By Elizabeth Neuner | LSU Student
Film and Media Arts (FMA) can now be added to the list of majors available at Louisiana State University.
"Under Bachelor of Arts and Liberal Arts, you can now have you concentration in FMA," said James Catano, director of the Film and Media Arts program. "You can sign up as a minor and our first graduating class will be in December of 2012."
How did this curriculum addition occur in a time of budget cuts and majors being slashed? Catano said because FMA had an established faculty and infrastructure as a minor, the major concentration upgrade required no increase the its budget.
The major comes as a relief to students who previously could only minor in the field, officials say.
Recently, Louisiana has become a hot spot for the film industry. Shows like "Treme" and "True Blood" are based and filmed in Louisiana.
"Especially because film is becoming so prominent in out state it would be a great opportunity for students to study in the state," said Communication Studies and Film Prof. Joni Butcher.
For FMA minor, Dustin Howard, this opportunity to concentrate in film is what he's been waiting for. "It has been a need for a long time. Television and film have been a passion of mine since I first started to dabbled in video editing in high school."
Catano said the program would be expanding as well. "We are working to add courses at student request. We're a student-driven program."
Film minor Carissa Tenorio said she wished the expansion had come earlier.
"It's awesome. I only wish I wasn't graduating in May. There is so much to film that just can't be taught in a minor. It's exciting other students will get an opportunity to study film."
"Students who go through this program will be able to work in the film industry in this state while acquiring an international background in the film industry," Catano said. "We've got a French film festival going on right now and we work closely with International Studies."
Catano made sure to stress that the program will flourish and will continue to be focused on the students. "We average 90 minors per semester. The program has always been based on their needs and desires."