The ifs internationale filmschule köln is a full study and professional training institution with an artistic-scientific focus serving aspiring media professionals.
On the initiative of the NRW state government and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW the school was founded in 2000 as a non-profit company, the Film- und Medienstiftung being the sole principal partner of the ifs. The ifs is consistantly ranked as one of the best film schools in Germany, based on its outstanding student support, excellent teaching and project work, and active festival participation, including a Student Academy Award.
The ifs’ portfolio covers Bachelor’s programs in Screenwriting, Directing, Creative Producing, Director of Photography, Editing Picture & Sound, VFX & Animation, and Production Design, as well as international Master’s programs in Serial Storytelling, Digital Narratives, 3D Animation for Film & Games and – since 2021 – Entertainment Producing and Film. The study programs are carried out in cooperation with the TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. In addition, there are several professional training programs for media professionals ranging from Acting to Masterclass Non-Fiction.
Individual and intensive supervision is the core focus of the study and professional training programs at the ifs. For this reason, the organizational framework is structured on small numbers of students and a 2-year admissions cycle to the programs. The education and training is focused on combining a foundation of scientific-theoretical and technical skills with artistic hands-on project work. The film studies program is thereby aligned with the principles of narrative film and storytelling. The combination of professional specialization and interdisciplinary cooperation is characteristic for the education at the ifs. Early on, students work together with all the crafts involved in the filmmaking process, thereby generating important contacts in the industry already during their studies. Close collaboration with national and international teachers from both the industry and academia guarantees the students a first-class education, comparable to international standards.
The courage and will to promote ongoing development and change is what distinguishes the ifs. The school enjoys a constant flow of impulses and inspiration through its close collaborations in all the fields of the audiovisual landscape as well as through an ongoing critical evaluation of its study and professional training programs. The primary focus lies on the media developments and innovations of the future. The ifs offers its students an innovative media education that imparts the artistic and technical skills and foundation for professional filmmaking and thereby integrating new technological developments as well as promoting and conveying aesthetic and dramaturgical potential.
The school is a member of CILECT, the International Association of Film and Television Schools, and cultivates partnerships with a global network of film schools and universities.