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Cinema Arts Ambassadors

The cinema arts student ambassador program is a leadership opportunity for students in the department who are dedicated to serving the cinema arts student population and representing the department throughout Point Park University, the Pittsburgh Community and nationally through social media and events.

This program allows ambassadors to expand their leadership, marketing, public speaking, and customer service skills and achieve community involvement while working with a diverse range of individuals. The schedule is flexible and self-managed by the student. Small stipends are provided for those working recruitment events.

First-Year Film Challenge

Point Park cinema arts students who participated in the First Year Film Challenge. Submitted photo

The First-Year Film Challenge is a competition where multiple crews of two to four first-year students will write, produce, shoot and edit a film in one weekend.

These crews will be partnered with an upper-class student mentor. A panel of alumni judges will score the films based on the following categories: use of theme, creativity, narrative clarity, cinematography, editing and sound.

A screening event will happen the following Friday, where all films will be played in our GRW Theater, awards given out to the best films, and a small reception afterwards to network with classmates, faculty and alumni. The challenge happens early in the fall semester.

Sarah Jones Film Foundation – Student Safety Grant Award

The Safety for Sarah logo

It is the Sarah Jones Film Foundations (SJFF) belief that, if you wish to change the culture of the film industry it is best to start with the young minds entering the industry.

The grant is intended to supply funds to film students to be used for such appropriate safety needs as proper permits, off-duty police to direct traffic, safety personnel, etc. 

The SJFF awards a one-time grant of up to $2,500 to fund on-set safety for a narrative thesis project in our B.F.A. in cinema production program.

Grant money can only be used for qualifying safety costs incurred by the applicant’s thesis film. The grant winner will also receive the free use of a standard equipment package from Cinelease for the duration of their film shoot.


Apprenticeships are a merit-based, part-time employment contract awarded to cinema arts students. Apprenticeship awards are included in the Financial Aid calculation and are taxable income. Receiving an apprenticeship award may affect other scholarship money you receive.

Selected apprentices may be assigned to work for the cinema arts department, Student Production Services (SPS,) the Playhouse Soundstage, Point Park Online or be a teaching assistant for cinema arts classes.

Applications for apprenticeships are sent through emails towards the end of the spring semester, for employment starting the following fall semester. The department will review submitted applications and may request an in-person or phone interview with finalists. 

Apprenticeship appointments are awarded to students demonstrating academic merit, a willingness to learn, attitudes of professionalism, responsibility, dependability and/or technical skills expertise. In order to be eligible and to maintain the apprenticeship, students must earn a 2.5 Q.P.A. or higher. 

A Point Park cinema student on set. Submitted photo

Thesis Scholarship

Every fall term, six scholarships will be awarded to senior-level B.F.A. students who are enrolled in a thesis course (CINE 451, CINE 453, DIGI 451).

The scholarships will be in the form of a $2,000 tuition credit towards your senior year. The application will be emailed to students enrolled in a thesis course by the start of the fall semester of their senior year.

Screenwriting Competition

Each spring semester, the cinema arts department holds a screenwriting competition for all students within the department. The winner from the competition will receive a $2,000 scholarship in the form of a tuition credit. 

The cinema department faculty serve as judges. Screenplays must be in standard screenplay format and six to eight pages in length. Students may submit up to two scripts each. Submissions must be the original work of the applicant and may not be based, in whole or in part, on any other fictional or nonfictional material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced, unless the applicant provides acceptable legal proof of permission from the original author. 

By submitting a script, the writer grants Point Park University the right to consider the screenplay eligible for production in the Production 3 class, in which the screenplay will be revised. 

Point Park cinema students at the end of semester film screenings. Submitted photo

End of Semester Screenings

At the end of each semester, the department holds multiple screenings of our student films that is open to the public and are free of charge.

These screenings typically showcase some of the work completed in the following courses: Production 1, Production 2, Production 3, Documentary/Music Video/Experimental Workshops and in our Animation program. 

Thesis Showcase

A photo from the cinema arts thesis showcase. Submitted photo

At the end of the spring semester, the cinema arts department celebrates the thesis work completed by our senior B.F.A. students within the screenwriting, animation and cinema production programs.

The event includes readings of screenplays, screenings of films, Q&A with the student filmmakers and a reception with food and drinks. This event typically takes place the Saturday before graduation. 

The John P. Harris Society


The John P. Harris Society is Point Park University's cinema club, open to all Point Park students that have a passion for film and drive to further and discuss the art.

The group organizes screenings and student events to network filmmakers to actors and guest speakers from within the film industry.

These are often offered in tandem with supplemental screenings.

Cinema Arts Alumni Grant

The cinema arts department accepts submissions for the Cinema Arts Alumni Grant in late spring for use of cinema arts equipment/facilities over the summer. The grant is in the form of use of the department’s equipment, production facilities, post-production facilities and/or computer labs for alumni to produce creative work.

The grant is available to all graduates of the cinema arts department at Point Park University. Application deadline is typically mid-May. The use of equipment and post-production facilities must take place outside of the spring and fall semesters to avoid conflict with the needs of current students.

Internships and Job Opportunities

Pictured is Calyx Deroche. Photo | Hannah Johnston

Downtown Pittsburgh is home to several industry-related businesses, including production studios, casting agencies and TV stations where students can intern to gain hands-on experience and make connections that lead to jobs. Students have also interned and worked on film and TV sets, production houses and studios in Los Angeles, New York and other locations across the country.

Where our students have interned/worked:

Locations in Pittsburgh unless otherwise noted

  • 321 Blink
  • American Eagle Outfitters 
  • Animal, Inc. 
  • Andy Warhol Museum 
  • Argentine Productions
  • Brunner 
  • Carnegie Science Center
  • Disney Studios (Los Angeles)
  • Docherty Casting Agency 
  • Dylan Clark Productions (Los Angeles)
  • Glass Entertainment Group (Philadelphia)
  • JuVee Productions (Los Angeles)
  • KDKA 
  • Lionsgate (Los Angeles)
  • Little League International
  • Litton Entertainment (Los Angeles)
  • Mind Over Media 
  • Nancy Mosser Casting
  • New Perspective Communication 
  • Netflix (Pittsburgh and Los Angeles)
  • Nu Image Films (Los Angeles)
  • On Motion Media 
  • Open Road Entertainment (Los Angeles)
  • Pacific Soundwaves (Los Angeles)
  • Parish Digital Video Production 
  • Pittsburgh City Theatre
  • Pittsburgh CLO
  • Pittsburgh Film Office
  • Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
  • PMI 
  • Quantam Theater 
  • Red Giant Media (New York)
  • Remote Control Productions/Hans Zimmer (Los Angeles)
  • Resolution Rentals
  • Resolve Media Group (Atlanta)
  • Steeltown Entertainment Project
  • The Heinz Endowments 
  • The Talent Group 
  • Tremendous Entertainment
  • WQED 
  • WTAE