For creative storytellers, filmmaking is one of the most rewarding avocations possible. Having a great idea is one thing, but the ability to tell that story is just as important.
The best film schools in the world give creative storytellers the ability to share their idea in the best possible way.
So many things go into film production. There is the story itself that requires skill in storyboarding and scriptwriting.
Making it look right is also part of what goes into a film. Cinematography or the lighting itself handles that. In addition to being able to see what’s happening, cinematography can also create a mood.
If you want to learn about these techniques and others like audio engineering, directing, and producing. Then the below list is a great place to start if you are looking for excellence!
29 Best Film Schools In The World To Study At In 2023
At or near the top of anyone’s list of best film schools in the world, the American Film Institute educates in a variety of ways. AFI holds workshops and programs for different groups and subjects throughout the industry.
AFI also operates the AFI Conservatory, a fully accredited film school. Awarding graduate degrees in the major aspects of filmmaking, AFI only accepts about 140 students per year.
The core studies are cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design, and screenwriting.
Much of the training and education is based on actual production work. Many of the instructors are working professionals in their disciplines.
Located near Hollywood, California, the AFI Conservatory has been running since 1969.
The classes produce more real films than any other graduate-level program of filmmaking. More than 80% of graduates become and remain working professionals in film. For this industry, that’s quite the retention level.
USC School of Cinematic Arts is one of the largest film education programs in the world, as well as being able to boast the most working after graduation.
The proximity to Hollywood, the world-class facilities, and top-level instructors make this film school a great place to learn about film in short-term programs, or in several undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Established in 1929, the school offers degrees in several disciplines of filmmaking such as:
- Film production
- Cinema and media studies
- Animation and digital arts
- Media arts and practice
- Interactive media and games.
In addition, are the business side of things, with degree programs in the entertainment business and production.
Founded in 1965, this art school was created with the idea of combining traditional research style learning with practical hands-on technical experience in the art.
The school offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a dual arts and business degree opportunity in conjunction with the NYU business school.
Programs include acting, dance, drama, performance studies, design for stage and film, musical theatre writing, photography, game design and development, and film and television studies.
In addition to these programs, NYU offers industry-specific workshops, adult continuing education classes, and high school vocational training.
BFA is the largest film school in Asia. Established in 1950, it offers a wide variety of degrees, Associates, Bachelors, and Masters.
Some of the degrees for studying are:
- Film theory
- Film directing
- Film and television production
- Film acting
- Film and television art design
- Sound art
- Entertainment management.
Interestingly to note, a few of the disciplines have Ph.D. programs.
The academy also has online courses, continuing adult education, and vocational training for younger students than university prospects.
UCLA was founded in 1919 as the southern branch of the University of California and has now become one of the gold standard institutes in the world to study at.
UCLA offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Film, TV, and Digital Studies, Animation, Cinema and Media Studies, Cinematography, Producing, Directing, and Screenwriting.
Additionally, there is also a Ph.D. program in Cinema and Media Studies.
The film school has many very successful alumni, some of whom come back for guest lectures. Internships are also available, as are continuing education courses for established professionals.
Perhaps you may have heard about Walt Disney? This is the school Disney and other luminaries of the arts set up in 1961.
As you might expect from the founder, CalArts is one of the best film schools in the world for animation. Animation is taught in film, TV, and computer media.
Other degree programs include music, art, dance, film and video, theater, puppetry, and writing.
Also associated with CalArts are schools of music, theater, and dance. A cross-disciplinary approach is encouraged, allowing students to become firmly grounded in entertainment arts.
National Film School opened in 1971 with various workshops and other structured and open classes. It currently offers several diplomas, as well as continuing studies and shorter courses.
Degrees, including graduate degrees, are offered in a huge number of disciplines related to the entertainment industry:
- Composing for Film and television
- Creative Business for Entrepreneurs and Executives
- Digital Effects
- Directing Animation
- Directing and Producing Science and Natural History
- Directing and Producing Television Entertainment
- Games Design and Development
- Sales and Exhibition
- Sound Design.
Those are the graduate programs! Diploma courses are also given in other technical aspects of film making, like camera operation, focus pulling, graphics, and model making.
