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Documentary Film and Video

image of filmmaker Melissa Langer holding a film camera which is pointed at a chiuahua wearing a dress.

Students in the Documentary Film and Video Program become conversant with the documentary tradition as well as with alternative media and new directions in documentary.  In addition to the training in documentary production, graduates gain substantive research skills in film criticism and film analysis.  The MFA degree is designed to prepare students for professional careers in film, video, and digital media, with the qualifications to teach at the university level.

The non-production courses provide an intellectual and theoretical framework within which creative work is realized.  The dual emphasis on production and theory classes fully prepares the student to undertake an academic position that typically requires the teaching of both film studies and media production.

The Stanford Report spotlighted J. Christian Jensen ('13) who was nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject category for his thesis film White Earth.   The Stanford Daily conducted an interview with current grad Kristine Stolakis ('15) about filmmaking, her recent work and the absence of female directors in today's industry.  The Hollywood Reporter listed Stanford as one of the "Top 25 Film Schools of 2014".  In an article appearing in Frontrunner Magazine, Leslie Tai ('13) talks about her Spring film Grave Goods.  The School of Humanities and Sciences has featured graduate students Rebekah Meredith ('11) and Maria Fortiz-Morse ('10) talking about the program.  Faculty member Jan Krawitz was interviewed for the article "Should Aspiring Documentary Filmmakers Go To Film School?" on the POV website.  Also, here is an article written by the San Francisco Film Society about the program and the 2010 Fall MFA Screening.