Bachelor’s Program

The Film/Animation/Video (FAV) program cultivates the next generation of media makers, giving you opportunities to immerse yourself in a community that emphasizes curiosity, creative thinking, sociocultural awareness and critical dialogue. We encourage unique personal perspectives and experimentation, as you make work across and within three general approaches: animation, live-action, and open media.

Students in FAV develop an expressive language and professional skill set in moving images and sound. These fluencies enable you to communicate in diverse, thoughtful and innovative ways, sustain your practice and contribute to the future growth of your chosen profession.


Sophomores are introduced to the major through a series of short assignments designed to provide a basic technical foundation in film, video, animation and digital media. Skills are further developed the following year as juniors choose to specialize in live action, animation or open media while tackling more ambitious projects involving cinematography, lighting, sound design, character design, digital editing, compositing, producing, storyboarding and interactive programming.

View the curriculum

Learning outcomes

FAV’s four-year BFA program cultivates creative thinking, along with social and cultural awareness. Graduates are prepared to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the plasticity of time through techniques such as manipulating sound and visual rhythm to alter the feeling of time passing and convey narrative structure.
  • articulate their roles and responsibilities as mediators of information.
  • exhibit competence in at least one of the three forms of live action film, animation or open media.
  • design and implement individualized creative processes to plan, organize and execute complex projects.
  • recognize and assess their assumptions, and the implications and practical consequences of those assumptions.
  • understand experimentation as a form of research.
  • recognize, develop and refine narratives.
  • raise and clearly formulate vital questions and problems.
  • communicate effectively and work with others to find solutions to complex problems.

Inspiring community

An in-demand department, FAV is home to approximately 150 undergraduate majors, with students from other disciplines often taking selected classes and offering different perspectives from the vantage point of their major disciplines. Juniors and seniors get the opportunity to screen finished films to a wider audience via popular spring film festivals open to the public. FAV faculty members offer a wide range of expertise in various areas and work closely with students to help them develop as strong, well-informed artists with the conceptual and aesthetic vision to reach well beyond a technical facility with film production.

Learning environment

FAV facilities offer production studios for film, video, 16mm, 35mm and puppet animation; digital editing and sound mixing rooms; and CGI and Macintosh workstations with a full range of professional production and editing software. But at RISD we go beyond teaching students how to use the latest technology. Instead, the idea is to master the use of tools by focusing on concepts, critical thinking and content development.

Degree project

In working on individual degree projects guided by faculty mentors, seniors need to meet the formidable challenge of conceiving of and producing a final live action or animated film. All films are screened at a public film festival held in May—and many go on to become award-winners in national and international festivals, helping students to establish their names after graduation.