FAMU is the 5th oldest film school in the world, established in 1946. Most courses are taught in the Czech language, with some in English.
Bachelor, master’s, and doctoral programs are offered in:
- Documentary filmmaking
- Animated Film
- Sound Design
- Audio Visual Studies.
Besides the degree programs, FAMU has various shorter courses for vocational or continuing education. Some of the most successful filmmakers across Europe have trained at FAMU.
Located in New York since 1948, this Ivy League school is one of the more degree programs for filmmaking.
Masters degrees are offered in:
- Creative producing
- Stage management
- Theatre management
- Digital media
- Video art.
Staff and professors are some of the best in the entertainment arts, offering their experience and knowledge in a very useful way.
Film majors at this school actually write, film, direct, edit, and produce their own films in the course of their studies here.
In 2013, Wesleyan added a new department, College of Film and the Moving Image, taking over from the older film studies departments already in existence.
Wesleyan cooperates with universities worldwide to enable students to add to or complete their degree programs in France, Italy, Spain, and Japan.
Degrees are available as undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate.
Toronto is Canada’s center for film, fashion, and design, making this an ideal location for a film school.
It offers diploma programs in:
- Acting for Film
- TV and the Theatre
- Film Production
- Writing for Film and TV
- Video Game Design and Animation
- Video Game Design and Development
- Fashion Design
- Marketing for Fashion and Entertainment
- Graphic Design
- Interactive Media.
These courses can be completed in as little as 12 to 18 months of on-campus work and study.
London Film School is an institute that awards graduate and postgraduate degrees in the disciplines of filmmaking.
Established in 1956, students at this school work on 10 films in their studies, taking part in all aspects of the art and craft of cinema.
The degree programs are in Filmmaking, Screenwriting, International Film Business, and Film Practice.
Besides the degree programs, LFI holds periodic workshops and seminars for returning established film professionals to advance and enhance their skills.
13. La Fémis
In operation since 1896, this may be one of the oldest film schools in existence.
Taught in French, the school has a four-year course of study and application that prepares students for a career in any discipline of filmmaking.
Students are able to go to work right away as directors, screenwriters, producers, editors, cameramen, sound engineers, decorators, script supervisors, distributors, and exhibition managers or executives.
In their first year, students study all aspects of the craft. In the second and third years, they study and work in their chosen specialty. In the fourth year, they work on actual films.
14. Lodz Film School
Created in 1948, Lodz trains and educates students to become actors, directors, photographers, camera operators, and TV staff.
Lodz offers a varied group of degrees in the film arts, with graduate and postgraduate degrees available. Students learn the disciplines through a mix of classroom studies and real-world work experience on actual film projects.
Aspiring filmmakers in Russia can learn the art and craft of film and TV production work by studying theory in the classroom and by doing actual work on real films.
Founded in 1919, it is the oldest film school in the world. All classes are taught in Russian, and citizens who meet all the requirements can attend at no charge.
Internationally renowned, this school founded in 1960 is the top film school in India. Offering postgraduate degrees in directing, the school trains aspiring directors in all parts of the filmmaking job.
Besides film direction, other courses include:
- Film editing
- Sound engineering
- Art direction
- Computer graphics
- Feature film scriptwriting
- Electronic cinematography
- Video editing
That way, a graduating director will be able to control all aspects of cinema.
Opened in 1995, this institute is one of the largest stand-alone film schools in the world. The degree program is for postgraduates.
Additionally, available courses include direction in screenplay, sound, editing, cinematography, writing, producing, sound engineering, and animation.
Full studios and labs are right on campus, as well as being affiliated with several production companies in India.
Digital Academy offers graduate and postgraduate degree programs in collaboration with Mumbai University and the University of Westminster in the UK.
Established in 2002, DA Film School offers degrees in Acting, Film Making, Film and Television Direction, Film and Television Editing, Sound Recording and Engineering, Cinematography, and Screenplay Writing.
For students from India, the school provides guidance and placement for work after graduation.
The oldest western European film school, the Italian National Film School (Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia), was established in 1935.
Taught in Italian, classes include acting, screenplay writing, production design, animation, set design and costuming, cinematography, sound engineering, production, and editing.
