Australian Film, Television and Radio School
Australia’s pre-eminent screen arts and broadcasting school benefits from a beautiful setting in one of the most pleasant parts of Sydney, as well as a wealth of industry faculty and connections to the country’s functioning film and television world. Notable alumni include Jane Campion (Power of the Dog), last year’s Academy Award nominee for Best Director, and Black Widow filmmaker Cate Shortland, as well as a number of previous Academy Award nominees and winners in technical categories, such as David White (sound editing for Mad Max: Fury Road), Andrew Lesnie (camera for Lord of the Rings) and Tony McNamara (Best Original Screenplay with The favourite).
Centro de Capacitacion Cinematografica (Mexico)
Mexico’s most prestigious film school prides itself on the gender parity of its student body (a goal it first achieved in 2020) and its track record of cultivating world-class professionals, including Black widow Cameraman Gabriel Beristain, Brokeback Mountain Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, Oscar-nominated production designer Felipe Fernández del Paso (Frieda) and director Tatiana Huezo, making her feature film debut Prayers for the stolen made it onto the international shortlist for the 2022 Oscar.
Experimental Center of Cinematography (Italy)
Europe’s oldest film school (founded in 1935 under Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime), Italy’s national film school offers three-year degree programs covering the full range of upper and lower careers, from directing, acting, production, screenwriting, animation and set design. Classes are small (about six per class, with a full 14 for the acting course, split evenly between males and females) but a good knowledge of Italian and English is a must. The school also operates branches in the Italian regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Sicily.
German Film and Television Academy (Germany)
Berlin’s celebrated film school, which has numerous graduates from blockbuster director Wolfgang Petersen (The boat, Air Force One), to the art house darlings Christian Petzold (barbara) and Emily Atef (3 days in Quiberon), prides itself on a bespoke, handcrafted approach to filmmaking that doesn’t ignore the realities of the global industry. The DFFB recently added new educational programs including Next Wave, a nine-month training course focused on using international film festivals – including Cannes, Berlin and Rotterdam – to improve the sales, distribution, marketing and screening of indie films to promote.
ECAM’s focus on hands-on skills and industry connections makes it a favorite for those looking for a quick start in the business. Its professional curriculum includes masters programs in color and digital grading and executive production for films and series, as well as an annual ECAM Series Market where TV screenwriting masters students present their final projects to Spanish industry professionals.
Film Academy Vienna (Austria)
The #MeToo wave shook Austria’s leading film school earlier this year, when school leaver, director Katharina Mückstein, made allegations against the film academy and (unnamed) employees of abuse. Academy leaders Danny Krausz and Oliver Kunz issued a statement condemning “all forms of abuse and discrimination” and vowed to investigate Mückstein’s allegations, but media attention has damaged the school’s solid reputation as one of the world’s leading art house Institutions somewhat tarnished Writers can learn directly from the masters, including Professor Michael Haneke (the Oscar-winning director of love) and Cannes regular Jessica Hausner (Little Joe).
La Femis (France)
This Paris-based state film school is known for its thoroughness and comprehensive application process (detailed in Claire Simon’s 2016 documentary Le Concours), but it’s hard to argue with the results. La Fémis alumni include master authors Claire Denis, Costa Gavras and François Ozon, as well as a new generation who’s who including 2021 Palme d’Or winner Julia Ducournau (titanium) and Eskil Vogt, the Norwegian director and screenwriter whose screenplay for The worst person in the world, co-written with Joachim Trier, received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay this year. The school president of La Fémis is none other than The artist Director Michel Hazanavicius.
Lodz Film School (Poland)
Founded after World War II, the Lodz Film School has helped write the history of Polish cinema, with graduates such as pioneers Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieślowski to the current generation of pioneering directors such as Malgorzata Szumowska (Never snow again) and Jan Komasa (The body of Christ). The school offers full-time and part-time courses in film and television directing, cinematography, motion picture art, television production and acting. Fluency in Polish is required, but those who pass the entrance exam qualify for a one-year Polish language course prior to commencing studies.
