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accepted portfolio submission at CalArts and Columbia U

Discussion in 'Film School Advice from Current Students' started by TeN, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. TeN

    TeN Member

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    Hey all,

    Apologies if this is the wrong place to post this or if promoting your work isn't allowed on this subforum. I'm not sure how many people here check the StudentFilms.com page, so I wanted to share the film I just posted on there: Melancholia Imaginativa I thought it might be helpful for people who are considering applying to or accepting offers from any of the schools I did.



    This is the film I submitted when applying to MFA programs. I was accepted at CalArts, Columbia U, Ohio U, and Columbia College, and rejected from UT Austin, Temple U, and Brooklyn College (Barry R Feirstein). Decided to attend Calarts (Film Directing program) and about to enter my second year - I love it!

    On the discussion page at the link above I wrote up some thoughts on my experience submitting the film to schools as well as festivals. Please let me know if you have any questions about the film, about the school and/or fest submission process, about CalArts or any of the schools I applied to, or whatever else. This forum was a big help and confidence booster when I was first looking into applying to school, so I want to return the favor.

    Also, feel free to just let me know what you think (constructive criticism welcome) and if you enjoy it, feel free to share! :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. arman

    arman New Member

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    Hi. i wanted to ask you about funding in the MFA program. How are the chances and what part of the application plays the vital role ?
     
  3. TeN

    TeN Member

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    Hi Arman,

    Both good questions. I'm assuming you're asking about CalArts?

    Unfortunately my answer to your first question probably isn't what you want to hear: CalArts is a very expensive school, and there is not a lot of financial aid or funding available (less than for similar programs, from what I understand). Personally I have a scholarship which covers about 25-30% of my tuition, another 60% or so is covered by unsubsidized government loans (low interest rate), and the rest I have had to take out private loans (higher interest rate). I think only US citizens are eligible for the government loans, but international students are eligible for the scholarships. From talking to other students, the level of scholarship I have seems to be about the average. When I was considering the school's offer I negotiated with them a bit to raise my scholarship, but they were only able to give me about $500 more per year. Full scholarships are not common. I was told when I was applying that they never give full scholarships, but I have one friend who applied to a different CalArts program (music) and was offered a full scholarship, so they must give them sometimes. I know of only one person in my class who didn't get any scholarship. There is also one on campus job available that gives you 50% off tuition, but this is competitive and the administrators choose this person, so you don't apply for it.

    For the application, I'm not sure which part is the most important, but I will say that the one thing they seem to look for is someone with a unique vision. This could be displayed in your portfolio film, your essay, or your video essay, or all 3. They are looking for a diverse group of people who have a somewhat clear idea of the type of work they want to be making and the areas they want to explore, and knows why CalArts would be a good place to do that. Technical experience or polish are not as important. People in the program come from all different backgrounds, so it's not required that you have lots of film experience, and is probably actually appealing to them if you can bring your experience and perspective from other fields to your film work.

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. arman

    arman New Member

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    Hi ! And Thanks for your complete explanations. Yes as far as i've found out international students are not eligible for loans, and Calarts is not so big on funding. Yet i've found other universities that offer better scholarships. I am preparing the requirements for the admisson process. if it's possible i wanted to ask you for your email to share some thoughts and some of my documents to make sure i'm going in the right way.
     

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