Film & Media

The Department of Film and Media offers unique programs that let students learn from both sides of the camera on the premise that graduates should be versed in theories, contexts, and techniques of the medium. Students at Queen’s will learn how to produce innovative and diverse applications of film and media in our rapidly changing media spaces.

The Department’s multidisciplinary and professionally-oriented undergraduate and graduate programs were created to provide students with a wide range of course options and professional opportunities, including arts management, media production, curation, academia, and arts education. The programs integrate the practice of film and media with courses in history and criticism that range from Digital Media Theory to Hollywood Cinema to the Business of Media in Canada.  

Students are exposed to media professionals, scholars and an extensive network of alumni. Film and Media is located within the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, with state-of the-art production facilities, a large screening room, and a Digital Lab.' Graduate Studies in Film and Media also works in collaboration with the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, to provide robust opportunities to participate in and benefit from experiential, applied learning.  

Top 5 Reasons to choose Queen's Film and Media:

  1. The department focuses on the history, theory, and criticism of film, television, and new media, as well as production and curatorial studies.
  2. Queen’s has state-of-the-art facilities, including the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts and the Agnes Etherington Arts Center.
  3. Students are exposed to a wide range of course options and professional opportunities, and can apply to undertake a practical internship in media production, criticism, or curatorship.
  4. Address related issues, like ideology, communication, aesthetics, advertising, and economics.
  5. Get prepared for a variety of professional careers, including work in the film and television industries.
I loved my experience in Film and Media at Queen’s. The professors, my fellow peers, and the unique course  opportunities made for a fabulous undergraduate education.
                                                                                                                                   -Kat Kopiak, BAH ‘14
Location: 
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
Room number: 
306
Telephone: 
Department Head: 
Gary Kibbins
Departmental Assistant: 
Denise Arsenault
Undergraduate Chair: 
Scott MacKenzie
Undergraduate Assistant: 
Stephanie Wilson

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Specialization in Stage and Screen (STSC)
A specialization that incorporates an even count of courses between Film and Media and Drama, along with a introduction to either Art or Music with room for elective courses.

Specialization in Computing and the Creative Arts (COCA)
This specialization consists of the majority of the courses in Computing and a SubPlan such as Art, Drama, Music or Film and Media with room for elective courses.

Major in Film and Media
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Medial in Film and Media
A dual course of study in Film and Media and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in Film and Media
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Job and Career Opportunities for Film and Media Grads

Many of our Film and Media alumni go into the film and television industries, and have won Oscars, Emmies and Genies. Film and Media courses, however, cover a wide range of educational areas and skills, and are designed to encourage students in the critical thinking that is important for graduate studies or for leadership in any profession.

Where could Film and Media students go after graduation?

  • Academia and teaching
  • Advertising
  • Animation
  • Art gallery management
  • Broadcasting
  • Casting director
  • Choreography
  • Composition
  • Costume design
  • Curation
  • Direction
  • Editing
  • Events management
  • Film archivist
  • Film making
  • Film production
  • Fundraising
  • Games production
  • Graduate school
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Make-up and costumes
  • Manuscript reader
  • Marketing
  • Museums
  • Non-profit administration
  • Photography
  • Public relations
  • Screenwriting
  • Set design
  • Social policy agencies
  • Sound editing
  • Special effects
  • Stage crew manager
  • Stunt coordinator
  • Talent representation
  • Teaching
  • Television production
  • Theatre management
  • Visual art consulting

Taking time to explore career options, build experience and network can help you have a smooth transition to the world of work after graduation Note that some of these careers may require additional training.

Undergraduate Course Highlights

Courses in Film and Media can be divided into three main categories: applied or production courses, such as Documentary Production, Animation Production, Screenwriting, or Video Production for Digital Media; courses in media and culture, such as Media and Popular Culture or Advertising and Consumer Culture; and courses in film and media criticism and history, including Hollywood: The Dream Factory or Creative Industries in the 21st Century.

Undergraduate Admission for Film and Media

Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities' Application Centre) website (ouac.on.ca). Secondary School prerequisites include six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements. Visit www.queensu.ca/admission for additional information regarding requirements and admission to Queen's.

