Motion pictures, television shows, commercials, and educational videos are made everywhere. Hollywood and New York City are major cities in the USA with a large number of studios and with some production happening all the time. Around the world are other centers of creative productions.
Some of the best schools for filmmaking careers are in or near these cities, with many being in European countries. The best film schools in Europe can educate any filmmaker in the basics and quite a few of them offer degree programs that are among the best, and most prestigious, in the world.
One of the obstacles that hampers some aspiring filmmakers is getting a quality education in their own language. Thankfully, students in other lands and speaking other languages can get the education and they need to succeed in filmmaking anywhere.
Because the same principles apply to any film or TV studio, a graduate of a top film school anywhere in the world is equipped with the skills necessary to work anywhere in the world. Just look at how many award winning films or box office successes are made by filmmakers from places other than Hollywood or New York City in the USA.
Here is an overview of some of the best film schools in Europe.
Top 15 Best Film Schools In Europe!
One of the most prestigious film schools in Europe, if not the world, this school only accepts postgraduates wanting to continue on to their Master’s or a Ph.D. in their chosen discipline of filmmaking.
Located in London since 1966, the London Film School is international in scope. Only a small number of candidates are accepted each year and these candidates can come from anywhere in the world. This year, 60 % of the student body comes from some 30 different countries.
The LFS has various degree programs at postgraduate level. There is an MA in Filmmaking, and an MA in Screenwriting. Also offered, in partnership with the University of Exeter, are an MA in International Film Business and a PhD in Film by Practice. The London Film School also offers shorter and part-time professional development courses as LFS Workshops.
It functions more like a studio than a college. In the filmmaking Masters program, student will work on about 10 films before receiving their degree. On at least two of those films, the student will act as director. So, even if the student is wanting to be an award winning screen writer, cinematographer, or film editor, they will have real world experience in the other aspects of filmmaking.
The degree programs cover film and digital, and the primary language s English.
Also known as FAMU, the Academy located in Prague, Czech Republic, is one of the world’s top film universities offering a variety of degrees. Founded in 1946, it is also the fifth oldest film school in the world, behind Moscow, Berlin, Rome, and Paris.
Programs for Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D.’s are available in Directing, Documentary filmmaking, Scriptwriting and Dramaturgy, Animated Film, Cinematography, Sound Design, Editing, Production, Photography, and Audio Visual Studies.
This film school has taught some of the most active and awarded directors in major motion picture work through the decades.
Classes are primarily in Czech, but many English language studies are provided as well.
German schools have been powerhouses in the fields of art and engineering for a long time. The Munich University of Television and Film, Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München, was established in 1966. Besides being a top film school in Germany, it is considered one of the leading film schools in the world.
Student to teacher ration is less than 10:1 most semesters, a great environment for learning fundamentals and the deeper, insider knowledge and disciplines. Many grads have gone on to great success in film and TV, including winning awards such as Oscars.
Classes are conducted in German. Media and Communication Studies and Media Technology are two fundamental departments that each degree program includes. Other departments include Creative Writing, TV Journalism, Advertising, Serial Storytelling. Five degree programs are in Film and Television Drama Directing, Documentary Film and Television Reportage Directing, Film Production and Media Economics, Screenplay, and Cinematography.
4. La Fémis
La Fémis (Fondation Européenne pour les Métiers de l’Image et du Son), in Paris, was established in 1943 and restructured in 1986, and is a top rated film school in Europe and the world. Buildings on school grounds were part of motion picture studios since 1926.
The school has teaching departments in direction, screenwriting, picture, sound, editing, production, set design, script continuity, and distribution/exploitation. There is also a master workshop, a production program for advanced training. Courses are taught in French.
Another top rated film school, the Film School in Lodz, Poland was established in 1948 and is the leading Polish academy for training actors, directors, photographers, camera operators, and television production professionals.
The school teaches directors, directors of photography, animators, photographers, screenwriters, editors, film and television production managers, and actors. Students learn their chosen profession and gain experience by a mix of classroom study and work on real film sets.
Some of the most successful creative workers in film received their education through the Film School of Lodz.
The NFTS has more than 30 English language courses, including courses for certificates and Bachelors to Masters programs in the fields of film, television, and games.
It has more behind the camera courses than any other film school. Programs and courses include directing and cinematography as well as specialist disciplines such as script supervision and production accounting.
