BULLETIN MEA in Studio Arts, Option Film Production Faculty of Fine Arts

Concordia University, Montreal

August 1992


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NOTE: This bulletin provides information particular to the Graduate Film Production Programme. For general information about Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Fine Arts, see the document entitled

"Graduate Studio Arts at Concordia".


Since 1974, the Undergraduate Programme in Film Production in the Faculty of Fine Arts has gradually grown and consolidated. Since September 1988, the Department of Cinema has offered a full-time Graduate Programme in Film Production, leading to the Masters of Fine Arts Degree.

An option within the Studio Arts Graduate Programme, Film Production is a two year programme, and, initially, candidates are admitted only once every two years. The next year of admissions is 1994.

The goal of the Programme is to offer students the opportunity to do advanced work in aesthetic and technical aspects of cinema, with an emphasis on independent filmmaking within a University environment, where the mandate is to provide a full education in the best humanistic tradition. The Programme also takes advantage of its location in Montreal, one of Canada’s most important centres of filmmaking and cinema scholarship.



Applicants for the MFA degree must have a B.F.A. or B.A. degree in Cinema, preferably with a concentration in Film Production, or an approved equivalent, from a recognized institution with at least a "B" average in the major area. Normally, the applicant’s undergraduate experience and

proficiency must be relevant to the area in which he/she plans to specialize at the graduate level.

Usually, students with a B.F.A. from Concordia must wait for two years before

applying for the Studio Arts Graduate Programme. However, for an initial period, this requirement has been waived for the Film Production Programme.





Send a completed application form, portfolio,transcript, letter of intent, and letters of reference directly to:

THE DIRECTOR M.F.A. 103-1 1230 MOUNTAIN STREET MONTREAL, QUEBEC H3G 122 TEL: (514) 848-4607 You may obtain the form at that same address.



The applicant must submit a portfolio of work to be considered by the Admissions Committee. Normally, this portfolio should include a maximum of

20 minutes of film, video or audio tape. The applicant should have either written, directed, edited, photographed, managed the production, or recorded,

edited or mixed the sound, i.e. fulfilled a key role in the creation or production of the material. In the case of a candidate who submits

audiotape, the candidate should have composed the soundtrack of a produced film or have composed an original musical score for film.

Applicants must clearly indicate the precise nature of their work on the project(s) submitted.

If an applicant must send prints or tapes which are longer than 20 minutes, then he/she must indicate which segment(s) the Admissions Committee should see or hear.

The applicant is responsible for shipping costs and insurance. Portfolios will be returned by courier with the charges to be collected on delivery unless specific alternate instructions are included with the application.


The Admissions Committee reserves the right to invite candidates for an interview. When requested by the Committee, these interviews are considered necessary.


Three (3) letters from qualified referees to be sent by the referees directly to the Graduate Programme Director. The applicant should provide the reference forms to the referees at least one month in advance of the applicant deadline (FEBRUARY 1).


A statement concerning the applicant’s reasons for wishing to enter the programme must accompany the application. This letter should include a THESIS OUTLINE: a comprehensive outline of the proposed Master’s Examination Project.


Two (2) official academic transcripts are required from the institution previously attended.


An Admissions Committee composed of members of the faculty of the Department of Cinema will review each application. The Committee reserves the right to accept only those applicants whom they consider qualified for the Programme. A successful candidate will be presumed to have met the following criteria:

- a demonstrated ability to work at the graduate level as indicated by information in the candidate’s references;

- evidence of superior levels of achievement in film and scholarly work; - mastery of basic technique appropriate to the area of interest;

= all documentation completed and in order.



Students are required to be in residence for two years of full-time study. A Graduate "school year" starts in September and includes the following summer, i.e. it lasts from September to September.

All resident course work must be completed during the two years of residency, and any interruption of these two years of study must be approved by the Department of Cinema and the Graduate Programme Director.

There will be a required exhibition of each candidate’s work accompanied by an oral presentation during the third year. In the case of a written thesis, "exhibition" means an opportunity for the public to read the work.



Year I


is a 90 credit programme.

610 - Film Production I 18 credits - Seminars 12 credits


611 - Film Production II 18 credits - Seminars 12 credits

FMPR Graduate Independent Study, FMPR Graduate Professional Internship,

and Graduate Film Production tutorials may be arranged as required for no additional credits.

Undergraduate FMST courses may be taken only with the approval of the

Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Programme Director and the Department of Cinema.





