What is Film Studies?

Think of your favorite film. What did you like about it? The story? The characters? The action? The overall look? If movies mean more to you than just entertainment, this may be the right major for you.

Students in UWM’s film studies program learn about the history, theory, and criticism of film, television and digital media. You will discuss and write about these areas critically; make connections between these media, historical themes and cultural change; analyze the impact of film, television and digital media on individuals and society; and compare different media formats.

In a wide array of courses, students study classical and contemporary film history, theory and criticism; global/international cinemas (French new wave, Latin American); genres (horror, western, film noir); major directors (Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock); and television, digital media and game theory.

Film Studies At UWM

UWM’s film studies program offers a cross-department major and minor that blends courses in film studies with classes from English, comparative literature, art history, French, Italian, and journalism and mass communication. The program promotes the study of cinema and media in their aesthetic, social, cultural, political and technological contexts and expands students’ understanding of cinema and media as essential components of our global culture.

Film in Milwaukee

Wisconsin has a growing reputation as a destination for filmmaking and has a long history of valuing independent and art house fi lm. Students have numerous opportunities to be active participants in the film community. Milwaukee is home to the annual Milwaukee Film Festival. In 2010, the festival showed 78 feature films and 95 shorts, selling more than 30,000 tickets. In addition, Milwaukee is one of eight cities with a chapter of the Cinema Club, the nation’s premier sneak preview film society. On select Sunday mornings during each academic semester, the Cinema Club previews the best American independent and foreign films of the season. Gilberto Blasini and Patrice Petro, two of the core faculty in the film studies program, serve as moderators and lead a lively discussion after each film.


Students are encouraged to obtain practical experience while in college. Recent UWM film studies students have completed for-credit internships at Milwaukee Film (the organization that presents the annual Milwaukee Film Festival), The Ford Modeling Agency and the Disney Corporation.