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Educational Programs



Program description

MCTC’s innovative Screenwriting program, the most affordable of its kind in Minnesota, gives you hands-on learning experiences from faculty passionate about what they teach using cutting-edge facilities and equipment. The program provides an interactive learning environment, opportunities to work with guest lecturers from around the country, and all the underlying business and legal aspects of the trade. 

Program start and location

You must begin the Cinema program in the fall semester only. Courses are taught on MCTC’s main campus.

Degree options and requirements

Please select the award below to view the degree options and requirements in the college catalog.

What you will learn

  • You will learn skills to develop, write, rewrite, analyze and “cover” screenplays of all kinds, including those for television, documentaries and advertising.
  • You will learn how to “tell” exciting stories in your own unique voice through powerful images and inspiring dialogue.
  • You will establish strong collaborations with Directing, Editing and Post-Production and Cinematography students.
  • You will gain knowledge to address the issues related to dramatic and nonfiction screenwriting, including the underlying business and legal aspects.
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  • You will practice using collaboration strategies needed to get your work produced.
  • You will learn how to pitch finished scripts to professionals from Los Angeles and New York.
  • You will learn best practices for professional standards and expectations
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Points of pride

  • The MCTC Cinema programs are amongst the very few two-year degree programs offered in cinema production in the U.S. The MCTC Cinema Division is the only comprehensive cinema production institution of its kind in the upper Midwest.
  • MCTC’s cinema programs are some of the most affordable film school programs in the U.S. and covers almost all of your production costs.
  • Thanks to a low student-to-teacher ratio, you will receive personal attention from qualified, passionate faculty members who are working professionals and hold MFA or Ph.D. degrees.
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  • A diverse student base adds to the creative experience. Students come from all over the world, have varied professional backgrounds and range in age from 18 to 65.
  • Cutting-edge technology and facilities strengthen the programs’ practical experience. You will have access to the latest software, cameras and equipment as well as production and post-production facilities and studios.
  • Local and nationally recognized industry experts from Hollywood and New York serve as guest speakers and work with students every semester.
  • MCTC boasts award-winning alumni. Former student achievements have included: producing a Super Bowl ad that was the most-watched television commercial of all time; writing and producing a short film that qualified for consideration as a 2010 Oscar nomination; earning the McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship Award in 2009; receiving Bush Foundation Artist Fellowships, and winning a 2008 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, one of the most prestigious screenwriting prizes in the world.
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Where you could work

  • Local and national film and video production houses
  • Local and national independent producers
  • Independent home video distribution companies
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  • In-house production departments within retail stores and corporations
  • Local and national film studios
  • Local and national television, cable stations and networks
  • National and local advertising agencies
  • As a freelancer
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Potential job titles

  • Screenwriter
  • Script Analyst
  • Script Reader
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  • Script Consultant
  • Production Assistant
  • Independent Producer
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Occupational outlook

Nationally, the number of jobs in the entertainment industry is expected to increase through the year 2016 as a growing population enjoys movies as entertainment, according to ISeek.

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There is strong demand for productions from foreign and domestic television, cable television, pay TV services and feature film markets. In addition, computer and Internet services are providing new outlets for film productions, and there is also a demand for home movie rentals, music videos and live performances.

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Beyond-the-classroom opportunities

Strong relationships with the local film industry position MCTC you as a sought-after candidate for internships and on-location work. These community collaborations also produce myriad programs, events and guest speakers, most of which are hosted on the MCTC campus.

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The Cinema Division partners with the Minnesota Film and TV Board, IFP Minnesota, Screenwriter’s Workshop of Minnesota, the Jerome Foundation and the Walker Art Center. Local relationships helped establish the Annual Cinema Division Production Excellence Awards, which spotlight student works in Directing, Screenwriting, Cinematography, Editing and Post-Production, Sound Arts and Digital Photography.

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This program is part of the School of Design and the Arts.

Additional resources

2014 Screenwriting–Short Award

2014 Cinema Excellence Awards

Andrew Santoro, "Friendetta"

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2013 Screenwriting-Short Award

2013 Cinema Excellence Awards

Colton Mehrhof

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Cinematography and Screenwriting Alumni Make Short Film Together

Panhandler Screenshot

Kevin Horn and John Karsko have worked on ten projects together since graduating from MCTC. Their latest project is a short film titled "Panhandler." Based on true events in Horn's life, the film centers around a man he met while on vacation and how he inspired him.

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MCTC's Cinema Program will help teach you to make movies with passionate instructors and some of the best facilities and equipment available. MCTC offers degrees and certificates in all areas of cinema.

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Find out why nearly 14,000 students choose Minneapolis Community and Technical College each year!

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View images from MCTC's Cinema programs.

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