Film and Media (BAH)
OUAC Code:
QA (Kingston Campus)
QB (Concurrent Education, Kingston Campus)
QIA (The Castle)
QIB (Concurrent Education, The Castle)

Computing and the Creative Arts (BAH)
OUAC Code:
QA (Kingston Campus)

See Full Admission Requirements

After first year, in May, students will declare their area of study (major, minor, specialization, e.g.). The thresholds are competitive year to year and do change. The 2017-18 thresholds for Film and Media are: 0.7 Cumulative GPA with a minimum B- in FILM 110 for PENDING LIST or 2.8 Cumulative GPA with minimum B+ in FILM 110 for AUTOMATIC ACCEPTANCE.

Information on Plan Selection

Certificate in Media Studies

This online Certificate in Media Studies offers on-campus or distance students the opportunity to develop and accredit their fluency in the foundations of media and cultural studies. Students will build practical creativity, communication, and critical thinking skills that can be applied in academic and professional contexts.

Department Contacts: Arts and Science Online

Delivery Mode: Online or on-campus

Number of Units: 12 units (3-4 courses)

Open to:

  • Current Arts and Science students (online or on-campus)
  • Current Engineering, Business, Health Science students
  • Alumni
  • Future Queen's students
Courses:
  • FILM 236/3.0
  • FILM 240/3.0
  • 6.0 units from: DRAM 205/3.0; FILM 260 /3.0 ; FILM 300/3.0; FILM 303/3.0; FILM 308/3.0; FILM 320/3.0; FILM 3 3 5/3.0; FILM 338/3.0 ; FILM 340/3.0; GNDS 125/3.0; MUSC 171/3.0 ; POLS 313/3.0; STSC 339/3.0
 

Apply

Current Arts and Science (online or on-campus) Students

Current Arts and Science (on-campus or online) Students Simply send an email  to the Student Services Team in Arts and Science and they will get it added to your student account.

Current Engineering, Business, Health Science Students

Simply send an email to the Student Services Team in Arts and Science and they will get it added to your student account.

Part-time, Off-campus, Future Queen's Students

If you aren't a Queen's student (yet) but would like to take the Media Studies Certificate, it is available online, part-time through Arts and Science Online. Click here to apply.

Queen's Alumni

If you are a former Queen's undergraduate student, or if you have earned an undergraduate degree from Queen's, please request your Certificate by filling out the Return to Studies Form found here.

Graduate Studies in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies*

Housed in the state-of-the-art Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, the new Master's and PhD in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies* are unique because of their linkage of adjacent disciplines: film and media studies and, more generally, the study of screen cultures, film and media production, and curatorial studies and practice. These multidisciplinary and professionally-oriented programs provide students with a wide range of course options and professional opportunities, including academia, arts management, programming, media production (from mainstream media, to artistic and activist production), and curation.

The program’s three strongly interconnected areas of focus – studies, production, and curation – are designed to stimulate creative dialogue in ways that ensure their mutual and respective influence, and in ways that open exciting points of access to multiple disciplinary formations and are not offered in any other film, media, cinema or communications Master’s or PhD program in Ontario.

Visiting scholars, filmmakers, artists, and curators in the core professional development course provide opportunities for practice-based learning, integrating new knowledge gained from other graduate level course work, and implementing some of their newly acquired skills in and beyond the gallery, festival, and museum.

Exhibition space will also be available to students at the Art & Media Lab in The Isabel Bader Center and the Union Gallery to accommodate curatorial projects. The program is also uniquely offered in partnership with the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (AEAC)a university and public art museum with physical display space paralleled by an active online program presence. The slate of courses offered by this partnership provide robust opportunities to participate in and benefit from experiential, applied learning. 

Program Structure

MA: (1 year, full time). 3 mandatory courses + 2 elective courses + Thesis or Project (The MA thesis should be finished and defended before a committee within the year). The structure of this program was designed to maximize flexibility allowing students to do traditional academic research, engage in creative and/or community projects and develop professional profiles suitable to a wide variety of academic and non-academic career pathways.

The MA thesis requirement can take the form of a written thesis; or a media work, curatorial project, or video essay, each with a complementary written component.

