The Anaheim University Akira Kurosawa School of Film offers a cutting-edge online Master of Fine Arts in Digital Filmmaking degree program. Experience the following AU advantages:


  • Interact with your professor and fellow classmates around the world through live webcam classes
  • Specialize in a specific aspect of filmmaking through your selection of electives
  • Meet face-to-face with industry professionals and gain hands-on experience with professional equipment at a one-week residential session
  • Learn from professors based in Hollywood and other leading film markets without having to relocate during your period of study
  • Earn your Master's degree online in approximately 3 years while working full-time



  • 13 x 9 week Online Courses + thesis
  • Weekly live webcam classes
  • New terms begin every 10 weeks
  • 1 Course = 4 Credit Points
  • MFA in Digital Filmmaking Program = 56 Credit Points
  • One-week hands-on residential session held in Hollywood, California or Tokyo, Japan
  • Total duration = approximately 3 years
Required Courses
MFA 500 The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa in Global Context Language 4 Units
MFA 510 Film Aesthetics 4 Units
MFA 520 Intro to Digital Filmmaking 4 Units
MFA 530 Advanced Digital Filmmaking 4 Units
MFA 540 Advanced Screenwriting 4 Units
MFA 550 History of World Cinema 4 Units
MFA 560 Film Theory 4 Units
MFA 570 The International Film business 4 Units
MFA 580 Concepts of Post Production : Sound and Editing 4 Units
MFA 600 Thesis Project* 4 Units
*Students begin their thesis project after all other course work is completed;
the thesis project can be completed in approximately two terms
Elective Courses - Group A (select two or three)
MFA 590 Documentary Film - History and Theory** 4 Units
MFA 591 Documentary Film Production** 4 Units
MFA 592 Animation - History, Theory, Practice 4 Units
MFA 593 Producing for the Web 4 Units
MFA 594 Game Design - Theory and Practice 4 Units
MFA 595 Story Structure 4 Units
**students may take either MFA 591 or MFA 592
Elective Course - Group B (Select one or two)
MFA 598 Transnational Film Genre 4 Units
MFA 599 Major World Directors 4 Units
Total number of units
10 core courses (incl. thesis), 4 electives and a one-week residential
56 Units


Here is a basic overview of how the MFA courses work.


Master of Fine Arts in Digital Filmmaking Course Structure and Program Learning Method

Online Discussion Forum

Assignment 1

Week 1
Online Class
Week 2
Online Class
Week 3
Online Class
Week 4
Online Class
Week 5
Online Class

Assignment 2

Week 6
Online Class
Week 7
Online Class
Week 8
Online Class
Week 9
Final Assignment Week

Weekly Real-Time Webcam Class + Online Discussion Forum participation(at your convenience)

Weekly reading plus written assignment or film critique

Course film project, screenplay, or research paper


Study Suggestions

Students are responsible for the information contained in the course syllabus and course grading rubrics. Each course is worth 4 units, or 180 hours of study (approximately 20 hours a week). To help you allocate your time, each course guide contains a weekly program break-down. The course guides are meant as a suggestion only, but one that students are advised to adhere to as closely as possible to keep up with the demanding schedule of the courses. Below is a sample taken from a course that has a film project as its final assignment:

1. Complete the set reading, making notes to prepare for the real-time online class. (2.5 hours)
2. Film viewing assignment; take notes in preparation for the real-time online class. (2.5 hours)
3. Written Assignment (2 hours, selected weeks)
4. Discuss the weekly assigned topic with other students via the online discussion forum. (3 hours)
5. Take part in the weekly real-time online class. (1.5 hours)
6. Review the transcript of the real-time online class and make notes (1.5 hrs)
7. Journal entries throughout the week (1 hour)
8. On-going work on the planning, shooting and editing of the rough cut and final video project (6 hours)