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Date: Apr 02, 2007
Hofstra launches Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Studies and Production
First MFA degree at Hofstra and only the second with a documentary focus offered through a university
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Hofstra will offer its first Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Studies and Production beginning fall 2007. The program is the first of its kind in New York and, only the second in the country offered through a university.
In the last few years documentaries have entered the theatrical market as never before, reaching even larger audiences in video release. Films such as Fahrenheit 9/11 and An Inconvenient Truth have increased the nation’s awareness of specific social and political issues. And with the expansion of high speed Internet and other delivery systems, the potential for documentary distribution has never been more promising.
The new MFA program will provide students with the critical, analytic and practical skills for producing their own documentaries. Potential students are not only working documentary film- makers who wish to continue their research and hone their production skills but also professionals working in other fields (e.g., education, non-profit, and community organizations) who have a story to tell.
With the MFA as their terminal degree, program graduates will also be prepared to teach at the university level as well as continue their work in current and emerging fields of non-fiction media.
With its two main focuses of study, the program teaches not only the technical skills of filmmaking but also stresses the importance of aesthetics, research, ethics and humanistic values in personal, creative expression. Under the guidance of faculty who are professional documentarians, students will be part of an environment of peers from diverse cultural, academic and professional backgrounds.
“One of the many appeals of this program,” says Sybil DelGaudio, Dean of the School of Communication and herself a documentary filmmaker, “is that it can accommodate students who have or do not have backgrounds in film, video or radio. The women’s studies major or the history major, for example, will be brought up to speed technically and taught all the necessary skills to effectively communicate their ideas through visual and aural media.”
Core Faculty Bios
Sybil DelGaudio has taught both film studies and film production. Her production work has combined an interest in animation with a passion for documentary, resulting in two award-winning projects, Animated Women and Independent Spirits, both broadcast on over 100 PBS stations and on the BBC and screened at many domestic and international film festivals. Her work has received grants from the Independent Television Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the New York Council for the Humanities, the Soros Documentary Fund and the New York State Council on the Arts. Since 2003 Dr. DelGaudio has served as Dean of the School of Communication.
Phil Katzman is an associate professor in the Audio/Video/Film department and a filmmaker and cinematographer with documentary and feature film credits. His films include From Stone, Subway Encounters, Home-Heart-Hope, Mannequin World, Lonely in America, Ticket to Freedom: Woodstock, and Mr. Vincent. Prof. Katzman’s films have been licensed to PBS, HBO, Cinemax, Bravo IFC and more than 75 countries internationally for theatrical, television and video release and have been screened in over eighty film festivals worldwide.
Mario A. Murillo is an associate professor in the Audio/Video/Film department and coordinator of the Audio/Radio academic program. A veteran radio journalist and feature producer in commercial, public and community radio, he currently hosts and produces "Wake Up Call" on Pacifica station WBAI (99.5 FM). He is the author of Colombia and the United States: War, Unrest and Destabilization (Seven Stories, 2004), and Islands of Resistance: Puerto Rico, Vieques, and US Policy (Seven Stories, 2002) as well as numerous articles.
Douglas Morrow, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Internship Coordinator for the Department of Audio/Video/Film, is a writer/producer, editor and digital cinematographer. For more than a decade, Prof. Morrow and his production company, D.A.M. Video Inc., have contracted with a broad range of clients including Public Television, HBO, United Nations Television and the Mt. Sinai Medical Center. Most recently, Prof. Morrow has been working on a series of short documentaries entitled Life Lessons, for which he has researched and recorded perspectives on the lives of senior citizens.
Christine Noschese is an award-winning writer, director and producer of both narrative and documentary films. Her work includes June Roses, which premiered at New Directors/New Films and Metropolitan Avenue, the latter broadcast nationally on PBS’ POV, Channel Four in Great Britain and screened theatrically at the Film Forum in New York. Over 2,000 copies of the film have been distributed by the John T. & Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation. Prof. Noschese has been awarded grants from the American Film Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Ford Foundation and the Women in Film Foundation for her work focusing on women, community and urban issues.
For more information or to apply for the program contact Prof. Matt Sobnosky at 516-463-7141, or at email@example.com; or the Audio/Video/Film department at 516-463-5424; or visit the website at www.hofstra.edu/mfadocumentary.