National Film and Television School (UK)
It’s been another busy year for the UK’s best-known film school, which over the past six months has expanded its offering by collaborating with Warner Bros. Discovery to launch an “industry-first” virtual production course, with Amazon Prime in a flagship three – year-long collaboration that will enroll 75 students in a new program and a new production accounting diploma with Disney. The school has also done its bit to improve diversity, with 32 percent of its 2022 student cohort coming from diverse ethnic backgrounds, the highest number to date. It was also a good year for alumni, with alumni including Lewis Arnold, who became a BAFTA winner and directed Best Miniseries timeNatalie Holt becomes the first female composer in the war of stars universe thanks to their work Obi Wan Kenobiand Richard Flynn is doing the sound mix for the awards-season darling The power of the dog. The NFTS also added another Oscar to its collection, with graduate Aneil Karia claiming the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film The long goodbyewith Riz Ahmed, during his animation graduation Don’t feed the pigeons by Antonin Niclass won the BAFTA for British Short Animation.
National Film School of Denmark
Being fluent in Danish and a steep (for European film schools) tuition fee of around $25,000 (€20,000) per semester for non-EU citizens means Denmark’s leading film school isn’t for everyone. In fact, the institution only accepts one or two international students per year. But the training at the Copenhagen-based academy remains among the best in the world, as evidenced by recent Oscar wins for graduate Mikkel EG Nielsen (Best Film Editing for sound of metal) and Thomas Vinterberg (Best International Feature Film for Another round).
Film School Prague (Czech Republic)
The English-speaking film school in Prague strives to combine the artistic ambition of European auteur cinema with a practical, American indie approach to filmmaking. The curriculum is modeled after on-set training, with each student working on up to 30 productions per year. Famous graduates include eternal actor Sebastian Viveros, gold Cameraman Ross Giardina, manhole boy Cinematographer Jay Oza and Ananya Rane, a second unit director of the Netflix action extraction and Oscar-nominated Lion.
SAE Institute (Switzerland)
While most European film schools embrace the authorial approach to artistic expression, SAE in Zurich deepens the technical skills needed to break through in the global entertainment business. SAE offers one- to three-year programs in everything from audio engineering and digital film production to VFX and 3D animation. As part of a global network of campuses and facilities – there are SAE institutes in 50 cities in 20 countries worldwide, including Nashville, Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Chicago – graduates have unparalleled access to industry experts worldwide.
Sam Spiegel Film and TV School (Israel)
Israel’s first independent film university – supported by the estate of legendary Austrian-Jewish producer Sam Spiegel (On the waterfront, Lawrence of Arabia) – the Jerusalem-based institution counts Berlin Golden Bear winner Nadav Lapid (synonyms, Ahed’s knees), Oscar winner László Nemes (son of Saul) and Yaelle Kayam, creator of the Netflix hit Shtisel, among its alumni, and is famous for its hands-on approach to filmmaking. Around 75 percent of graduates are employed in industry. This year, the school launched a new Series Lab initiative with Netflix and Paramount, in which Israeli creators partner with international TV professionals to develop high-end series. Hagai Levi (Scenes from a Marriage, In treatment) has joined the new program as an artistic advisor.
Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
Victoria University of Wellington’s Miramar Creative Center happens to be right next to the sprawling facilities of Peter Jackson’s film empire, which includes Weta Group, Park Road Post and Stone Street Studios, making fellowships, internships and crossover work experience commonplace students and graduates. The facility and its programs are geared toward intensive, hands-on training using state-of-the-art technology for a seamless transition to professional use.
Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly Ryerson University
Canadian director Atom Egoyan is the first writer-in-residence in Toronto Metropolitan University’s new two-year MFA program in Screenwriting and Story Design. The sweet afterlife The director will mentor and teach screenwriting students and promote the film program offered by the School of Image Arts, whose recent alumni include Andrew Cividino, Nicole Dorsey and Brandon Cronenberg. Elsewhere at TMU, the Image Arts: Film program added an integrated digital option to cover film, animation, virtual reality, creative coding, projection mapping, digital media installations, and 3D modeling. Ryerson was renamed TMU to eliminate the legacy of Egerton Ryerson, who designed Canada’s infamous boarding school system that separated 150,000 Indigenous children from their parents and families in order to erase their First Nations culture and history.
This story first appeared in the August 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to login.