Undergraduate majors: cinema (B.A.); screenwriting arts (B.A.)
Undergraduate minor: cinema
Graduate degrees: M.A. in film studies; M.F.A. in film and video production; Ph.D. in film studies
Faculty: https://cinematicarts.uiowa.edu/people
Website: https://cinematicarts.uiowa.edu/

The Department of Cinematic Arts provides students with opportunities to explore and gain insight into cinema as a subject of international and interdisciplinary study as well as creative practice. The curriculum emphasizes film and related media in their historical and cultural contexts as well as film and video production in a variety of modes.

The screenwriting arts major instructs students in the practical skills and knowledge needed to become successful members of the screenwriting industry, in addition to the history and theories related to screenwriting.

The department's faculty offer expertise in film and video production; film history and theory, with emphasis on international film cultures; and the history, theory, and production of documentary media. Students conduct projects using state-of-the-art equipment and software that is updated regularly.

The department offers two majors awarded with a B.A. degree, an undergraduate minor, and three graduate degree programs (M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D.). It also offers courses for all interested students under the Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts area of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.

Resources

The Department of Cinematic Arts maintains up-to-date film and video equipment and facilities that allow students to acquire professional skills in a range of technical and creative areas, including cinematography, editing, sound design, screenwriting, and animation. The program also draws upon the extensive media holdings, and scholarly and archival resources relevant to the study of cinema held by the University of Iowa Libraries. The department regularly sponsors events, including film screenings, festivals, symposia, and presentations by notable visiting scholars and artists, that extend the study of film beyond the classroom and regular curriculum. Collaborations with Iowa City’s independent cinema, FilmScene, and the Bijou, the University of Iowa's long-running student film society, also enhance local opportunities for students to view films outside of the classroom and mainstream venues.

Cinematic Arts Courses

CINE:1000 First-Year Seminar 1 s.h.

Small discussion class taught by a faculty member; topics chosen by instructor; may include outside activities (e.g., films, lectures, performances, readings, visits to research facilities, field trips). Requirements: first- or second-semester standing.

CINE:1100 The Art of Smartphone Filmmaking 3 s.h.

Introduction to filmmaking principles; how to shoot and edit short videos utilizing smartphone technology; methods to produce high-quality work without professional equipment. GE: Engineering Be Creative; Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts.

CINE:1150 Introduction to Screenwriting for Nonmajors 3 s.h.

Introduction to basic storytelling strategies and principles, writing film treatments, adapting prose to professional screenplay format, story structure for features and short films, workshop original screenplays, critique student work, and analyze professional screenplays. GE: Engineering Be Creative.

CINE:1185 Internship 1-3 s.h.

Opportunity to apply skills; faculty supervision, on or off campus. Requirements: cinema major.

CINE:1195 Video Games and Identity 3 s.h.

Structural and historical problems of representation and inclusion in video games (as text, industry, and culture) along lines of race, gender, sexuality, age, class, and ability; introduction to game studies as a discipline; guidance in learning college-level reading and writing. GE: Diversity and Inclusion.

CINE:1300 Foundations of Screenwriting 3 s.h.

Ideation and creative research, foundational elements of stories, creation and development of characters and story lines, dialogue writing, screenplay format, analysis of storytelling in professional screenplays, writing and workshopping student's work.

CINE:1560 Cinematic Arts Ambassador Seminar 1 s.h.

Ambassadors provide information about the Department of Cinematic Arts to incoming and visiting students, University community, and broader community; conduct tours; meet with students and parents; review curriculum; provide information on opportunities; coordinate events; and update materials for prospective and incoming students. Requirements: cinema major.

CINE:1601 Introduction to Film Analysis 3 s.h.

Formal analysis of film; narrative cinema and approaches to narrative structure; authorship and genre issues, other major topics.

CINE:1602 Introduction to Film Studies 3 s.h.

