The Film Major gives students a foundation in film history, aesthetics, production, and methods of analysis that illuminate global and cultural perspectives. Students who select the specialization in film production gain experience in all aspects of production and are prepared to begin careers as writers, producers, and directors. BGSU graduates have been accepted into prestigious MFA film programs and highly competitive professional programs such as those sponsored by the Director's Guild of America. Students who choose the specialization in film studies develop expertise in electronic publishing and in analyzing the film industry and individual films. They are prepared to begin careers in journalism, festival organization, film acquisition and distribution, and, with professional training, entertainment law. Film studies students have been accepted into graduate film studies programs and have launched successful electronic publications on film, media, and culture.
A strength of the Film program is its faculty, who bring years of research and experience to their teaching. The program also benefits from BGSU's long-standing leadership in the areas of performance studies, popular culture, and international cinemas. Its commitment to excellence is demonstrated by its significant collection of research materials in the Jerome Library and by its well-established, individually-curated International Film Series held each semester in the beautiful Gish Theater.
The Gish Film Theater and Gallery, named to commemorate the achievements of Ohio natives Dorothy and Lillian Gish in the history of American film, was dedicated at Bowling Green State University on June 11, 1976. The naming of the theatre coincided with the establishment of the film program. The Gish scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding student in film.
Students can participate in numerous film-related opportunities. Approximately five public film showings occur on campus weekly and students serve on the committees that select these films. Students also contribute film articles and reviews to the campus daily newspaper or assist in the preparation of The Projector.
Both lower and upper division courses in Film are designed to develop skills in critical thinking and media literacy, to increase understanding of cultural histories, and to sharpen awareness of the complex interactions between film practice and its socio-economic contexts. As a consequence, the Film Major serves as a valuable program for students interested in graduate work in film or cultural studies as well as for students who want to work "above the line" in film and media production as writers, producers, and directors.
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in film are expected to:
- Comprehend, analyze and critically evaluate film as an aesthetic form and cultural text;
- Recognize the social, economic, and technological factors that shape films from different historical periods, gender and ethnic perspectives, domestic and international cultural contexts
- Apply critical thinking and aesthetic judgment in the analysis of fiction and nonfiction film, experimental and mainstream cinema, feature and short form narratives
- Work collaboratively to solve specific film/video production problems as a writer, producer, director, cinematographer, gaffer, editor, sound recordist, or other member of the production/post-production team
- Demonstrate a sense of professionalism through creative and intellectual independence.