The Global MFA at Maharishi International University's

David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts

Note: Many courses are offered just once annually and some on an occasional basis. Consult your advisor or the program director regarding schedules.

DLCA 500 Survey of the Global MFA in Cinematic Arts

In this introductory course, students are guided through the design and policies of the MFA degree path, create mock-thesis proposals for film projects, deliver in-class presentations based on their experiences and film work to date, write 5-year career projections, and engage with the wider film community in Shanghai. (2 credits)


DLCA 501 Thesis Development and the Creative Process (through Shanghai Vancouver Film School)

This introductory course is delivered in China for International students prior to commencing the articulated, domestic credit hours of the global degree. It involved the earliest stages of planning for the thesis and engaging in the creative process associated with completing the degree through the David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts. (1 credit)


DLCA 510 The Creative Process

The goal of this course is for the student to gain experience and understanding of the science and technology of consciousness and its relationship to the creative process. The study of consciousness and creative intelligence is the unifying basis of all branches of knowledge. This course provides a foundation for all other courses to be taken on the degree path. (1 credit)


DLCA 511–515 Creative Intelligence Seminar I-IV

The student will undergo advanced explorations and experiences of the science and technology of consciousness and its relationship to creativity, drawing on a combination of various sources of knowledge combined with the practice of Transcendental Meditation® to access ideas from the deepest levels of consciousness. This course will be undertaken each semester for one credit hour. (1 credit; may be repeated for credit)


DLCA 519 The Films and Philosophy of David Lynch

The films of David Lynch, both short and feature-length, for television and theatrical, are screened and discussed at length in this immersive course. The course will also explore its namesake’s art and writings, and documentary films made about his work. (3 credits)

DLCA 530 Screenwriting I

Students engage in consciousness-based SM conception, gain command of screenplay structure, and engage in the drafting of approved loglines, synopses, treatments, outlines, and screenplays at a range of lengths and for a range of platforms. It is recommended that drafting of the thesis screenplay commence in this course. (2 credits)


DLCA 540 Pre-Production (through New Vision University)

In this course, student producers draft the thesis film lookbook or pitch deck, locked script, production schedule, and production budget (deferred and actual). Casting is conducted and locations are scouted. (3 credits)


DLCA 550: Production I (through New Vision University)

In this first hands-on course, students engage in creating short film productions and exercises associated with producing, cinematography, editing, and sound. (6 credits)


DLCA 580 The Business of Delivery and Distribution

The emphasis in this course, which will appeal to student producers, is on marketing and the business of distribution, drawing from industry examples and applying the international approaches to the development of the thesis film – identifying distributors, making posters, trailers, developing marketing strategies, and submitting to festivals. (3 credits)


DLCA 590: Independent Study

In the first year, students have the option of proposing and registering an independent study to complement or, upon approval only, replace a course. (1-3 credits; may be repeated for credit)


DLCA 652 Directing (through New Vision University)

This course is centered on the art and craft of directing dramatic film and television productions, including exercises in critical viewing, the drafting of shot lists and storyboards, and activities such as blocking action, shot composition, and continuity directing in a studio environment. (3 credits)


DLCA 653 Directing Performance (through New Vision University)

This course will immerse students in the experience of working with actors, including processes of casting, rehearsal, blocking, and on-set communication. (3 credits)


DLCA 654 Cinematography (through New Vision University)

The art and techniques of Cinematography are the focus of this course. The course explores the principles of the image making process, including still and motion picture photography, and provides instruction and hands-on experience in camera operation and lighting. (3 credits)


DLCA 656 Documentary Filmmaking

This course requires students to explore all phases of in the development, field production, editing and delivery of independent documentaries. Feature-length documentaries may subsequently be proposed as theses in the MFA path. (3 credits)


DLCA 660 Editing (through New Vision University)

This course involves lab-based instruction and application of the theories and techniques of nonlinear digital video editing and effects, using Avid or Adobe Premiere Pro and AfterEffects. (3 credits)


DLCA 662 Audio (through New Vision University)

The audio class involves applied processes in acquisition of professional grade sound in studio and remote production, in tandem with the management and manipulation of audio files in post-production. (3 credits)


DLCA 675 Low Budget Filmmaking

The emphasis in this course, which will appeal to student producers, is on strategies for financing films on low and ultra-low budgets, utilizing emerging technologies, deferral contracts, and a focus on developing projects that can be realistically produced with limited production financing. (3 credits)


DLCA 690: Independent Study

Students may submit a formal proposal for an independent study project to replace a course subsequent to completing the Core Curriculum. Faculty advisor approval required for registration. (1-9 credit hour registrations allowed after the first year)


DLCA 701 Producing: Transnational Cinema

In this advanced course on the Global MFA path, strategies for designing, producing and distributing transnational film projects will be cultivated, using the student’s home country as the place of creative origin and content, with global reach as a target, through international film festivals and exhibition, both theatrical and non-theatrical. (3 credits)


DLCA 708 Study Abroad: The Cannes Film Festival residency*

In May of any given year, dependent upon student interest, a study abroad group may travel to Cannes, France to engage in the Marche du Film and attend screenings of the preeminent international festival’s films in competition and in sidebars. *this course option requires approval of credentials and payment of supplemental fees (2 credits)


DLCA 709 Study Abroad: The Toronto International Film Festival*

In September of any given year, dependent upon student interest, a study abroad group may travel to Toronto, Canada to engage in the Industry Sessions and attend screenings of the festival’s films in competition and in sidebars. *this course option requires approval of credentials and payment of supplemental fees (2 credits)


DLCA 710 Sundance and Los Angeles residency*

In January of any given year, dependent upon student interest, a group may travel to Park City, Utah, to attend screenings and events at the Sundance Film Festival. The same group will conclude the course by visiting studios and and meeting with established filmmakers in Los Angeles.* this course option requires payment of supplemental fees (2 credits)


DLCA 720 Capstone Development

In a closely mentored context, students develop appropriately ambitious yet realistic concepts for theses, including pitch decks, look books, and other development documents that are interchangeably valuable for academic and professional purposes. (3 credits)


DLCA 730 The Screenplay Thesis

Upon approval of a formal proposal by the faculty advisor, accomplished students dedicated to working in the craft of screenwriting may undertake the composition of one or more feature-length screenplays in exchange for thesis credit. (1-15 credits)


DLCA 740: Advanced Thesis Pre-Production

This advanced course in the craft of producing involves revision of the thesis film lookbook or pitch deck, the securing of a locked script, a finalized production schedule and a final production budget. Casting is concluded and locations are secured, insured and contracted where needed. (1-6 credits)


DLCA 750 Thesis Production

This higher-level course entails the making of the thesis film. The student will function in an eligible and formally approved crew category including writer-director, producer, editor, cinematographer, and others subject to review. Students may function in more than one crew category: for example, the cinematographer (director of photography) in Thesis Production and pursue credit as editor in Thesis Post-Production. (1-15 credits)


DLCA 760 Thesis Post-Production

In this higher-level course, the producer of the thesis film oversees all phases of the completion of the film, including its final sound mix, color grading, and delivery of the work to festivals or prospective distributors. (1-15 credits)


DLCA 790 Thesis Exhibition

A Director and/or Producer of the Thesis accompanies the film where possible to international screenings, including markets, festivals, and educational environments. (1 credit)


DLCA 792 Internship

In the selective internship phase of the degree, the student independently pursues a field-related work assignment and develops a corresponding written agreement with the assistance of the MFA Internship Coordinator and a Faculty Supervisor. Upon approval of the MFA Internship Coordinator, the student may register for DLCA 792 Internship. (6-15 total credit hour registrations across the semesters)