Film history, theory, criticism; issues of form, technologies, and cultural functions of cinema; screenings of narrative, documentary, experimental films from varied periods and nations. GE: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts.

CINE:1610 Contemporary Cinema 3 s.h.

Current cinema; key genres, movements, filmmakers, technological changes; recent cultural contexts, industrial and economic factors, changes in the film viewing experience. GE: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts.

CINE:1625 Race, Gender, and Sexuality on Screen 3 s.h.

Introduction to key issues and debates regarding the representation of gender, race, and sexuality in cinema. GE: Diversity and Inclusion.

CINE:1635 Styles and Genres 3 s.h.

Major film types (musicals, science fiction, westerns, film noir) and their cultural significance.

CINE:1834 Modes of Film and Video Production 4 s.h.

Introduction to filmmaking; how to shoot and edit short works of cinematic art; exposure to various working methods including nonfiction, fiction, and experimental modes of video production. Prerequisites: CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C. Corequisites: for CINE:1834CINE:1601, if not taken as a prerequisite. GE: Engineering Be Creative. Same as THTR:1834.

CINE:2195 Individual Study arr.

CINE:2600 Writing Film Reviews and Criticism 3 s.h.

Evaluation and analysis of film, from journalistic reviews to academic scholarship; principles and theoretical positions.

CINE:2615 Introduction to Film Theory 3 s.h.

Classical film theory—formalist and realist theories, authorship, genre; contemporary film theory—semiotics, feminism, psychoanalysis, ideological criticism, postmodernism, queer theory. Prerequisites: CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:2620 U.S. Film 3 s.h.

American film industry; social and artistic perspectives.

CINE:2623 Introduction to Documentary Film 3 s.h.

Introduction to key issues and topics in the history and practice of nonfiction filmmaking.

CINE:2627 Film Club 1 s.h.

Theme-based film program comprising a weekly film screening followed by a guided group discussion intended to inspire debate and film literacy.

CINE:2800 Digital Arts: An Introduction 3 s.h.

Introduction to potential of integrating art with technology to provide a foundation of skills and concepts through hands-on experimentation; lectures and demonstrations introduce key concepts and ideas as well as the history of digital arts; students develop skills that form a foundation for future investigation through labs; work may include using an Arduino, programming, and developing an interface to control a software project; final project is shared with the public in some way; critical discourse in the form of writing assignments allows for reflection and evaluation. GE: Engineering Be Creative. Same as ARTS:2800, CS:2800, DANC:2800, DIGA:2800, MUS:2800, THTR:2800.

CINE:2863 Film/Video Production: Film Festival 3 s.h.

How to run a film festival; management and orchestration of annual Iowa City International Documentary Festival. Prerequisites: CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:2864 Film/Video Production: Alternative Forms 3 s.h.

Alternative or innovative video/film practices and technologies; varied topics. Prerequisites: CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:2866 Film/Video Production: Nonfiction 3 s.h.

Individual and small group work to create video projects using nonfiction filmmaking techniques, from camera and lighting to postproduction. Prerequisites: CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:2868 Film/Video Production: Fiction 3 s.h.

Individual and small group work to create video projects using fiction filmmaking techniques, from camera and lighting to postproduction. Prerequisites: CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:2869 Introduction to Intermedia 3 s.h.

Interdisciplinary focus; emphasis on conceptual, installation, video, time-based media, performance art. Prerequisites: (ARTS:1510 and ARTS:1520) or CINE:1834. Requirements: for CINE:2869—grade of C or higher in CINE:1834. Same as INTM:2710.

CINE:3050 Practicum: Teaching Assistant 1 s.h.

Training in a range of skills crucial to media education and teaching while expanding breadth and depth of student's film knowledge; practice-based practicum. Recommendations: junior or senior standing, and cinema B.A. major.

CINE:3080 Film/Video Production: The Business of Filmmaking 3 s.h.

