Belmont To Offer Motion Picture Degree

Belmont University is adding an undergraduate degree program focusing on motion pictures, cinematography, screenwriting, and film production. Classes will begin in fall 2013. Will Akers, Belmont’s new assistant professor and chair of the program, is developing the curriculum.

Akers has 25 years experience as a screenwriter, and had three feature films produced from his screenplays. He has written for the network television series Strange Luck, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Eerie, Indiana.

Akers’ also background includes 19 years of teaching at Vanderbilt University in film studies, theater and communication studies. He is the author of an industry-standard text, Your Screenplay Sucks!, 100 Ways To Make It Great. The Nashville native graduated from Vanderbilt and earned a master’s degree in cinema production from the University of Southern California.

“Today motion pictures can be found in all kinds of media including television, cell phones and computers; it’s not simply film-in-a-theater anymore,” Akers said. “Belmont’s new program will capitalize on the growing diversity of motion pictures, teaching students all aspects of the craft from script development, through production, to marketing and distribution.”

Belmont Provost Thomas Burns added, “This new undergraduate major is a natural extension of Belmont’s strong liberal arts curriculum and our commitment to high-quality professional programs related to the management and development of the entertainment industry.”

U.S. News & World Report ranked Belmont No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category, and listed it for the fourth consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities. Belmont University consists of approximately 6,400 students.

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