Overview

Perfect the art and craft of film and television storytelling in our dynamic and close-knit graduate program.  Work in fiction, documentary, web based and/or VR/AR/XR formats.

The Film and Television Masters Program (1 Year MA/2 Year MFA) at Sacred Heart University is devoted to cinematic storytelling across all platforms. Our students find their artistic vision in a collaborative environment in which they live and breathe filmmaking!  Our philosophy is that all of our students deserve an opportunity for equal access to the creative process.  Our small class sizes, lively, student driven production schedule and state-of-the art equipment and facilities make this possible.

Our program fosters the next generation of storytellers through dynamic courses that guide the students as they work collaboratively to create independent projects, supplemented by frequent masterclasses and workshops. Focusing on story and hands-on production, students learn the craft and techniques that empower them to stand out in today’s media market.

FTMA’s home is in the heart of Connecticut’s “Creative Corridor” with close ties to nearby New York City. Our program is unique in that our students go beyond the classroom into professional environments. Through partnerships with media companies and mentorship from industry professionals, FTMA students complete the program ready to enter the media industries.

Perfect Your Craft: Download our Master’s Degree in Film and Television Production Guide - Access Now

Equipment

The most impressive list of equipment is only useful if you receive thorough training on equipment that is both well maintained and readily accessible when you’re ready to shoot.  It is important to us that our equipment is not only in great shape, but is also available to all graduate students at no additional charge. In addition to classroom instruction, we schedule supplementary workshops that focus on specialized equipment.

FTMA students shoot their films with the latest in DSLR and HD camera technology: Canon C300, C100, 7D, Go Pro and Black Magic camera systems. Accessories include multiple lens kits, filters, matte boxes, focus pullers and gel kits.

Students work with our Glidecam, jibs, sliders and dollies to get moving shots. Our selection of tripods (Manfrotto, Davis & Stanford and Cartoni) are adaptable to any on-set needs. We also provide car mounts, shoulder mounts, handles and an Easyrig for specialty shots.

Our one ton grip and electric package includes Arri Kits, Dedolights, Kino Flos, LEDs, Sky Panels and reflectors. Students can check out C stands, yoke mounts, clamps, duck bills, vice grips, flags, sandbags, ladders, apple boxes, yellow cones, first aid kits and fire extinguishers.

Additionally, we provide Atomos Ninja, 15″ 4K and 7″ LCD and on-camera monitors for video village, a Eurorack audio mixer, boom poles, shotgun mics, lavs and Zoom H4ns for sound recording, and a slate, walkie-talkies and expendables for set crew.

FTMA students have access to a wide variety of shooting environments and locations, including our own soundstage with 20′ ceilings, a live news TV set and a green screen studio. On campus, there is also a 50’s style diner, a working bar, a fitness center, rock wall, bowling alley, hospital, a 100 seat cinema, screening rooms, a chapel and city or country settings.

After shooting, our students learn the craft of editing on professional computer systems in our dedicated computer lab that include the Adobe Creative Suite, Davinci Resolve and Protools. We also have two finishing suites for color correct, sound mix and sound design.

Within the school, our close relationships with the state of the art VR/AR/XR labs, the MakerSpace and other university departments (Broadcast Television, Advertising, PR, Art and Design, etc), allows for collaboration in production design, marketing, advertising, business and distribution. In addition to all the facilities on SHU’s West Campus, FTMA students also have access to the assets in the School of Communication, Media, and the Arts including television studios, the VR lab, green screens, and more.  Our facilities are only rivaled by Hollywood studios. You can make a movie from the first idea to a world premiere without ever having to leave the campus.

 

Community

Sacred Heart University’s FTMA program is home to the 49 Hour Film Festival.

FTMA in Luxembourg

Recently, a small crew of FTMA graduate students and faculty traveled to Luxembourg, Germany and France to shoot a commissioned project documenting SHU’s study abroad programs. Check out some behind-the-scenes footage!

Open SHUtter Productions

Open SHUtter Productions supports film collaboration among SHU student filmmakers.  The inaugural Open SHUtter production, “Jumbled Up Jane,” was an Official Selection at the Indie Short Fest, LA International Film Festival, 2019 and an Official Selection and 2nd Place Winner: Battle of the Film Schools, Astoria, Queens, 2020.  Directed by Tyler Stirling & written by Brian Hogan & Abigaile Sands

 

 

 

Partnerships

Student work and internships with partner organizations.