Introduction to business-related arts production techniques and strategies; budgeting and basic accounting skills, grant writing, project conceptualization and planning, film producing and location scouting, distribution models, film festival submission, project summation. Prerequisites: CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:3195 Undergraduate Seminar 3 s.h.

Focus on a significant text or critical problem. Prerequisites: CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C. Requirements: cinema major, and junior or senior standing.

CINE:3310 Screenwriting Studies 3 s.h.

Readings and research projects in history, theory, and analysis of screenwriting; preparation to complete screenplays in other courses; topics may include study of storytelling in sample scripts, literary adaptation, screenwriting in early and classical Hollywood, independent and global art cinema. Prerequisites: CINE:1300 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:3315 Topics in Screenwriting 3 s.h.

Diverse specialized topics related to the art, craft, history, and business of screenwriting for film, television, and new media platforms. Prerequisites: CINE:1300 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:3361 Screenwriting: Short Form 3 s.h.

Introduction to basic principles of screenwriting; develop, write, and workshop screenplays for short film/video projects including fiction, nonfiction, and experimental work. Prerequisites: CINE:1300 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:3367 Screenwriting: Long Form 3 s.h.

Introduction to basic principles of screenwriting; develop, write, and workshop screenplays for longer form film/video projects including fiction, nonfiction, and experimental work. Prerequisites: CINE:1300 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C and CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:3750 Topics in Cinema and Culture 3 s.h.

One or more national cinemas in relation to social, historical, and cultural contexts. Prerequisites: CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:3865 Film/Video Production: Material of 16mm Filmmaking 3 s.h.

Individual work to create projects using 16mm filmmaking techniques including camera operation, editing, lighting for film, found footage, and camera-less filmmaking; introduction to hand processing; production course. Prerequisites: CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:3876 Video for Performance 3 s.h.

Introduction to aesthetics and practical applications of digital media and video design for live performance including content creation, system design, and content optimization for media servers; students create digital video and animations and integrate them into live performance and entertainment events via projections, media servers, and digital displays using QLab Media Server and Adobe Creative Cloud (e.g., Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Audition, After Effects); for those with an interest in designing, creating, and displaying digital media for theatre, dance, concerts, corporate events, gallery installations, VJ sets, and architectural projections. Prerequisites: THTR:3890 or CINE:1834. GE: Engineering Be Creative. Same as DANC:3876, DIGA:3876, INTM:3876, THTR:3876.

CINE:3878 Film and Media Practicum 1 s.h.

Research and production-oriented film and media practicum; individual and small-group work on a single film, video, or media production as determined by instructor; independent library and web-based research, group presentations, readings. Requirements: junior or senior standing.

CINE:4198 Honors Project I 3 s.h.

Requirements: standards met for honors in the major for the B.A. in cinema.

CINE:4199 Honors Project II 3 s.h.

Completion of honors project, working with a designated cinematic arts faculty member; content varies depending on specific projects proposed by the student, approved by the faculty member, in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies and any additional cinematic arts faculty members relevant to the project. Prerequisites: CINE:4198. Requirements: standards met for honors in the major for the B.A. in cinema.

CINE:4377 Advanced Screenwriting I 4 s.h.

Developing, writing, and workshopping screenplays for short film/video projects including fiction, nonfiction, and experimental work; introduction to preproduction activities; exercises and journal assignments. Prerequisites: CINE:3361 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:3367 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4378 Advanced Screenwriting II 4 s.h.

Students write a feature screenplay (105-115 pages) within the industry standard contract guidelines for independent and studio projects; completion of outline, beat sheet, treatment, and first draft; one rewrite. Prerequisites: CINE:4377 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4610 Studies in Film and Music 3 s.h.

Critical approaches to historical and contemporary interrelationships between film and music; soundtracks and film scores; popular song and cinema. Prerequisites: CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C. Same as MUS:4610.

CINE:4618 Topics in World Cinemas 3 s.h.

Issues in international film history and film theory. Prerequisites: CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4620 Topics in Film Form, Style, and Theory 3 s.h.

