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Cutting Your Teeth in the Big Apple's Film Scene

New York City offers many opportunities for film students.
times square new york

The bright lights of Hollywood lure many would-be moviemakers to the film capitol of the world, but runner-up New York City is by no means second best. Filmmaking in New York City is a multi-billion dollar industry that employs more than 100,000. And the city that never sleeps is a hotbed for filmmakers who want to skirt the big motion picture studios—after all, it's the birthplace of independent film.

With that being said, some of the most recognizable studios and production companies shoot films there, from Disney to New Line to Warner Bros. Who can forget legendary Oscar-winning movies such as "The Godfather," "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Annie Hall"—films in which the city also played a starring role? For filmmakers, the city offers an unparalleled diversity of ethnic and religious communities, a plethora of iconic historical sites, and every convenience, cuisine and experience you can think of.

For film students, numerous well-known native New York directors such as Noah Baumbach, Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone provide inspiration. Those thinking about getting a formal education in film simply can't go wrong in this metropolis.

A Festival for Every Film Lover

Being a thriving film hub, it's only natural that New York would spawn a multitude of film festivals. The city plays host to hundreds of filmmakers, industry professionals and movie lovers annually. Some of the better-known festivals include these:

  • Tribeca Film Festival
  • New York Film Festival
  • New York International Independent Film & Video Festival
  • Big Apple Film Festival

Plus many festivals showcase a variety niche cinema such as:

  • Anime
  • Asian
  • Children's cinema
  • Horror
  • Jewish
  • LGBT

Wouldn't you love to get a behind-the-scenes look at these exciting festivals? As a film student living in New York City, you have an unparalleled opportunity to work, intern or volunteer at film festivals. Plus you could get a golden opportunity to hobnob with industry experts who could give you that big break into the film world.

Find a Film School in New York

New York City's many schools for film make it a mecca for potential students. In addition to the highly regarded film schools at New York University and Columbia University, who come in at #2 and #7 respectively on the 2022 list of the Hollywood Reporter's Top 25 American Film Schools, the list includes the following New York state institutions:

  • Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
  • Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY

If New York isn't your type of scene, then check out the West Coast as both Los Angeles and Vancouver, Canada also have many film school options.

As it's said, if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere. Your success as a filmmaking student is up to you in New York, New York.

Filmmaking Degree & Career Guide