 

Sundance Film Festival Trip

In January 2020, FTMA students and faculty made their inaugural trip to the Sundance Film Festival. The students served as official festival volunteers, which provided them with free and behind the scenes access to festival events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courses

Faculty

Photo of Sara “Sally” Ross Ph.D.
Sara “Sally” Ross Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Media and Theatre Arts

Director, FTMA Film and Television Graduate Program

Sara Ross, PhD (“Sally”) is a film scholar with a focus on women in film.  She has centered her research and teaching practice on film aesthetics and film storyte...
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Photo of Todd Barnes
Todd Barnes
Artistic Director – FTMA Film and Television Graduate Program
Todd Barnes has been making movies with his brother Brad since their father bought a Betamax in the early 1980’s. They won the Best of Next Award at the Sundance Film Festiv...
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Photo of Sidney Gottlieb Ph.D.
Sidney Gottlieb Ph.D.
Professor
Sidney Gottlieb, Ph.D. has been teaching at Sacred Heart University since 1976. A multiple recipient of Sacred Heart’s scholarship award, he has published numerous ess...
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Photo of Zeke  Hawkins
Zeke Hawkins
Artist in Residence, FTMA Film and Television Graduate Program
Zeke Hawkins grew up in Darien, CT. Zeke graduated from the American Film Institute and Brown University and worked as the director’s assistant to Bennett Miller on the Osca...
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Photo of Bill  Harris
Bill Harris
Producer in Residence, FTMA Film and Television Graduate Program
A television programming executive with 30-plus years of broadcast, cable and independent film experience, Harris has worked with ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS and spent 16 years as h...
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Photo of Sharbari Ahmed
Sharbari Ahmed
Artist in Residence, FTMA Film and Television Graduate Program
Sharbari Ahmed is a television writer, playwright and novelist.  She was on the writing team for Season One of the ABC television show “Quantico” and she adapted the nov...
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Photo of Roger S.H. Schulman
Roger S.H. Schulman
Artist in Residence, FTMA Film and Television Graduate Program
Roger S.H. Schulman has been a working screenwriter for the past thirty years. He co-wrote the animated feature “Shrek,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar®* for Bes...
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Photo of Myna Joseph
Myna Joseph
Instructor, FTMA Film and Television Graduate Program
Myna Joseph was nominated for a 2016 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay for THE MEND. Her short film MAN screened at the Cannes Film Festival in Directors’ F...
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Photo of J. Andrew Forsyth
J. Andrew Forsyth
Instructor, FTMA Film and Television Graduate Program
J. Andrew Forsyth is an independent filmmaker with numerous screenings at film festivals across the U.S. His work focuses on experimental filmmaking, particularly the emotiona...
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Admission Requirements

If you’re passionate about visual storytelling, Sacred Heart’s Masters in Film and Television (FTMA) program will help you transform your passion into a thriving career.

We encourage you to apply, even if you don’t have previous media production experience, and we accept students from any undergraduate major.

We have limited seats available for the upcoming semester and are currently reviewing applications on an individual basis; contact Ed Nassr, Associate Director of Graduate Admissions, if you would like to apply.

Application requirements are as follows:

  • Non-refundable application fee of $75 (for both U.S. and international applicants)
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one academic)
  • Creative portfolio package (detailed below)

Your creative portfolio package should include:

  1. Personal statement
    Please write two-pages about the following:

    • What issues and subjects inform your artmaking practice?
    • Why are you applying to the FTMA program at Sacred Heart University?
    • What are your artistic goals?
  2. Five works essay
    Please write brief comments on five works (films, books, plays, television shows, etc.) that you feel have influenced your thoughts as a filmmaker/video artist. It is important to say why and how these works have influenced you. Avoid writing plot summaries.
  3. Visual work sample
    Include one sample of your work presented visually. Material done in collaboration with other artists is acceptable provided you were the major creative force and you explain the exact nature of your contribution.If you have not done any visual work in the past, feel free to submit something new that you create for your application. This can be anything from a few still pictures that express your vision, to a completed film, if you have more experience. You can provide examples of anything you’ve had a significant hand in creating, so that we can get a sense of your interests and visual style.For the visual work sample, choose either Photo or Video, you do not need to submit both.

    • Video
      The video submission can be a partial work or contain multiple selections as long as the total running time does not exceed five minutes. Please be clear about your specific contributions to the video sample provided. A link to your work must be included with your materials; please be sure no downloads or passwords are required, and test your video prior to submission.
    • Photography (Stills)
      Include up to 10 prints on any subject (black and white or color, with or without commentary). The photographs may also be a presentation of work in other media, such as painting, illustration, sculpture, set design, costume design, etc.

 

The address to which all documents can be sent is:

Sacred Heart University
Office of Graduate Admissions
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06825

Letters of Recommendation, Personal Statements and Resumes can be sent via email to:

Ed Nassr
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Fax: 203-365-4732
Phone: 203-396-6877
nassre@sacredheart.edu

More Information

Explore our campus through a guided virtual tour!

SHU is home to the only Film MFA in Connecticut.