Does The World Need Another Film School?
The answer to this question is “no” and “yes”. The world does not need another generic film school. There are many available throughout the world. However, there are no film schools (that I am aware of) with the central vision and purpose being the artistic and spiritual empowerment of its students; and certainly, none with an Orthodox, Patristic Vision of Art and Man’s relationship with Beauty.
The vision of Theoria College of Filmmaking is to equip, inspire and prepare a generation of actors, writers and directors to create profound works of art for the life of the world. The great Russian novelist, Dostoevsky said, “Beauty Will Save the World”. What is this beauty? Is it not the Mercy of the Great Physician? The Suffering of the Most Excellent Artist? The Mysteries of the Eternal Poet? The Revelations of the Master of Story? In the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, the artist discovers the Story of the Divine-Martyr, the Hero of Heroes, the Suffering-Victory of the Logos. Walking the same path of self-emptying love for the world, the artist begins to experience synergy with the Holy Spirit and create genuine works of art.
We are not preparing our students to preach, but to reveal; not to be polemical filmmakers—but poets of cinema. Theoria College is a place where craft and spirit meet and work hand in hand. Our dream is to equip young filmmakers with the vision, courage, faith and skill to make works of art in the tradition of Andrei Tarkovsky, Terrence Malick, Mel Gibson and Christopher Nolan.
It has been said that “Theology cannot be taught—it can only be caught”. The same is true with art. Ultimately, it has to be “caught” and experienced personally, as a revelation. Therefore, Theoria’s primary goal is to create an atmosphere where this mystery can be glimpsed, caught and personalized in the lives of each student.
Saint Porphyrios says, “For a person to become a Christian, he must have a poetic soul. He must become a poet.” The world cannot see Christ through ideology or intellectualism—but it can experience Him through poetry, parable and revelation. More than ever, the world needs Artists who possess an authentic vision and experience of Beauty. Is it not the same in our times, as it was in Christ’s? The world needs the Grace of Parables.
Theoria College of Filmmaking is committed to the timeless vision of Beauty, Goodness and Truth.
~ Jonathan Jackson
Theoria College of Filmmaking is a subsidiary of St. Athanasius of Academy of Orthodox Theology which was founded in the State of California in 1976 and is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
In 2021, the St. Athanasius Board voted to establish Theoria College of Filmmaking and designate Jonathan Jackson as the Associate Dean of the college. Theoria College was established to equip, inspire, and prepare a new generation of actors, writers, and directors.