They don’t offer basic moviemaking courses like cinematography or editing. Professors don’t help students perfect their elevatorpitches to studio bigs. The word “film” isn’t even part of the program’s title.
And yet, when the Academy Awards ceremony takes place Sunday, the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University will get the kind of close-up that is sure to raise its profile. Three films by former VES classmates — Joshua Oppenheimer, Jehane Noujaim, and Richard Rowley — are among the five nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature.