Upcoming Courses

Now Enrolling for Fall 2020


FMST 1540 & ENGFLM 1683 - Documentary Film

Wednesdays 1:00 - 4:50 with Neepa Majumdar

Fulfills Gen Ed for the Arts

In this course, we will examine the distinction between nonfiction and fiction films and the history of such a division. In the first part of the course, you will watch some landmark documentaries and learn about significant documentary film movements and directors, the technological and cinematic innovations associated with them, and the ethical questions these films raise. In the second part of the course, we will study different styles and forms of international documentary filmmaking, considering the cultural and historical context of each film, its goals, its impact, and its cinematic choices. One of the central concepts we will work with this semester is the concept of “voice” in documentary film and its relation to social and political power.

Email for further information:



FILMST 1682 & ENGWRIT 1133 - Intermediate Screenwriting

Tuesdays 1:00 - 4:00 with Carl Kurlander

Love movies and writing? Have a story for the screen you are burning to tell? Intermediate Screenwriting (FILMST 1682, ENGWRIT 1133) is your chance to learn the craft of screenwriting and take your work to the next level.

This course will explore what it takes to write a feature screenplay with a focus on structure, scene work, and character development..   Through reading screenplays and selected texts, watching clips from films, and workshopping their own scenes, students will hone their screenwriting skills with the ultimate goal of a completed screenplay.    

This class is taught by Pitt Senior Lecturer Carl Kurlander who has written screenplays under contract for Universal, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Paramount and Columbia/Sony studios, including the hit film "St. Elmo's Fire" as well as over one hundred episodes of television for CBS, Fox, and NBC.   Kurlander's students have gone on to write for major television networks and film studios as well as having had success in fiction, non-fiction, and musical theater.

If you have taken any introductory writing class, including elements of screenwriting or classes in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, you can take Intermediate Screenwriting.  Other students can request permission to take the class from the instructor after providing a suitable writing sample.  Please contact Carl Kurlander at ckpa@pitt.edu with any questions or for more information.


FMST 1350 (30909) - Film Directors: Black Cinema

Thursdays 6:00PM - 9:50PM with Professor Elizabeth Reich

Focusing on the pathbreaking careers of four Black directors - Oscar Micheaux, Melvin Van Peebles, Julie Dash, and Spike Lee - this course considers what makes Black cinema Black - its directors? its actors? its politics? its aesthetics? Is it a separate cinema, distinct from Hollywood and other American alternative cinemas? How is it an intersectional and feminist cinema? What are its formal and thematic conventions? How have the visual, narrative and political concerns of Black cinema developed over the last eighty years, and in response to major political events such #BLM, 9/11, the Women's Movement, the Black Power Movement, and WWII?


FMST 1523 & ENGFLM 1688 - Film Western

Tuesdays 6:00PM - 9:50PM with Mark Best


FMST 1415 & ENGFLM 1487 - Film Censorship & American Culture


Mondays 6:00PM - 9:50PM


Now Enrolling for Summer 2020


FMST 0120 & ENGFLM 0400 - Introduction to Film


This is an entry-level course on the visual arts that offers the student a broad introduction to the medium of film. As part of this overview, the class will consider such issues as: the process of contemporary film production and distribution; the nature of basic film forms; selected approaches to film criticism; comparisons between film and the other media. This is a Critical Studies course and counts for Category II towards the Film and Media Studies major and minor.

Six Week - First: TuThu 6:00PM-9:50PM with Adam Hebert

FMST 0150 & ENGFLM 0530 - Film Analysis

This course introduces students to the art of the cinema, and to the techniques for its formal analysis.  It examines the nature of shot composition and visual framing, the use of color, the role of lighting as a pictorial element, the potentials of camera movement, the modes of editing and the nature of image/sound montage.  It also introduces students to dominant cinema forms--narrative, experimental, documentary, etc.  This is a Critical Studies course and is a required course for the Film and Media Studies major and minor.

Six Week - Second: MoWe 12:00PM-3:50PM with Augustus Cook

FMST 0170 & ENGFLM 0540 - World Film History


This course both introduces students to techniques of film analysis and acquaints them with major works and movements in international cinema.  The course pays particular attention to the evolution of film narrative and visual style through landmarks in film development--European avant-garde films,  British documentary, Italian neo-realism, etc.  This is a Critical Studies course and is a required course for the Film and Media Studies major and minor.

Six Week - First: MoWe 12:00PM-3:50PM with Denis Saltykov

FMST 0500 & ENGFLM 0532 - Introduction to Film Genres

This course surveys major film genres, which may include Westerns, musicals, horror, film noir, screwball comedy, etc. We will trace the history of film genres from the studio era to the present, including European transformations. The course seeks to relate film genres to the culture that created them. This is a Critical Studies course and counts for Category II towards the Film and Media Studies major and minor.
Six Week - Second: MoWe 6:00PM - 9:50PM with Jonah Jeng

FMST 0800 - Filmmaking I: Fundamentals

Filmmaking is a creative process that combines art, science, craft, and collaboration. This course is a hands-on introduction to the process, starting with the building blocks of motion pictures: light and cameras, composition, editing, and visual storytelling. You will complete two short videos over the course of the semester, shooting video with DSLR cameras and editing using Adobe Premiere Pro. In-class exercises will provide a deeper understanding of making moving images.
Six Week - First: MoWe 6:00PM-9:00PM with Staff

FMST 1275 & ENGFLM 1390 - Contemporary Film

Surveys international film from 1970 to the present and the major film movements of the period.  It also demonstrates the stylistic and cultural interrelationships between the international film schools. This is a Critical Studies course and counts for Category I towards the Film and Media Studies major and minor.

Six Week - First: TuThu 12:00PM-3:50PM with Silpa Mukherjee