Visit the Film and Media Program website to read faculty profiles and learn more about faculty members’ research areas. When you find a faculty member with similar research interests to yours, contact him/her and tell them about your interest in graduate work and related experience.

PhD: 3 Core Courses + 2 Option Courses + Qualifying exam + Dissertation/ Project.

The program will examine students’ qualifications for advancing to candidacy through the review of a proposal for dissertation research, and an undergraduate course syllabus. The proposal must demonstrate comprehensive understanding of scholarly literature in the proposed research area, and a defensible rationale and plan for dissertation research and for the proposed format of the dissertation. Qualification for the PhD will also require successfully preparing a syllabus. In the proposal, students must demonstrate depth and breadth of knowledge in screen cultures and curatorial studies and the ability to apply and communicate knowledge; and in the proposal, students must demonstrate the professional capacity and autonomy to propose and pursue a unique area of knowledge production. The PhD advisor supervising the student’s syllabus and proposal also may require the student to access additional resources during their preparation (for instance, Center for Teaching and Learning or School of Graduate Studies courses or workshops).

Research Areas

Film, Media and Screen Cultures

Experimental Media

Moving Image Curatorial Studies

Moving Image Production (Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Animation, Open Media)

Film, Media and Performance Studies

Historical and Contemporary Film and Media

Archives, Curation, and Remediation

Academic Requirements

MA: BAH or BFA degree from a recognized university in film or media studies or cognate fields (e.g., communications, cultural studies, film and media productions, visual art, art history, popular culture). Grade requirements: minimum B+ average during undergraduate study.

PhD: An MA or MFA in Film and Media, or cognate disciplines (communications, media production, cultural studies, art history, visual arts, popular culture, etc.). Grade requirements: at least an A- when applying for the Doctoral degree.

Funding

MA: The Department of Film and Media provides financial support for MA students. The current minimum level of funding is approximately $16,000 for the academic year. Financial support is derived from a combination of internal and external awards and teaching assistantships.  

PhD: The minimum funding guarantee for Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies PhD students is $18,000 per year, throughout years 1-4. The funding package may be comprised of Queen’s Graduate Awards, Teaching Assistantships, and named internal Fellowships. We encourage all students to apply for external funding from OGS, SSHRC and other sources. Queen’s will automatically issue a $10,000 award to incoming PhD students who have won federal government tri-council awards. For more information, see the School of Graduate Studies’ information on awards and scholarships.

We encourage all students to apply for external funding from OGS, SSHRC and other sources. For more information, see the School of Graduate Studies’ information on awards and scholarships.

Please introduce yourself or contact our Graduate Assistant Stephanie Wilson to hear about our news and upcoming events.

Introduce yourself

*Prospective students are advised that offers of admission may be made only after the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance has approved the programs.

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is a home for the creative arts at Queen’s and a hub of vibrant artistic study, creation and exhibition in our community. The Department of Film and Media is located within the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, with state-of-the-art production facilities, a large screening room, and a Digital Lab. The learning experiences shaped by the Isabel enhance our students’ skills and abilities for their work in the arts and beyond. The Centre brings together exceptional spaces and programs with a captivating sense of place to create a dynamic venue for our students and community to learn, discover, think, do, and experience, together.  

Agnes Etherington Arts Centre

Graduate Studies in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies is offered in partnership with the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, a university and public art museum with physical display space paralleled by an active online program stream. The gallery presents a dozen new exhibitions each year, accompanied by artists’ talks and performances, public lectures, tours, symposia, workshops, school and family programs, as well as classes and summer day-camps for children and youth. The Agnes is renowned for its innovative exhibition practices, research leadership, high quality publications, educational outreach and superb collection.

Agnes Etherington Art Gallery is research‐intensive, and illuminates the great artistic traditions of the past and the innovations of the present through year-round programs of exhibitions and outreach activities staged across eight beautiful galleries. As a space of display, innovation and exchange, the Agnes is an experiential learning space for diverse disciplines at Queen’s, and the public gallery for Kingston region.

Alumni Profile - Michael MacMillan

Michael MacMillan

Michael MacMillan. Photo: Markian Lozowchuk, Canadian Business

Creativity and hustle keys to success: Queen’s film grad
By Alec Ross

The film industry has a reputation for being hard to break into, but if you’ve got creativity and hustle, your chances of a job there are better than ever. So says Michael MacMillan, a Queen’s graduate who is one of Canada’s most successful film and television producers.