Only six spots are open each year, making this film school rather exclusive.
Established in 1966, one of the most attractive aspects of this degree-awarding university is the very low student-to-teacher ratio. This gives students a great opportunity to learn the deeper parts of film and TV.
It offers degree programs in Film and Television Drama Directing, Documentary Film and Television Reportage Directing, Film Production and Media Economics, Screenplay, and Cinematography.
Located in one of the busiest centers for business and the arts, the school also affords its graduate students the opportunity to make connections with industry leaders across Europe.
Opened in 1997, the Norwegian Film School invites working professionals to complete a graduate degree in their field. This can give an established filmmaker extra marketability.
Undergraduate degrees are available in Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design, Digital visual design, Screenwriting, Sound Design and Technique, and Documentary.
Located in Russia, you do not have to be a Russian citizen to attend this school. But you do have to speak and read fluently in Russian to get anything out of the classes.
Established in 1949, the school has degree programs for undergrads, grads, and postgrads in 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.
Australia’s leading screen arts and broadcasting school, the AFTRS was founded in 1973. It offers degrees in various aspects of film and TV as well as radio and web-based formats.
Degrees are Masters and Bachelors in their chosen fields as well as shorter diploma and certificate courses in different technical specifications.
The courses available are in TV, Directing, Producing, Composing, Screenwriting, Cinematography, Editing, Design, and Radio.
AFTRS is one of the only film and broadcast schools in the world to have instruction for all of the specializations under one roof. Full facilities are on campus for students to perform actual work in their study major.
Located in Sydney, it takes a very limited number of new students each year. Studies are available online or on campus, and a variety of shorter courses are also on tap for working professionals.
Launched in 2004, the Sydney Film School is a very selective school with a limited number of openings per course term.
There are two basic courses offered. The Diploma of Screen and Media, and The Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media.
Within these courses is an instruction in Directing, Cinematography, Design, Documentary, Editing, Producing, Screen Studies, Screenwriting, and Sound.
Students can transfer the credits from these diplomas to other universities to complete undergrad and graduate degrees in their chosen field of specialization.
The film and media school offers instruction in producing, screenwriting, digital media, and cinema.
Tel Aviv University was founded in 1956 and has many classes taught in the English language. Degrees for undergraduates and graduates, as well as diplomas and continuing education, are offered in almost fields of study you might be interested in, from law and medicine to the arts and business.
Special international programs are offered in cooperation with schools from the United States, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.
Operating in Seoul, South Korea since 1984, KAFA offers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees in directing, cinematography, producing, and animation.
A program of continuing education for returning professionals is conducted on campus and consists of new studies, hands-on work, and seminars.
KAFA is one of the premier film schools in Asia, accepting only a limited number of students for any of its programs.
Offering undergraduate degrees and other diplomas in South Africa since 1973, SAE has classes in animation, filmmaking, sound production, gaming, and web design.
Educational partners with major companies such as Adobe, Audient, Avid Learning, and Steinberg, SAE is poised to assist filmmakers not only master their art and crafts but also to be able to transition into the workforce immediately after graduating.
A state-of-the-art campus and actual film and media professionals as teachers guarantee a full learning experience for students.
A degree offering of undergraduate in several different specialties of film and TV are available in this school in operation since 1978. Fully accredited, the school is one of the premier schools on the continent.
A unique school in one of the more unique settings for any film school, the NFT Institute provides students with the opportunity to excel in the filmmaking arts anywhere in the world after graduation.
The best film schools in the world all have a few basic things in common. The desire of the staff to transfer education in the art of filmmaking to a new batch of aspiring artists. Whether desiring a degree or just the training, any of these schools could work for you.
Sound is a major part of modern film. Audio engineering can be very technical. Adding in any type of effect, visual or audio also requires extensive skill. Editing is much more than cutting and pasting, it can change the story itself.
Putting it all together into a finished form requires knowing how to do all of those things, plus how to direct all the other aspects. Directing is one of the more vital aspects of filmmaking. Production and the business side of things matter, too.
The best film schools in the world can teach you all of those things. Plus, many of them give you actual filmmaking work experience as you’re learning everything else. Some are degree programs, some focus on the training experience. Any one of them might be the right choice for you.