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The Hollywood Reporter ranks DePaul among top 25 film schools

DePaul sound stage at Cinespace
DePaul's sound stages at Cinespace Film Studios Chicago offer students real-world experience that often leads to opportunities in Chicago's film and television industry. (Image courtesy of School fo Cinematic Arts)

This week, The Hollywood Reporter named DePaul's School of Cinematic Arts one of 2020's Top American Film Schools. The respected listing acknowledges film students and schools have had to adapt to the challenges of education during a pandemic: "But no matter how they are handling the pandemic, all of The Hollywood Reporter’s top film programs are committed to ensuring their graduates will be ready for a career in Hollywood — whatever it may look like."  

"Being acknowledged as a top film school by The Hollywood Reporter speaks to the passion and commitment of the school's faculty and staff as well as our students' creative talent and the quality of their work," says Gary Novak, director of the School of Cinematic Arts.

DePaul gets kudos in the listing from alumnus Daniel Willis: “We were encouraged to make things as often as possible (especially outside of class), and that’s exactly what I did,” Willis says. A director, writer and photographer, Willis draws on his experience growing up on Chicago’s south side and began his production career as a writer’s assistant on the ABC drama "Grey’s Anatomy."  His recent director credits include episodes of NBC’s "The Blacklist." Other notable DePaul alumni cited in the ranking are Kevin McGrail, producer for “The Shop” and Art O’Leary, editor for “Deadliest Catch.”

Students in the School of Cinematic Arts learn on DePaul’s sound stages and in classrooms at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, which The Hollywood Reporter notes is a “busy production facility that has played host to everything from Dick Wolf’s ‘Chicago’ franchise to FX’s ‘Fargo’ and Fox’s ‘Empire.’” Many students in the College of Computing and Digital media have landed internships and jobs on the campus.

DePaul’s 32,000-square-foot facilities at Cinespace on the city’s west side include three professional soundstages, green screen cycloramas, a 3-ton grip truck and high-end editing suites and mixing studios. DePaul offers comedy filmmaking degrees with The Second City, Chicago’s iconic center for improvisational comedy.

Read more about the rankings at