693 - Master’s Examination 30 credits Total 90


student must propose a Master’s Examination project and choose an

Advisor by the middle of the winter of the first year of full-time study.


project may consist of:

a thesis consisting of original research in a specific area related to filmmaking,

or an approved film project on which the candidate performs principal creative or organizational work as writer, director, director of photography, editor, sound recordist, production manager or producer.

or a feature length 90 minute (approximately) narrative screenplay or equivalent.

NOTE: Since major film projects (such as a feature length film) present extremely difficult organizational and financial problems, it is strongly recommended that students realistically evaluate their chances of bringing such projects to completion before proposing them as their thesis work.

All full-time Film Production Faculty are available as Master’s Examination

advisors. Students may also ask other full-time Cinema or Fine Arts Faculty

members to be their Advisors.

NOTE: Regarding the role of an Advisor please refer to the articles 3.1 through 3.4 of the GSAC document.


During each year of residence there will be two reviews of each student’s work in progress by a departmental review committee, one in each winter and

one towards the end of each summer. The purpose of these reviews is to assess the progress of students, to inform them of perceived strengths and weaknesses and to recommend grades for studio art courses. If the

department’s evaluation is unsatisfactory (e.g. a "C" grade), the committee will recommend to the Graduate Programme Director a particular course of action to remedy any deficiencies or recommend that the student discontinue. In cases where grades are not of acceptable graduate standard, (e.g. more than one "C" grade), the student will be required to leave the programme.


Following the second year of full-time study, candidates must present a body of work before a Graduate Jury. This juried exhibition, accompanied by an oral defense and a 10-30 page document prepared by the student (which summarizes, in writing, the points of the oral defense), constitutes the Master’s Examination.

Note these excerpts from Articles 3.5 and 3.6 of the GSAC document regarding procedures for this Examination.

3.5 Juried Exhibition:

The advisor must approve the date of the exhibition in consultation with the Graduate Programme Director. M.F.A. exhibitions are held between September and May of the academic year, in space provided by the University. In exceptional cases, off-campus locations may be approved by the advisor and the Graduate Programme Director. The exhibition and oral presentation examination will constitute 30 credits for the MASTER’S EXAMINATION (Art 693 - 30 credits).


3.6 Exhibition Jury:

The jury will consist of a full-time faculty advisor and 4 additional faculty members, one of whom may be a part-time, and one member from outside the University. In addition to the student’s advisor, one jury member will be selected by the student but must be acceptable to the advisor, and three (3) will be named by the advisor. Two members, including the advisor, should be members of the Department. The candidate must be informed of the final composition of the jury. The advisor is responsible for selecting jurors with appropriate expertise. These jurors need have no prior knowledge of the specific student. Each juror shall grade the student on the basis of the submissions and student’s performance before the jury. The minimum grade needed to accept the work is ‘B’. Film Production students should refer to the Film Production Graduate Bulletin for documentation requirements.

Students are required to submit a copy of their Master’s Examination project, to be kept in the office of the Graduate Programme Director. In the case of a film project, students are required to submit either a print or a videotape copy of the project and must, in addition, agree to give the University the right to purchase a print of the film at cost. The University reserves the right to use these prints and tapes in classes and for promotional purposes.


The Film Production Programme has a variety of film production equipment, including several lip sync units with Arri SR cameras and lights

available for graduate work. In addition, the Graduate Programme has a seminar/editing room.

Students will also have access to the Sound Studio facilities and other services offered by the Audio Visual Department.

It will be possible to rent specific equipment (e.g. special lenses, mounts, filters) when appropriate.

Camera equipment will be available to Graduate Students only during the first two years (6 terms) of their programme. Editing facilities will be available through the summer following the second year.


Seed money for film projects will be available, but the financing of major projects is the responsibility of the student. Regardless of the sponsorship, artistic control of the project must be retained by the student and by the Department of Cinema.

Normally, Graduate Fellowships are available from the University. The deadline for Fellowship applications is February lst.

Students should apply to the Graduate Programme Director for information regarding teaching and technical assistantships.



FMPR 610 Film Production I (18 credits)

Study in finding visual and auditory concepts as they relate to ideas, stories or topics. Form, technique and style are discussed. All stages of conceiving the film in writing are examined: outline, proposal, scenario, dialogue continuity, shooting script. Following this all steps of pre-production, e.g. planning, location scouting, casting, production design and budgeting will be implemented in the context of several projects prepared for Summer shooting. In addition, selected topics such as structure, colour, camera work, aspects of fiction, etc. will be investigated.

