» Dezso Magyar
Professor, Senior Associate Dean and Chief Academic Officer, Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Dezso Magyar
Office Location:
Marion Knott Studios 358
Office Hours:
by appointment only
(714) 997-6559
University of Theatre, Film and Television, Budapest, Master of Fine Arts
Eotvos Lorand University, Juris Doctor
Pressured by his father to become a lawyer, Dezso Magyar studied law by day and music by night, hoping to pursue his own dream of a life in the arts.

A chance trip to the movies changed everything. Touched "by the music of the images in Fellini's La Strada," he finished his J.D. and then earned an M.F.A. at the Hungarian Theater and Film University.

Because his directing choices were controversial, political pressure led Magyar to the United States, where he continued to write, direct and produce some critically acclaimed films. He was invited to be a Filmmaker-in-Residence at the American Film Institute, where he later became the Director then Chair of its prestigious Conservatory. He also led the Canadian Film Center in Toronto before coming to Chapman as associate dean.

Magyar credits his training in both music and law with helping shape his views as a filmmaker. "In the law," he says, "everybody has a point of view. The truth of a story or a character is not black and white. Music," he adds, "teaches you compositional sense." And in the end, as any good filmmaker knows, it's the ebb and flow of images, the symphony of the story that moves us most.