About our program

The Film Department was organized and is run by James Dziedzic, one of America's most prolific and active independent film writer/directors. Since the inception of the program, the St. Michael's Film team has won the TAPPS State competition, as well as other film festival awards around the country. 

The St. Michael’s Catholic Academy film program follows a full four-year curriculum, modeled after university programs. Students create projects from scratch: they start from an idea and result in a finished film. All projects are student-led.
  • Film 1: A film studies class that uses examples of classic and important cinema to instruct students on how to digest long-form visual storytelling.
  • Screenwriting: Students learn how to write for a visual medium by creating a short film and a web series pilot.
  • Film & TV Production: This course focuses on the technical skills of how to shoot, light and record sound.
  • Editing: In this course, students take related images and cut them into a single narrative using, in part, Walter Murch's philosophy on editing. Murch wrote the text, “In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing.”
  • Film Critique: How to write about and evaluate the strength and importance of cinema.
  • Varsity Film - The Competition Class: Students create the school vlog “Sader View” and original short films.
Film instructor Jim Dziedzic is an expert in the field. In addition to teaching at St. Michael’s, he works in the industry, speaks at university film schools and film festivals, and runs the highly regarded Austin Revolution Film Festival. His expertise allows St. Michael’s students exposure and access to other experts in the field.
In addition to courses offered, St. Michael's hosts an annual Student Film Festival that is attended by student filmmakers from all over the country.

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