Next start date: Jan 14th 2020.

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About DFA

DFA’s mission is to provide state-of-the-industry higher education and advanced training in digital film and media to prepare students for career entry or advancement in their chosen occupations.

To achieve this mission, DFA operates by following these objectives:

  • Offer professional certificate programs to U.S. citizens and international students within the context of a well-designed framework of digital media arts and design.
  • Offer programs including both theoretical and practical components, as appropriate, to prepare graduates to advance in their chosen careers.
  • Prepare students with the educational foundation for advanced study.
  • Provide an educational environment that imparts the attitudes and skills that will enable students to continue learning throughout their lives and career.
  • Continue to update and improve curricula of existing programs and courses to reflect changes and improvements in technology and the industry to properly prepare students for careers in the digital media industry.
  • Provide post-graduate support of students’ professional projects and career efforts.
  • Maintain a presence in and support the local and global film and media community and industry.

Digital Film Academy leads the way in digital film education – often copied, but never equaled!

The ongoing technical evolution in the entertainment industry has dramatically changed the course of filmmaking by reducing the cost of production. The independent filmmaker can now write, shoot, and edit a film digitally without relinquishing hands-on control. This welcome development in the filmmaking process absolutely necessitates that the student master the craft of visual storytelling and the many technical skills required to fully realize his or her creative vision and become an essential member of any production. In short: the technology has arrived – the skilled people have not. Until now…

Digital Film Academy, also known in the industry as DFA, is a New York state-licensed school that specializes in digital filmmaking and media education. DFA provides the training and skills that are vital for the independent filmmaker. By offering hands-on digital filmmaking instruction taught by experienced industry professionals in a progressive, challenging, and supportive small class environment, with unlimited lab time and a Membership to the facility upon graduation, DFA provides the student with the creative learning environment needed to become a truly independent filmmaker.

Our digital filmmaking programs and workshops are a harmonious blend of instruction, hands-on labs, review and feedback from faculty and DFA staff, and direct production experience that puts your skills to the test and makes everything you learn come together. Our instructors are both educators and working professionals in the film industry. We work with them to consistently improve our curriculum to make our programs and workshops the best and most comprehensive.

Digital Film Academy uses state-of-the-industry equipment to make certain you receive the best training possible. Our shooting equipment of choice are the Panasonic HVX200, DVX100, Canon EOS 7D, and the RED Scarlet-X cameras and our editing lab is equipped with the latest software including Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Maya, and Pro Tools.

If you want to learn digital, Digital Film Academy is the choice for you. Join the evolution ® and attend the only film school in New York City that specializes in the art and craft of digital filmmaking.

Our History

Digital Film Academy (DFA) was founded by film producer and director Patrick DiRenna on September 10, 2001 in the historic Film Center building in New York City. While making his first feature film Train of Illusion in 1991, DiRenna realized that he was at the mercy of others who did not share his same passion and drive about his project. This realization echoed throughout his career, and as technology advanced and the reliance on film lessened, DiRenna foresaw digital media as the future for independent filmmakers while other academic institutions still focused on film.

Wanting to create an all-digital media school offering tools to filmmakers not available at any other school, Digital Film Academy was born! In addition to state-of-the-art instruction in digital filmmaking, filmmakers receive a production membership to the academy’s facility upon graduation. This unique combination of instruction and access to the facility enables filmmakers to become independent and start working in the growing industry without having to invest thousands of dollars into equipment.

The demand for such a program was noted as DFA grew and established an excellent reputation in the community and abroad over the years. At that time, DFA offered a part-time, hands-on program where students would write, produce, direct, and edit their short film. In 2008, DFA further flourished under the leadership of Elena Primost, former Vice President and Director of Academic Affairs, who expanded the academy’s curriculum to full-time beginner and advanced conservatory programs and led the academy to national accreditation in 2011.

DFA continues to be innovative and strive to exceed the needs of filmmakers. At DFA, you are provided with the skills, the tools, and the support that you need to be truly independent.




Why DFA?

Looking into attending film school? Find out why DFA is right for you! Click to compare film schools in NYC.

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95% of the media produced in the industry today is digital! Join the Evolution ® and learn 21st century film making today at DFA!

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Free Equipment Access After Graduation

DFA graduates are granted a membership - full access to our facilities, equipment and resources all for FREE!

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Plan a Visit!

Meet with our Director, tour our facilities and find out if DFA is the right place for you to pursue your career goals.

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