Special issues and topics relevant to film form, style, and/or theory. Prerequisites: CINE:1601 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4705 Chicano Cinema 3 s.h.

History of Chicano independent and industry film and television production since the Chicano political and cultural movement began in the 1960s. Taught in English. Requirements: one Spanish literature or culture course numbered SPAN:3200 or above, or one film studies course numbered above CINE:2100. Same as LATS:4805, SPAN:4805.

CINE:4821 Film/Video Production: Selected Topics 4 s.h.

Exploration of a particular genre, issue, or process; varied topics; individual work on several video projects. Prerequisites: CINE:2864 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2866 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2868 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:3865 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4841 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4843 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4845 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4862 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4825 Digital Production: Animation 4 s.h.

Intermediate 3D modeling, motion graphics; student projects culminating in CDR or video presentation. Prerequisites: CINE:1834 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4841 Film/Video Production: Sound Design 4 s.h.

Exploration of sound design for film and video, from recording to editing and mixing; individual work on several audio and video projects. Prerequisites: CINE:2864 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2866 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2868 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:3865 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4821 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4841 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4843 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4845 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4862 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4864 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4843 Film/Video Production: Image Design 4 s.h.

Lighting strategies and techniques, camera work, composition, and postproduction; individual work on several video projects. Prerequisites: CINE:2863 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2864 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2866 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2868 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:3865 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:3876 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4845 Film/Video Production: Editing 4 s.h.

Development of editing techniques and strategies; editing for impact, mood, story; individual work on several video projects. Prerequisites: CINE:2864 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2866 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2868 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:3865 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:3876 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4841 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4843 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4862 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4862 Film/Video Production: Advanced Video 4 s.h.

Expanded narrative or nonfiction/documentary topics; individual work on several video projects. Prerequisites: CINE:2864 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2866 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2868 with a minimum grade of C or THTR:3876 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4821 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4841 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4843 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4845 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4864 Film Production: Advanced 16mm 4 s.h.

Processes and approaches to short 16mm film; advanced cameras; sync-sound techniques; optical printing; individual work on a single project or several short projects. Prerequisites: CINE:2864 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2866 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:2868 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:3865 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:3876 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4821 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4841 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4843 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4845 with a minimum grade of C or CINE:4862 with a minimum grade of C.

CINE:4890 Media Production Workshop 4 s.h.

Development, production, and realization of a self-directed project; methods and projects may include film, video, screenwriting, or hybrid forms. Prerequisites: THTR:3876 with a minimum grade of B- or CINE:4821 with a minimum grade of B- or CINE:4841 with a minimum grade of B- or CINE:4843 with a minimum grade of B- or CINE:4845 with a minimum grade of B- or CINE:4862 with a minimum grade of B- or CINE:4864 with a minimum grade of B-. Requirements: submission and acceptance of written proposal by deadline.

CINE:5500 Success in Graduate Studies 1-3 s.h.

Introduction to graduate studies in film and media-related areas to maximize student success through a series of workshops devoted to research and writing, professionalization, and information sessions with key graduate-related offices and resources on campus.

CINE:5673 Advanced Film Theory 3 s.h.

A major figure, issue, or approach in film theory.

CINE:5675 Advanced Film History 3 s.h.

A major period or topic in film history; issues in film historiography, research.

CINE:5890 Colloquium in Film and Video Production 4 s.h.

Projects and critical studies; focus on varied topics including process and theoretical issues; workshop, readings, production. Recommendations: previous experience with video production; prior cinema courses or filmmaking experience helpful, but not required.

CINE:6992 Individual Study arr.

Opportunity for prearranged independent study with faculty. Requirements: M.A., M.F.A., or Ph.D. candidate in cinematic arts.

CINE:7615 Film Studies Seminar 3 s.h.

A major figure, issue, or approach in film theory.

CINE:7992 Thesis arr.