From narrative to documentary to experimental film, film serves as both a cultural force and an artistic medium. The Film Studies Program introduces students to the academic study of film from a variety of critical and disciplinary perspectives. As part of the liberal arts tradition, film is studied in relation to all the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The study of the cinema at Mount Holyoke is part of the Five College Film Studies major and is comprised of ten courses, two of which are to be taken at one of the other colleges in the Five College Consortium, which includes Amherst, Hampshire, and Smith Colleges as well as the University of Massachusetts.
Courses expose students to cultural, historical, formal, and theoretical analyses of films from a range of world cinematic traditions. In addition, students study the language of imagery, a language built on a vocabulary of light, sound, camera angles, editing patterns, set design, costume, and music. New media are also explored and opportunities to study film/video production are offered.
Because the study of film is an international endeavor, majors are encouraged to study abroad. The department awards several summer internship fellowships, particularly for internships associated with screenwriting.