The Film Academy Baden-Württemberg

The Ludwigsburger Film Academy is considered one of the best film schools in Germany. Officially known as the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy, the school's educational approach is exemplary. Its speciality is project-oriented learning in production teams under the aegis of proven experts from film and TV such as Nico Hofmann (Scenic Film) and Thomas Schadt (Documentary Film).

Additionally, the school's master class, which it runs in cooperation with the elite French film college LA FÈMIS, offers outstanding international opportunitites. This story interviews professors and students, visits the master class in Paris, and provides a look at work on final-exam projects in scenic film, documentary film, and animation.

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Author: Jobst Thomas
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Practical, team-oriented, concerned with quality, and international: these words describe the directors, producers, camera people, and screenplay authors of the future, and the four pillars of the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy's curriculum. Professors with leading positions in film and communications teach here, passing on their knowledge and experience directly to their students.

From the first semester on, students learn to think and act in a team-oriented fashion. There is no room in a film production for divas. A good film only gets made when all participants work well together.

The students begin to develop a distinctive artistic style early in their studies and to apply it to their film projects. However, the ability to compromise and willingness to learn are as important as self-confidence.

In an ever more unified Europe, international co-productions are becoming more and more common. The Film Academy supports this development with world-wide partnerships. The French-German master class constitutes a cornerstone of European cinema in Ludwigsburg.

Around 450 young people in nearly 20 subjects study at the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy. As a rule, students study for two years and then take part in a two-year project. The basic requirement for acceptance to the Academy is a high school degree. Additionally, applicants should have at least one year of practical experience in film and communications. Following a review of all documents and samples, such as treatments or videos, a commission invites the best-qualified applicants to the academy, where they take an exam and have a personal interview before the final decision is made. There is no "Numerus Clausus" or fixed admission requirement and the Academy costs nothing.

Together with the French film college LA FEMIS, the Academy also offers a master class for young people from all over Europe. Classes are held in both Ludwigsburg and Paris, where, in the district of Montmartre on the grounds of the former Pathé Studios, you can find the L’École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de L’Image et du Son. Eighteen young people from all over Europe participate in the one-year French-German master class for future film producers and distributors. The master class seeks to provide comprehensive, practice-oriented knowledge of European film with a focus on film development, financing, production, distribution, and marketing, as well as to create a network of young European producers, to encourage contacts to the French and German film industries, and to awaken curiosity about and enthusiasm for French and German language, culture, and mentality.

The master class curriculum consists of workshops and seminars, lectures, case studies, projects, and festival visits (Berlin, Cannes, Angers, Tübingen). It is divided into five blocks, two of which take place in Paris. At the end of the master class, the students produce short films as French-German co-productions, which are shown at festivals. Participants are up to 30 years old and all have degrees or have worked in film and communications. In the first weeks, instruction is simultaneously translated. After that, foreign language ability is generally sufficient.
Goethe-Institut e.V. 2006
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