Brooklyn College officially opened the doors of its new graduate film school at Steiner Studios, the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, during a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio and other elected officials at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Tuesday. The school is the first of its kind located on a working film lot.
“This is the nation’s only film school on a working lot situated right here in Brooklyn,” de Blasio said. “You figure someone would have done it a long, long time ago, but New York City did it first and we are very proud of that. Students get the best and most cutting edge approaches and get an opportunity to see the work getting done and do it themselves hands on.”
The project was initially announced in 2012 and included an $8 million investment from New York City as part of a public-private partnership. The contribution includes $4.7 million toward construction, $2 million toward scholarships, $1 million for programming and $500,000 for creative grants and marketing.
“We are simply elated to have the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema here on the Steiner Studios lot,” said Douglas C. Steiner, chairman of Steiner Studios. “This co-location of academia and industry is cutting edge. Students are immersed in the real world thriving industry of film and television and being trained for the jobs of tomorrow. This is New York’s future at its best.”
It’s the first public graduate school of cinema in the city and it comes with a three-year price tag estimated at $59,000, nearly $100,000 less than New York University. Students at the Feirstein School will have access to state of the art production and postproduction facilities, a soundstage and a full complement of lighting, grip and electrical equipment.
“The visionary philanthropy of Barry R. Feirstein, CUNY, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the New York City Council and state Assembly, among others, has enabled us to transform the lives of our students,” said Brooklyn College President Karen L. Gould. “With instruction from faculty who are leaders in their fields, and hands-on experience in a top notch facility, our students will be adequately prepared to succeed in the city’s burgeoning film industry.”
The school also boasts an impressive advisory board that includes actor Ethan Hawke, director Steven Soderbergh, director/screenwriter/producer Darren Aronofsky, actor/producer Fisher Stevens and Emmy Award-winning producer Celia Costas. Director Jonathan Wacks, director of the TV show “21 Jump Street” was appointed as the director of the school’s first class that includes 69 students.
“Brooklyn College provided an excellent academic foundation for me and I’m extremely pleased to return the favor by helping to build a 21st century cinema school that will both strengthen the college and provide access to exciting careers for today’s students,” said Barry R. Feirstein, after whom the school is named, a Brooklyn College alumnus who donated $5.5 million toward the school.