The Department of

Film & Digital Arts

Film Production. Cinema Studies. Gaming and Animation.

Find your voice. Tell your story. Transform the moving image.

Become a director, cinematographer, screenwriter, video game designer, animator, visual studies theorist, film historian, experimental artist, or movie producer.


Ranked the best place for filmmakers to live and work by Moviemaker magazine

Adopted by Netflix as its only US production hub.

New Mexico:

Ranked a “film hotspot” by Hollywood Reporter

Famous for the unique light and landscape that attract artists and scholars from around the globe.

Our graduates:

are enjoying success at renowned institutions such as Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Google, Netflix, and Warner Bros. Many are instrumental in the growth of New Mexico’s thriving film industry.

Our faculty:

are screenwriters, computer graphics experts, filmmakers, photographers, cinematographers, virtual reality pioneers, cultural theorists, and film historians.

Set Design Course, taught by Dan Galassini.

Sitcom Bootcamp class taught by UNM Alum and Hollywood Director Brian Levant.

Spaceship built in Set Design Course.

End of the semester reading for the Sitcom Bootcamp class.

Instructor Dan Galassini in the spaceship built in the Set Design course.

Sitcom Bootcamp course instructor, Brian Levant, is a UNM Alum and Hollywood Director.

Students in the Set Design course working on the spaceship.

Degrees in Film & Digital Arts

The degree plans in Film and Digital Arts allow you to choose a focus in Film Production; Gaming and Animation; or Film History and Criticism. The department also offers minors in Film Production; Gaming; Animation; and Film History and Criticism. You may choose a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Digital Arts (formerly BFA in IFDM) or a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Digital Arts (formerly BA in Media Arts).

Learn More >

IFDM alumna Shaandiin Tome debuted her film, “Mud: Hashtli’shnii,” at Sundance in January 2018.  Shaandiin was a 2016 Sundance Full Circle Fellowship alumna, 2016 Sundance Programming Intern, and in May 2017 she was selected for the Sundance Native Filmmaker’s Lab Fellowship.

Cinematic Arts instructor Barry Kirk. Barry was Director of Photography on the film “Ol’ Max Evans The First Thousand Years.” This film by Lorene Mills, Paul Barnes, and David Leach won Best New Mexico Documentary at the 2017 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.

Cinematic Arts Chair James Stone. His book America Through a British Lens, Cinematic Portrayals 1930-2010, was released in January 2018.  Film International called it “stimulating” and noted the book’s “ingenious readings”.

Media Arts alum Andy Kastelic wrote and directed a short film, Secondhand Sunset, that was honored at Albuquerque’s 48 hour film festival in summer 2017.  In the same year, the film screened at the world-famous Festival de Cannes in France.

Cinematic Arts instructor Roberto Rosales took home the award for Best Photo Series at the 2017 New Mexico Press Association Awards.  

IFDM alum Paris Premdas was recently hired as Technical Assistant at Industrial Light & Magic, the renowned VFX company founded by George Lucas.


Professor Matt McDuffie on the art of film production.

“Education in the arts will continue to have a vital, necessary role into the twenty-first century. Study in the Fine Arts—in the area of studio practice, as well as history and criticism—is an essential undertaking in preparing students to meet the increasingly complex challenges that are before us. In the area of media study (in studio practice as well as critical studies), students can practice teamwork and attain practice in problem-solving that will apply to a wide variety of creative enterprises and employment opportunities. They will also attain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural currents that have informed the ways they use media, as spectators and as creators of moving image and sound works. Attaining these literacies is vitally important today, and will be essential in the long-term.”

-Professor Nina Fonoroff, Cinematic Arts, UNM

Game Event at Sandia Labs

The Project on Nuclear Gaming (PoNG) invites you to play SIGNAL! SIGNAL is an online experimental wargame designed as a new data-generating process for studying nuclear deterrence and conflict escalation. Our team recently published on next generation...

Introduction to Game Development Final Project

Video clip from a final game project created by IFDM majors Krystal Telford and Danae Gentry in the Introduction to Game Development class, taught by Jon Whetzel, in Fall 2018. Students must then apply to the College of Fine Arts as...

Contact Film & Digital Arts

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Major and Minors

Scholarships and Financial Aid are available through the University: