a black male with a goatee and glasses works in a film editing space

Cinema & Media Arts

School of Humanities & Behavioral Science

The cinema & media arts major at Anderson University emphasizes the art of storytelling as the foundation for creating visual media. Students develop their skills in writing, producing, directing, cinematography, sound design, and editing. They learn from faculty and professionals who are specialists in their fields. While they develop as creative professionals, students produce portfolios demonstrating areas of specialization, as well as a broad skill set suitable for the ever-changing media landscape. This is a major that also can be helpful to students interested in video production, broadcast production, and broadcast and multimedia journalism.

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Black Bird Film Festival

The Black Bird Film Festival combines the feel of a movie premiere, a film festival, and an awards show. It celebrates the collaborative work of our cinema media arts, public relations, visual communication, and theater students.

Cinema and media arts majors spend countless hours writing scripts, planning scenes, directing a crew, filming, and editing. Students prepare their films and compete for a chance to win “Squawkies” for best film, director, editing, the audience’s choice award, and more. This red carpet event provides students the experience of screening their films on the big screen.

Program Overview

Cinema & Media Arts

Visual storytelling is central to filmmakers. Our cinema and media arts majors edit and distribute films through Black Bird Media Lab, which focuses on storytelling and gives our students the opportunity to complete film projects from start to finish. Students in the cinema and media arts program become skilled in the art of visual storytelling through hands-on learning in and out of the studio, working on their own films, and working on special projects through the Black Bird Media Lab.

Additionally, students can gain valuable skills in broadcasting through working on the set of Raven Watch, the sportscast platform of AU’s student newspaper. Raven Watch was a finalist for The College Media Association in the broadcasting category for its 2018 Pinnacle Awards, and Raven Watch was included in the Best Television Sportscast area.



  • Graduate with a BA in cinema & media arts in four years
  • Earn an 18-hour cinema & media arts minor

Black Bird Media Lab

Learn more about the film studio and distribution platform of Anderson Univeristy. View films of current students.



Classes in the cinema & media arts major include:

  • The Art of Storytelling
  • Screenwriting
  • Video/Cinema Concepts
  • Field, Soundstage, and Postproduction
  • Motion Graphics
  • Media and Society


Typically during your junior or senior year, you’ll have at least one internship with an organization doing the kind of work you aspire to do after college. Our majors also have the chance to spend a term in Hollywood through the CCCU’s Los Angeles Film Studies Center.



Our graduates are working professionally in roles like these:

  • Film/television editors
  • Screenwriters
  • Producers
  • Directors
  • Camera operator/photographer
  • Cinematographer
  • Promotions manager
  • Production assistant
  • Program manager
  • Traffic manager
  • Sound technician
  • Field producer

Filmmakers Camp

Learn more about AU’s week-long summer workshop for high school students. During the camp, students make a short film using Anderson University equipment and facilities.

Your AU Story Begins Now

Not only did the professors at AU prepare me for the field I desired to work in. They taught me character. They taught me that hard work, dedication, and a good attitude would take me far. And so far, their advice has propelled me further than I could have ever imagined.

Patience Randle, CLASS OF 2013

AU equipped me for spiritual resilience and a strong relationship with God. Living in Hollywood, I find it imperative to use our Christian gifts and talents to further God’s plan of redemption. We are in a unique position at the very epicenter of the world’s culture. It is our responsibility to create films that are glorifying and uplifting to God.

Chris Witt, CLASS OF 2003

I was heavily involved in dorm life and student leadership at AU. I was an RA, an officer in the Avanti Boosters Social Club, as well as a Student Manager at Covenant Productions. These experiences helped prepare me for the rough and tumble world of being a freelance filmmaker in Los Angeles. Plenty of late nights were spent making short films in the Valley, Dunn Hall, and Reardon, all while honing the interpersonal skills of working with a diverse group of thinkers. Today, I fill my time working on feature films, TV series, commercials, and digital content, and I wouldn’t be able to flourish had AU not been the first step in my journey.

Thom Newell, CLASS OF 2009


Let’s connect during your campus visit.

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  • Cinema and Media Arts
David Baird, an employee at Anderson University in Indiana

Dr. David Baird

Chair, Department of Communication & Design Arts; Professor of Communication

David Baird, an employee at Anderson University in Indiana
Dr. David Baird

David Baird, professor of communication, is the academic advisor for journalism students as well as faculty advisor for the student newspaper, the Andersonian. Special interests include political communication and media history, and one of the highlights of his professional career was interviewing Pem Farnsworth, who was working in the lab alongside husband Philo Farnsworth when he invented electronic television in 1927. Baird was associate producer for the Department’s A Ripple of Hope documentary, and his articles have appeared in Columbia Journalism ReviewQuillAmerican Journalism, and other publications.

Baird joined the Department of Communication Arts in 1990.

Contact Dr. Baird:

Professor of Communication
B.A., Anderson University
M.A., Wheaton College Graduate School
Ph.D., Purdue University

Jason Higgs, an employee of Anderson University in Indiana

Jason Higgs

Associate Professor of Visual Communication

Jason Higgs, an employee of Anderson University in Indiana
Jason Higgs

Jason Higgs joined the Department of Communication and Design Arts in 2015. He has won an Emmy® award as well as several Telly and Addy awards for his creative direction and storytelling. His teaching draws on his experience in all aspects of design, television, cinema and animation.

Contact Professor Higgs:

B.F.A. in Visual Communication, Herron School of Art/Indiana University
M.F.A. in Graphic Design/Video/Animation, Ball State University

Jack Lugar, employee at Anderson University in Indiana

Jack Lugar

Associate Professor of Cinema & Media Arts

Jack Lugar, employee at Anderson University in Indiana
Jack Lugar

Jack Lugar worked for more than a decade in Los Angeles as a television writer and producer. Jack’s writing credits include the Warner Bros./FOX sitcom “Wanda At Large,” “From the Top” for Family Theater Productions, and several projects for comedian Louie Anderson’s company, Louzell Productions. Most recently, he has been a panelist and/or jury member for Heartland International Film Festival, Indy Shorts, and International Mobile Film Festival.

His recent work includes the creation of the children’s chapter book series, Katz Pajamas, about an extraordinary cat detective, and his current project, writing the young adult fantasy series Sessi and the Gates to Hel. In addition, Jack is the author of the humor book The Starving Artist’s Diet and co-author of Hollywood Break-In: Launch your Entertainment Career. He also holds the distinction of being selected as a writer for the Warner Bros. Comedy Workshop and has received recognition from the Disney/ABC Writer’s Program, Slamdance, Scriptapalooza and The Page Awards.

Jack has been a guest lecturer and adjunct professor at Anderson University, Taylor University, Azusa Pacific University, and the Act One Writer’s Program in Los Angeles.

He joined the full-time faculty at Anderson in the fall of 2016 and teaches on the topics of screenwriting, TV writing, storytelling, cinema studies, and producing for film and television.

Contact Jack Lugar: jrlugar@anderson.edu
B.A., Taylor University
M.A., Regent University
J.D., Indiana University

Kris RInas, an employee at Anderson University in Indiana

Kris Rinas

Director of Studio and Technical Operations

Kris RInas, an employee at Anderson University in Indiana
Kris Rinas

Kris Rinas started his professional media career as a studio camera operator in local television news, and he spent five years in that business as a photojournalist, director and camera operator while he earned his B.A. in communications from California State University, Bakersfield. After he and his family moved to Indiana in 2006, he served for 13 years at Grace Church in Noblesville, where he had responsibilities in technical directing, training, and managing audio, video and lighting systems.

Kris has extensive experience producing large-scale live events, and each August he provides technical support for more than 700 remote sites in conjunction with the live broadcast of the Global Leadership Summit. He has trained hundreds of volunteers to operate professional A/V and lighting gear, and he has written articles for Church Production magazine.

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