Opened in 1971, the site of the school is an old studio dating back to 1921. Diversity is an important aspect of the NFTS, with a large portion of the student body being comprised of minorities and women.
NFTS has its own film studios and its own television studio, both completely equipped with Industry standard equipment. Their studios have an annual production of around one hundred and fifty films, making this an ideal environment for learning the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful Film and TV career.
Russia has great schools, the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography was founded in 1919 as the Moscow Film School. It is the oldest film school in the world. It’s had the current name since 1986.
With all courses taught in Russian, students graduate with one of the best educations for all aspects of filmmaking. The graduates from this school have all the tools needed for a successful career.
To receive any information and apply, you will have to be fluent in Russian.
Italian National Film School (Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia), founded in Rome in 1935, is the oldest Western European film school courses of acting, screenplay writing, production design, animation, set design and costuming, cinematography, sound engineering, production, and editing.
Classes are taught in Italian. The Italian National Film School trains its students using 35mm equipment over a three year period. There are only 6 places available per class year, so understandably student selection is a competitive process. The results for graduates are well worth it, with the placement rate being extremely high in the film industry.
Classes are taught in Italian.
Norwegian Film School was opened in 1997 as Den Norske Filmskolen. It offers a three year Bachelors degree program in Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production design, Digital visual design, Screenwriting, Sound design/technique, and Documentary.
A Masters program in Audiovisual Storytelling is for anyone who works professionally in film, TV, and other media industry, and who wants to further develop their skills, qualifications, and overall marketability.
Studies are conducted in Norwegian, and the school even has artistic fellowships conducted in various state sponsored research departments.
The dffb was founded in 1966. As one of Germany’s oldest film schools, it has a long tradition of training creative and successful film industry professionals. “Ich bin ein Berliner” is still in the minds of many throughout the world, thought nowadays not so much for any political reason. Berlin is well known as an international center for creative arts of all kinds.
The dffb’s courses for professional film industry subjects are designed to focus on the primary skills of filmmaking, such as directing, scriptwriting, production, and cinematography. Courses are taught in German.
Students generally complete the course in 4 years, with participants in the directing course taking slightly longer in order to complete films that factor into their degrees. 34 students per year are enrolled.
Subjects covered include screenwriting, directing, producing and business skills for producers, writers and directors, introduction to distribution, marketing and exhibition, cinematography, camera operation, and editing.
In Moscow, Russia since 1949, GITR teaches people to become professionals in Film, TV, and Radio. You don’t have to be Russian to attend, but you will need to able to speak and read Russian.
Degrees are available across the board from this internationally acclaimed institute. Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D.’s are offered in various specialties of Film, Television, and Radio work. Programs include Journalism and Screenplay, Directing Film Television and Multimedia, Camera Operating, Sound Engineering and Music Art, Management and Producing, Stage Design for Theatre and Film and TV, and Animation.
This primarily Spanish language school focuses on the business side of the Film and TV industry. Established in 1991 in Barcelona, Spain, it offers a wide variety of learning options including several Masters degree programs.
With a stellar international reputation, this school has placement rates near 100% for its graduates. Some of the specialties taught include European Audiovisual Management and Marketing and International Distribution.
Opened in 1997 in Dublin, Ireland, the institute launched a film school in 2003. Studies include film, animation, broadcasting, and digital media production.
An English language school, the Institute has a large international student body on a fairly large campus. Bachelors degrees are offered in the various disciplines and the school enjoys a fine reputation in the international arts community.
A public university in Thessaloniki, Greece since 2004, it open for Greek citizens to attend at no charge. State sponsored, it the only University in Greece with degree programs in Film and Television. Classes are in Greek.
Greece has a performing arts industry dating back to the BCE years, and well trained Greek professionals continue to excel in this discipline. A Bachelors degree is available and student are taught in the areas of film-direction, film-production, film-writing, cinematography, editing, sound-design and music for film, sets and costumes, and film history and film theory.
15. Aalto University
Operating in Helsinki, Finland since 2010, Aalto University has degree programs in Film and Television studies.
Students are taught in Finnish and enjoy a mixed education of classroom and hands on real word training in their art. Bachelors and Masters are offered in such diverse disciplines as theatre and film costuming, cinematography, directing, producing, screenwriting, and film editing.
A well deserved high reputation in the international arts community, this university has trained many award winning and successful professionals in TV and Film. This is easily one of the best film schools in europe!
If I have missed any schools that you believe should be in the list, please let me know as I will update this article in the future!