  • 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 6247 [3.0] Feminist Film & Cultural Theory
  • 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 6251 [3.0] The Essay Film
  • 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: 2019-20

FILM 5010 [3.0] Production
(Fall 2019)
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 5020B [3.0] Activist Video-making
(Fall 2019)
This course critically explores the theory and practice of filmmaking and digital media creation for activism and social change. Course readings will provide a background of the history and theory of activist filmmaking, as well as new interactive and hybrid forms of activist media. Students will interrogate the form and meaning of documenting, giving voice, bearing witness, catalyzing change, and amplifying political events, issues, communities and movements. The class will research and workshop a range of creation approaches, in relation to activist issues based on their own interests. Together they will assemble a toolbox of tactics and techniques derived from such approaches as direct cinema, cinéma vérité, guerrilla documentary, street tapes, recorded interviews, and interactive, immersive, and transmedia methods. Working in small teams, they will selectively apply these tools in response to needs identified by a grassroots organization or movement, to create a short activist film or media arts work. Through this process, students will practice the democratized methods of exchange, participation and collaboration that ground the theories of social justice that they engage with. The class is open to students with and without filmmaking experience. The projects will involve co-learning through the participation of members with different knowledges and skill sets. Be prepared for an active, fast-paced, hands-on interdisciplinary learning experience.

FILM 5021 [3.0] Process Cinema
(Summer 2020)
Process Cinema explores a creative tradition in alternative filmmaking that is improvisational and interactive. Through this process-driven methodology, the screenplay as governing document is replaced by a fluid integration of writing, shooting and editing, not necessarily in that order. Drawing upon a range of readings and screenings, students will explore this method of working through practical exercises and research projects.

FILM 5050 [3.0] Documentary Workshop
(Winter 2020)
Advanced production techniques and production management skills are practised through short workshop projects designed to prepare students for thesis work.

FILM 5070 [3.0] Hybrid Fiction
(Winter 2020)
This hands-on studio course explores the meanings and methods of hybrid fiction techniques, as utilized by contemporary film/video artists working across a variety of genres. Students investigate a broad range of realist and non-realist dramatic modes: dogme and melodrama, improv and mockumentary, re-enactment and split screen.

FILM 5080 [3.0] Directing New Short Narratives
(Fall 2019)
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.

Other courses include:

  • 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 5081 [3.0] Directing Actors for Screen Performance
  • FILM 5290 [3.0] Principles & Practice of Digital Stereoscopic 3D Cinema

Screenwriting Graduate Courses

Courses Offered in Screenwriting: 2019-20

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 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).