New Master of Arts degree in Film and Creative Media first of kind in Nashville

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Lipscomb University announces the creation of a Master of Arts in Film and Creative Media, the university’s first academic major in film and a graduate program unlike any other film program in Nashville.

Film StudiesCurrently, plans are to deliver the new 36-hour curriculum in a 17-month time frame beginning this fall semester. The inaugural enrollees will receive 20 percent off the cost of the program. Applications for the inaugural cohort are due by Aug. 2.

“The master’s degree in film and creative media prepares graduate students to operate within all digital media, making their skills more marketable in today’s multi-platform world,” said Mike Fernandez, chair of the Lipscomb University Department of Theatre and acting director of the new program. “These students will be able to do so much more than just feature films. They will be prepared to film commercials, music videos, training and education videos as well as content for social media,” he said.

The program takes a unique entrepreneurial and experiential approach to learning. Students will be expected to create digital content each semester. Additionally, they will be encouraged to find creative ways to make business connections and digital content for local companies and organizations or for university departments on campus that need it.

As part of that approach, the program requires a one-year internship with a production company. AFFIRM Films/Sony Pictures Entertainment, Veritas Entertainment, Cartoon Pizza and Klausner Creative have signed on as Lipscomb’s first internship partners for the program.

“I’m encouraged by the methodic and careful planning by Lipscomb University in launching the new master’s degree in film and creative media program,” said Rich Peluso, vice president of AFFIRM Films/Sony Pictures Entertainment. “They gathered a diverse group of educators and professionals in the media space to put together something that goes beyond classroom learning, into a hands-on, entrepreneurial experience that will equip content creators to fit right into Nashville’s rich creative community, or beyond, to the visual storytelling centers of New York and Los Angeles.”

“Through the internships, students will have the opportunity to work in all five areas of film: development, pre-production, production, post-production and distribution,” Fernandez said. “Our students will graduate with skills that cut across many different fields.”

In addition, spring 2014 is expected to bring the first Lipscomb University Film Festival. It will be held on campus, featuring the works of creative media graduate students.  Industry professionals will serve as judges. There are plans to hire a filmmaker-in-residence and to recruit various faculty members from other disciplines such as English, communications, music and art to teach the graduate film students.

“There aren’t a lot of Christian schools asking the question, ‘What should our presence be in the digital entertainment realm,’” Fernandez said. “Nashville is home to many filmmakers who have done some great work in the field, positioning the city on the cusp of becoming a key player in the digital and film industries. One of the keys to helping the industry is to have an excellent graduate program. We seek to be the institution training the next generation of artists to be independent, entrepreneurial filmmakers who create uplifting stories for the marketplace.”

“AFFIRM Films relies on the vision, creativity and entrepreneurship of emerging filmmakers who are well grounded in the fundamentals of visual storytelling and seek to do so from a biblical worldview,” said Peluso. “We are excited to see Lipscomb University raise the bar by launching a master’s program. This effort will add to the growing network of professionals, educators and investors who are working to raise up the next generation of content creators that seek to communicate through film and other visual media in a way that deeply moves the human heart and spirit and glorifies God.”

Discussions are under way regarding the development of an undergraduate film program as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Creative Media with concentrations in directing, film production, gaming and animation.

The program is now accepting applications and expects an inaugural class of 10 students this fall. For more information, log on to or call Fernandez at 615.966.5186.