When explaining why I chose to study an MA in Film Studies at the University fo Amsterdam, a mix of personal and professional arguments come together, all bound by an intense enthusiasm that holds my decision together. I’ve been a film buff ever since I can remember, an obsessive one. When I chose to study art history I was lucky film was a part of the curriculum, art & film were always part of my academic and personal interests. In 2001 I moved to Amsterdam to study museology, I was very far from knowing I would end up pursuing an MA in film studies. I contemplated the idea many times until I finally made up my mind: the University of Amsterdam was the indisputable place for me to follow a Film Studies MA program.
I chose to study at the University of Amsterdam because the program places film within media studies and therefore offers a complete and up to date program where one can both dwell on the theory of film but also have a very actual approach by looking into the archaeology of the medium. Besides, there is the possibility of making the program more personal by choosing subjects that adequate to each students personal interests, in my case it really helped placing film within other fields of study such as new media and new technologies. Once the program started, one of the aspects that thrilled me the most were the combination between master lectures, home readings, assignments and group sessions, by working with others the program not only allows to develop high end academic skills but it also makes it possible to interact with great people who become new personal or professional contacts. Having the opportunity to study at such a prestigiuous institution with such a long history and memorable historical buildings is a once in a life time experience.
After having had some years of professional training in the contemporary arts, the University of Amsterdam Film Studies MA gave me a very complete and comprehensive ground to further develop my academic interests but also to reposition my intellectual perspective: it rebooted my art & film interests in a very inclusive and challenging manner.
When considering the cultural panorama in Amsterdam, perhaps film and new media activities stand out compared to other arts in the city. Private and public institutions, as well as private curatorial iniciatives offer an ideal place for experiencing film in its most traditional and contemporary forms. So, when following the program, one can also plunge into the city’s cultural life and be part of a a very unique alternative film scene and at the same time, of a new media and technology oriented one. The size of the city makes it possible to embrace all of these activities, everything is close by and easy to reach by a bicycle.
During the MA I could go deep into all of my research interests to finally choose one for my MA thesis. I chose the topic of cell phone made films, a very new an challenging subject matter that was always fully supported by my thesis supervisor. The university’s research facilities made it possible to do research from home or any other place in the world. After I graduated I had all the support from my supervisor to help me publish academic articles and participate in international conferences.
I currently live in Bogota, Colombia where I’m using my academic skills acquired at the University of Amsterdam during the MA program; not only the academic skills, also the unique combination of film & media studies are playing in my advantage when it comes to offering lectures and courses in an academic level. The decision to complete the MA was not only intellectually enriching but also a step forward in my professional career.