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Filmmaking at Arts Academy

Why Study Filmmaking

In a world of exploding content and expanding platforms, what does it take to bring your vision and stories to life? At Interlochen, you'll learn to nurture the storyteller within while developing the technical vocabulary to realize your imagination. 

What You'll Learn

Interlochen Arts Academy is the top-rated boarding school for filmmaking. You'll take a combination of production and theory-based courses. You'll have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in all aspects of the filmmaking process, including: screenwriting, producing, directing, and post-production and editing. You'll immerse yourself in the art form's history and explore other disciplines that can help shape your work. 

Our experienced instructors are seasoned industry professionals, who will teach you the technical skills, aesthetic possibilities, and creative tools to capture your story in film. Your practical education in lighting, cinematography, music/sound, directing, and editing will prepare you for highly competitive undergraduate film programs or other courses of study.

As a student of the Filmmaking program, you will:

  • Develop proficiency in the elements of cinematic technique, including: story, screenwriting, directing for camera, directing the actor, lighting, editing, cinematography, production, and sound    
  • Refine and articulate an individual cinematic voice
  • Analyze the history, theory, and aesthetics of cinema

How to Apply

Core Curriculum

Portfolio Requirements

For information on graduation requirements and academic curriculum, please visit Academy Academics.

Meet the Faculty

We count directors, producers, editors, and screenwriters amongst our esteemed faculty. Many continue to feature their films in festivals and events all over the country while devoting themselves to mentoring future visionaries.

All Faculty

Michael Mittelstaedt

Michael Mittelstaedt

Director of Film & New Media

Nathan Buck

Nathan Buck

Instructor of Film & New Media

Claire Collins

Claire Hannah Collins

Production Manager, Greenacres Film Project

Lydia Hicks

Lydia Marie Hicks

Cinematographer - Greenacres Documentary Project

Lesley Tye

Lesley Alicia Tye

Instructor of Creative Writing and Film & New Media

Get to know Ella

"The decision to come to Interlochen was an easy one for me. I thought about where I wanted to be later in life—and I knew Interlochen would be the place to help get me there." - Ella, Film & New Media

Program Highlights

The DeRoy Center for Film Studies

The DeRoy Center for Film Studies is the only facility in the country dedicated to film and animation studies at the high school level. You'll have access to professional facilities and equipment, including specialized classrooms, edit suites, a multipurpose 2D/3D studio, a soundstage, stop motion rigs, cameras and lighting packages, and a 180-seat viewing space. You'll have the technology you need at every step of the animation process.

Awards & Honors

Our students have earned coveted awards like Presidential Scholar in the Arts, National YoungArts Competition, the Scholastic Awards National Medals, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts—and have shown their work in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. 

Student Film Reel

Awkward first parties, animated origami love stories, gritty thrillers, fulfilling your dreams, and coming of age—oh my! Check out this film reel for a glimpse of our students' work.

Future of Cinema Film Festival

A Film Festival Right On Campus

The Future of Cinema Film Festival is a chance for high school filmmakers to meet influential industry leaders from Hollywood and around the globe. 

See the future

It's so exciting that we're 16, 17 years old and we're making good films... When I first learned that I have to make an eight-minute movie, I was like, 'okay, I need costumes, I need music, I need actors.' But everything's here, so you don't have to outsource. Everything's right on this campus.

Ellie, Film & New Media

Nic Weinfeld

Alumni Stories

Film & New Media students find immediate success upon graduation from Interlochen. Recent graduate Shane Bagwell made his first feature gig as second assistant camera for number-one film The Wretched. Fellow alumnus Nic Weinfeld founded Five to Sixty, a production company that is already earning accolades for its social-first commercials. Alumna Kira Bursky has earned a number of prestigious awards and is currently working as an independent director and app developer.

College Matriculation

  • ArtCenter College of Design
  • Boston University
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Chapman University
  • College of Creative Studies
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Emerson College
  • Ithaca College
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Pace University
  • Pratt Institute
  • Princeton University
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • School of Visual Arts
  • University of California
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Southern California
Upcoming Film & New Media Events

Film & New Media, Academy Student

Film Thesis and Animation Showcase

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - 7:30 p.m. ET

DeRoy Center for Film Studies FREE, no tickets required


Film & New Media, Academy Student

Film Capstone Premiere

Friday, May 17, 2024 - 7:30 p.m. ET

DeRoy Center for Film Studies FREE, no tickets required

See what you can experience at Interlochen.

Come to a high school where young creatives thrive—and see how your unique journey unfolds. Plan your visit, request more information, or apply to Interlochen Arts Academy today.