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What Is the Alternative to Hollywood: Film Academies From the UK to Budapest

By tradition, we believe that they stock films in the United States, which means we should learn to make them there. However, this is not true. European cinema is also developing, and at a high level, it teaches the art of making films. How about the alternative variants of studying film art in Europe?

From Berlin to Poland: In What Academies Can We Study There?

The German Film and Television Academy celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. This small educational institution is located in the same building as the Berlin Museum of Cinema and attracts only twenty-four students a year in four areas: directing, cinematography, producing, screenwriting. You can enter the Academy only two times and only to those applicants 21 years old.

The next university is located in the homeland of Queen Elizabeth II. You can study at the National School of Film and Television in many directions, among which the most popular is directing feature and documentary films, camera work, producing, screenwriting, sound engineering.

This year, the structure of the school was updated and expanded, increasing the number of faculties and studios. For example, you can now study “Creative Production of Digital Platforms.”

The school offers short-term courses (from several days to two weeks), courses with a certificate (2-5 months), and diploma programs (designed for a year and a half, but are available only to citizens of Britain and the EU). Many entrants need some help with the application essay that they need to submit here. essay writing service helps them to succeed in this complex process. 

Then, Modern Dutch cinema is distinguished by a modest but original style. The Ministry of Culture of the Netherlands allocated 20 million euros for the development of national cinema. We have allocated finance for two years, said Maria van der Hoeven, Minister of Culture. Of the total amount, they allocated 13 million to any films, regardless of their content and quality, the remaining 7 million euros – to create a highly artistic elite cinema.

While studying for bachelor’s programs at the Nederlandse Filmacademie, you can get the profession of a feature film director, documentary director, producer, sound engineer, production designer, film director, special effects creator, or screenwriter.

Also, the Academy has a two-year master’s program “Artistic research in and through film,” candidates with two years of experience in the profession and with a wide variety of backgrounds from contemporary art to the theory of literature can enter it. The program aims to expand the cinema language and create a professional platform for the experiment.

Every second Wednesday at the film academy, free open lectures are held with the participation of international experts from the cinema and related disciplines.

How about studying in Poland? Slavic language and proximity to the homeland can affect the choice of the country of study. For those who are not strong in English and are not ready to spend millions for several years of master’s programs, it is worth taking a closer look at neighboring Poland. The best film education in the country is provided by the Leon Schiller Higher State School of Cinema, Television, and Theater in Lodz. But the whole world calls her in short – “Film School in Lodz.”

The list of famous graduates is impressive. Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kislevsky, Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi, and others started here in their careers. At the school, a bachelor’s degree + master’s degree (full-, part-time) and Ph.D. are available. Unlike British educational institutions, the film school in Lodz mainly offers five-year education (3 years of undergraduate + 2 years of master’s program in one program). But there are several postgraduate areas.

What About Some More Exotic European Places?

In the far northern Iceland, whose population barely exceeds 300 thousand people, are also taught to make movies. This may be suitable for those who want to express themselves in the cinema calmly. For those who prefer a conditional arthouse to conditional Hollywood, a brief “seclusion” on the northern island among like-minded people will surely be to their taste. Fortunately, there are only two-year programs at the Icelandic Film School.

There are no specialties, comprehensive training. Students master dozens of skills needed for filmmaking while honing their core competencies. 

For example, a graduate of the Department of Screenwriting and Directing can work as a screenwriter, screenwriter, assistant director, director, casting director, and so on. They practice all these skills in studying. Given that in the labor market, professionals of a wide profile feel better and narrow specialists are left behind, this approach seems relevant.


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