During the Winter there may be a class project and test shooting. However during the Summer work is concentrated on producing, directing and creative participation as crew members in the shooting of several film projects which have been accepted by a committee in the winter. Students will work in different crew position on the films in production.

FMPR 611 Film Production II (18 credits)

Study in the post-production creative and technical activities leading to the final answer print of a film. Editing techniques for narrative and non-narrative film, dubbing, sound and music recording, sound and music editing, re-recording, and picture quality control will be put into practice in the context of student films and discussed in relation to selected examples from contemporary films. In addition, a number of topics such as sound track composition, graphic aspects of film editing, and an overview of the process of creation will be dealt with. There may be a small number (2-3) of short (under 10 minutes) films made by students whose primary interest is not in writing-directing but in other filmmaking crafts such as cinematography, sound or editing.



André Herman

Graduate of the Polish State Film and Theater Academy and the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques in Paris. Has directed and edited for Crawley Films, the CBC and National Film Board. Extensive background in feature films and television.

Louise Lamarre

Graduate of the Université Laval in Québec in études cinématographiques. B.F.A. in Film Production from Concordia University. An independent filmmaker. Has worked as scriptwriter, director, producer and editor on more than forty productions of all types; documentary, fiction, publicity, television series, music videos. Recent pulications include Le prix de la liberté. Etude sur la production cinématographique indépendante et Le prix de

la liberté, Etude sur la production indépendante vidéo. Institut québécois du cinéma, 1991.

Marjorie Morton

Has worked as cinematographer, producer, director and writer for documentary and fiction projects in the U.S.A. and Canada. Holds an M.S. in Film Production from Boston University and has substantial experience in all aspects of film-related writing.

Marielle Nitoslawska

Graduate of the Polish National Film School in Lodz, Poland. She is an independent filmmaker and has worked as a cinematographer in film and television productions in Canada and Poland.

Nicholas Zavaglia

Studied filmmaking in Canada and at the Istituto della Scienza dello Spettacolo in Rome. Has directed films at Radio Québec and the National Film Board.


Mario Falsetto PhD, New York University

Has taught film aesthetics, experimental film, montage aesthetics and numerous other courses. Areas of interest include recent American cinema, Canadian Experimental film, Hollywood in the 1940’s and 1950’s, the films of

Stanley Kubrick and Stan Brakhage, as well as contemporary film and literary theory.

John Locke MA, New York University Chair

Has written for film and art magazines in Canada and U.S.A. on experimental film and film criticism. Areas of special interest include the films of Elsenstein, Hitchcock and Welles, as well as film theory and the relation of film technology to film aesthetics.


Peter Rist PhD, New York University

Has had articles published on Canadian, Third World, contemporary American and experimental film, as well as performance art. Areas of special interest also include silent American film, the films of Ford, Renoir, Jancso and Tarkovsky and the history of film style.

Catherine Russell PhD, New York University

Interests include narrative theory, historiography, post-modernisn, ethnography, feminist theory and Japanese cinema. Publications include articles on David Rimmer, film history and video art. Recently completed manuscript "narrative Mortality: Death and Closure in International Postwar Cinema" on films by Lang, Wenders, Oshima, Godard and Altman

Thomas Waugh PhD, Columbia

Has done major research on the direct cinema in Quebec and the documentary filmmaker Joris Ivens. Has published widely in Canada and in the U.S.A. on political and sexual discourses in film. Recent publications include the

anthology Show Us Life: Towards a History and Aesthetics of the Committed Documentary.

Carole Zucker PhD, New York University

Has taught courses on directors, genres, narrative theory, Japanese filn, aesthetics and film acting. Recent publications include The Idea of the

Image: Josef von Sternberg’s Dietrich Films and Making Visible the Invisible: An Anthology of Original Essays on Film Acting



Stefan Anastasiu

Graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest, Rumania. Director, writer and animator of "Kaspar" and "Chameleon" for the National Film Board. Has an extensive background in animated films and animated commercials, as well as in illustration.

Christopher Hinton

Graduate of Sheridan College of Applied Arts and Technology. He is an independent producer, director and writer of animated short films. Had directed and animated commercials as well as films for the National Film Board, BCB, and Sesame Street.

Assoc. Prof. André Herman is in charge of the

Film Production Graduate Programme. If interested, write or call for more information:

Concordia University Department of Cinema 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd, West Montréal, Québec H3G 1M8 Attn: Film Production Graduate Programme

Tel: (514) 848-4666