The reason, says MacMillan, ArtsSci ’78, is that the Internet and affordable video technology enable practically anyone to make a video, movie or video blog and distribute it to a potential an audience of millions. When MacMillan started out, only those with deep pockets could do that.

Today, says MacMillan, “the barrier to entry is no longer capital. It’s creativity.”

Still, when millions of videos are vying for attention on websites like YouTube and Vimeo, creativity by itself may not be enough. That’s when entrepreneurial smarts – something that MacMillan cultivated early on – come into play.

In 1976, when he was a second-year Film Studies student at Queen’s, MacMillan made a 20-minute documentary called The Academic Cloister. Its subversive message was that rather than encouraging critical thinking, Canadian universities simply reinforced the societal status quo through rote learning and intellectual conformity. Queen’s, to the dismay of its administrators, played a starring role. The film was a sensation on campus.

The audacious project illustrates the kind of passion and lateral thinking it takes to get a film made. MacMillan raised $3,000 in his spare time, partly by organizing three student screenings of the Peter Sellers classic, The Pink Panther. After the second showing of the 90-minute film, MacMillan turned back the auditorium clock to give himself time to fit in a third showing. The trick worked. The screenings raked in $800, the biggest single chunk of the film’s budget.

By fourth year, MacMillan was making films with several Queen’s friends. But he set his future course with fellow film students Janice Platt and Seaton McLean when the trio founded Atlantis Films, a student film production company. Initially, they wrote, produced, directed, shot, and edited their films themselves, but they quickly realized that elevating their craft would require professional cinematographers, directors, editors and many others. The students’ role would be to raise money and buzz and bring the right people together.

In a few short years, Atlantis evolved into one of Canada’s most successful film and TV production companies. It won an Oscar in 1984 for a short film called Boys and Girls and snagged an Emmy in 1992 for Lost in the Barrens, a TV drama based Farley Mowat’s young adult novel of the same name. It launched the Life Network in 1993, and five years later purchased another film company, Alliance, to form Alliance Atlantis, which went on to own and manage 13 television networks including Food Network, HGTV and Showcase. These have contributed to an overall output of Canadian TV and film that MacMillan describes as “astonishingly large.”

MacMillan retired from the business after CanWest Global Communications and Goldman Sachs acquired Alliance Atlantis in 2007. Two years later, with fellow Queen’s grad Alison Loat, Artsci ’99, he co-founded Samara, a charity that aims to increase political participation in Canada. (MacMillan and Loat recently co-wrote Tragedy in the Commons, a book that draws on exit interviews with 80 former members of Parliament to suggest how Canadian democracy can be improved.)

But MacMillan can’t resist the entertainment game. He now heads Blue Ant Media, a private media company that owns brands including Cottage Life, Outdoor Canada, Travel + Escape, and a number of other web, mobile, TV, magazine properties. The firm is based in Toronto, but its reach is global. 

After almost 40 years in the Canadian film and TV industry, MacMillan has some definite ideas about what it takes to succeed there. Creativity and talent head the list, along with the willingness to put in hard work and long hours to help your project succeed.

But even these may not be enough. “There’s a tsunami of creativity and creative expression available,” says MacMillan. “Today, the key things that will distinguish [an artist] are creativity, imagination and talent on one hand, and marketing skills – or power or clout or imagination – to draw attention to your film or documentary or whatever it is, as opposed to the gazillion other ones.”

Since film is a collective endeavour, MacMillan encourages people to imagine how their individual talents, or role, might fit in with those of others. Keeping abreast of technological change and the potential applications of new technology is also smart.

Finally, says MacMillan, the Internet and global trade has forced his industry, and those working in it, to adopt an international focus and attitude.

“If you believe the Internet is here to stay, then you’ll think that the geographical boundaries between one country and another – not political boundaries, but how rights are created and bought and sold and what a natural market is – are going to blur.” 

“If I were 22 years old,” says MacMillan, “I’d say, ‘Wow! That is a huge sandbox to play in!’”