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Northwestern School of Communication

Student Experience

RTVF Department Student Organizations

Applause for a Cause

Applause for a Cause is a philanthropic, student-run film production company. Our members annually write, produce, direct, and edit a feature length film to premiere in May and to raise donations for the chosen beneficiary of that year. In the past we have worked with local and national organizations including the Make-A-Wish foundation, the Howard Area Community Center, and Connections for the Homeless.

The Blackout

The Blackout, Northwestern's Late Night Show, infuses Northwestern humor and the late-night structure to create a unique show capturing the Northwestern experience in a satirical light. The crew of 100+ students write, direct, and produce filmed and live sketches, scout out and book local talent for musical and performance guests, and throw one live-show for the student body per quarter. 

Illustrators and Animators

The Illustrators & Animators Club aims to serve the Northwestern animation community by supporting and promoting student animators. Our organization will educate and engage students in illustration and animation production with an emphasis on technical skills. We will enrich the Northwestern experience by providing a space for art and film enthusiasts to analyze, appreciate, and create visual narratives, including but not limited to 2D and 3D animation, storyboarding, comics, and video games. 

Multicultural Filmmakers Collective

The purpose of the Multicultural Filmmakers Collective is to nurture, promote, and ally multicultural student filmmakers at Northwestern University, as well as support student films that present multicultural concerns and experiences. We define multicultural as including, but not limited to, underrepresented races, ethnicities, and religions. In addition to general meetings, our programming includes film screenings, script workshops, and speaker events. 


Niteskool is the premier music management and video production group dedicated to finding and promoting the most talented musicians at Northwestern. We aim to bring these artists into the spotlight on campus and catapult them to success in the broader music industry. Niteskool Productions focuses on producing high-quality music videos to connect Northwestern students to their talented peers and provide otherwise unavailable opportunities to student musicians. Meanwhile, Niteskool Records focuses on managing student artists, with dedicated A&R members, a community marketing team, and giving artists opportunities to create their own videos, or create recorded performances at school events. Together, under the Niteskool banner, we serve to empower student artists and create a community where anyone can gain firsthand experience in the music industry! 

Northwestern Sketch Comedy Television (NSTV)

NSTV is the University’s premier sketch comedy group. Comprised of over sixty students, NSTV students write, direct, shoot, edit, promote, and act in their own sketches throughout the year. In addition to making content for the Internet and our annual premiere, NSTV produces two live comedy shows on campus, organizes educational comedy workshops/speaker events and produces an annual video for Dance Marathon, Northwestern’s largest philanthropic organization.

Northwestern University Women Filmmakers Alliance (NUWFA)

NUWFA is a student group dedicated to unifying, educating, and promoting female filmmakers at Northwestern, as well as in the Chicago area. NUWFA encourages the development of visual media created by women, aids women filmmakers in production and engages women as leaders in the Radio/Television/Film community.  Each year, NUWFA provides a grant to a short film project with a woman as the writer, director or producer. NUWFA also hosts an annual industry panel, drawing professionals from the L.A., New York and Chicago entertainment communities. Visit the NUWFA website for more information.

Studio 22

Studio 22 is an entirely student-run production company that exists to provide extracurricular filmmaking opportunities outside of coursework. Visit the Studio 22 website for more information. 

Co-curricular Opportunities

Block Cinema

The Block Cinema, located on-campus, screens classic and contemporary films, providing the students  with interests in classic and experimental films an opportunity to view cinematic masterpieces projected on film. Each quarter, Block Cinema offers a wide-variety of films on a specific theme, place or filmmaking genre; and frequently invites influential filmmakers to screen their work for the Northwestern community.

Writing Collaborations with Production Courses

Occasionally, RTVF students not currently enrolled in either production or writing courses will have an opportunity to contribute original screenplays to production courses. Recently, such collaborations have included the following topics: Bromance, Horror, Romantic Comedy (Love Hurts) and Directing Actors. These collaborations provide our talented writing students another chance to see their work produced on-screen. 

Writer’s Panel

Each year the School of Communication, in collaboration with the MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage Program, hosts a Writer’s Panel featuring notable Northwestern Alumni as well as influential writers from around the country.  This past featured talented artists: Kia Corthon (writer for The Wire and The Jury); Brad Hall (C80), writer, actor and director and creator of The Single Guy and Watching Ellie; Julia-Louis-Dreyfus (C83), actress and producer for shows such as Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine and Veep; Jacquelyn Reingold, playwright and writer for TV shows Smash and In Treatment; and Amanda Watkins, actress and producer, including Broadway shows Sweet Charity and Cabaret.

Study Abroad

Working with Northwestern’s Study Abroad Office, Radio/Television/Film students have the opportunity to pursue their study of media cultures and cinematic storytelling in the global community. Our majors have participated in programs in Denmark, Prague, England, France, Brazil, and New Zealand, among others.

For more information visit the Global Learning Office website or make an appointment with a Study Abroad Adviser.