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Exploring Film, Past and Present

Film is one of today’s most influential forms of communication. Its stories have a unique power to transport us to another time and place. At the same time, film both reflects and helps to shape our culture. In recent years, the impact of film has only grown as it continues to cross diverse media channels, from theater to television to mobile devices and the Internet.

Emphasizing film criticism, theory and history, the Film Studies minor at UNC will teach you to develop an analytical and critical approach to cinema. You’ll watch a variety of films from different genres—many classics and some lesser known—and have opportunities to discuss, write and present on diverse topics. Through your work, you’ll learn how cinema has evolved, how film relates to other art forms and how cinema plays a global cultural role. We also offer a course on short film production.

Classes are highly collaborative and are led by accessible and supportive instructors, who are dedicated to helping you succeed. You can also enjoy free weekly screenings of films from all over the world through our International Film Series.

Minor Option

Minor in Film Studies

The Film Studies minor comprises 15 credit hours of required courses and three credit hours of electives, for 18 hours total. As an interdisciplinary program, the Film Studies minor includes perspectives from a variety of disciplines, consideration of film in various periods of the history of cinema, as well as films produced in various global cultures.

Minor Requirements

Related Programs

Your Future in Film Studies

A Film Studies minor will enrich almost any major area of study and builds skills you can apply to diverse careers.

Consider UNC's Film Studies minor if you:

  • Enjoy viewing, discussing and analyzing films
  • Have an interest in the history of film and how it has evolved over time
  • Excel in small classes with one-on-one mentorship

You’ll learn:

  • Film history, theory and criticism
  • How cinema influences contemporary culture
  • How to apply analytical and critical thinking skills to a wide range of issues
  • Written and verbal communication skills

Sample courses:

  • Introduction to Film
  • Film Theory and Criticism
  • History of Film I and II
  • Action Cinemas: Speed, Bodies, Spectacle
  • Science Fiction Cinema
  • Producing the Short Film


Beyond the Classroom

Film is a medium that encompasses a variety of other art forms, including photography, writing, editing, music and performance. Not only will a Film Studies minor open the door to career pathways in these diverse areas and many others, it will also provide foundational learning that will serve you throughout your life.

Where can your minor take you?

As a Film Studies student, you can apply your learning in many different areas. You could pursue a career as a film critic, or apply to film school to become an actor or filmmaker, or work in the film industry. The Film Studies minor can also apply to careers in journalism, elementary and secondary education, web design and much more.

Current Research in Film Studies

In addition to being caring, dedicated educators who work closely with students, our professors are noted researchers in their fields of study. Our current research projects in the area of Film Studies include: 

It’s the End of the World as We Know It: Cosmopolitanism, Ethics, and Science Fiction Cinema

Kenneth Chan, Ph.D., Director of Film Studies and Professor of English

Professor Chan’s new book project explores the recent emergence and popularity of science fiction cinema after 9/11, films that grapple with global political dilemmas, personal existential crises and apocalyptic doomsday scenarios to engage and complicate the issues of personal and collective ethical responsibilities.

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