An international orientation has been an essential part of the profile of the ifs internationale filmschule köln from the very beginning. During the past years, the expansion of internationality has been among the most important strategic aims. So now, there are numerous bilateral exchange programs, multilateral projects and international master’s programs. In addition, the school is an active member of CILECT, the International Association of Film and TV Schools, and its subdivision GEECT.
Bilateral Exchange Programs
In respect to focusing on respective career possibilities and the expansion of international activities and cooperations, the ifs has established a “mobility window” that creates room for internships and a semester abroad. In the meantime, there is a considerable number of international university cooperations to choose from. There have been bilateral exchange programs with Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts (DIMA) in South Korea, Université Saint-Joseph in Lebanon, Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, Beit Berl College in Israel, Academy of Film and Multimedia Marubi in Albania, Department of Cinema and Digital Media of Izmir University of Economics in Turkey as well as Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University in Kyrgyzstan.
During these exchanges, students learn to broaden their horizons and to deal with foreign cultures.
Several of our exchange programs have been awarded funding from the German Federal Foreign Office, CILECT, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
The ifs offers its students optional participation in European education program during their studies and has participated in a large number of multilateral European projects in recent years.
The European training program ESSEMBLE, which is supported by Erasmus+, consists of several workshops that teach the integration of visual effects into the narrative process. The program has been run since 2011 by the Universidade Lusófona in Lisbon, the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) in Budapest and the LUCA School of Arts, Sint-Lukas in Brussels and the ifs internationale filmschule köln. ESSEMBLE provides film and animation students with basic and in-depth knowledge in the field of digital arts. The focus is on the development of innovative aesthetics that combine computer-generated images with real-life shots – taking into account the essential role of material development. The first run of ESSEMBLE took place from September 2011 to April 2012. During one semester the students of the partner schools produced four short films. The project work was accompanied by four one-week workshops on Story Development, Visual Style, Digital Cinematography and Visual Effects, which were held alternately at the four partner schools. In January 2012, the ESSEMBLE film “The Bench” was shot in Cologne, an episode film with maritime motifs consisting of both real and animated images. This was followed in 2013 by the ESSEMBLE film “Pursuit of Heaven”, 2014 “Light Game” and 2015 “Perfect Fit”. The fifth run of the program started in autumn 2015.
ESSEMBLE website: essemble.ulusofona.pt
CIAKL (Cinema and Industry Alliance for Knowledge and Learning) is an EU-funded program aimed at fostering entrepreneurship among film students and graduates. The network of partners includes Universidade Lusófona in Lisbon, the University of Theatre and Film (SZFE) in Budapest, Universidade de Vigo in Spain, and Tallinn University Baltic Film and Media School in Estonia, along with several international industry partners. Set up as part of the CIAKL program, the pilot project ifs Media Entrepreneurship Lab took place from October 2012 until February 2013. Together with European partners from industry and the above listed European partners from academia, the project was designed to test and develop didactic methods for entrepreneurship education in the artistic and practical education and training of media professionals.
So far, there have been multilateral projects like A Triangle Dialogue (2007-2008) – a documentary workshop, realised by Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem, Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw and ifs. There, a compilation of documentary short films was created. During the summer school People on Sunday for students of UCLA and alumni of ifs (2010-2011), German-American teams made short films and presented them as a compilation. Hives (2012) was a multinational episodic film made by students from five film schools: the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb, the Sam Spiegel School in Jerusalem, the National Film and Television School/UK, and the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague.
International Master´s Degrees and other Programs
The ifs offers international master’s programs within a range of notable European partners.
The MA Serial Storytelling was first launched in autumn 2013. This international master’s program enables talented screenwriters*, producers*, directors* and other media professionals to engage intensively with the theory and practice of serial narrative for TV and digital platforms and supports students in researching and conceiving innovative narratives as well as new formats and distribution channels. The language of instruction is English.
With the MA Digital Narratives, which was first launched in autumn 2016, the ifs internationale filmschule köln enables committed media professionals to engage artistically and scientifically with cross-platform narratives in digital media. The language of instruction of the international Master’s program is English.
In autumn 2018, the MA 3D Animation for Film & Games, an extra-occupational cooperative study course of the Cologne Game Lab of the TH Köln and the ifs internationale filmschule köln, started for the first time. This master’s program starts annually and is characterized by a practice-oriented curriculum, scientific contextualization, industry proximity and international orientation. The language of instruction is English.
In August 2016, EPAS started as a pilot project of a new European Master of Arts in Sound (EMAS). Created by a consortium consisting of KASK School of Arts Ghent, HoGent (Belgium), Netherlands Film and Television Academy (Amsterdam), ifs internationale filmschule köln, der ENSATT Lyon (France), der School of Sound (UK) and the Flanders and Aubagne Film Festivals.
Several students have shot their films abroad, whether during the documentary exchanges mentioned above or as their graduation films. Recent fiction and experimental films have been filmed on location in Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Turkey, Morocco and in Bangladesh.
Many of our students’ films have been screened at renowned international film festivals, including in Beijing, San Francisco, Berlin, Oberhausen, Dresden, Saarbrücken, München, Paris, New York, Rhode Island, Beirut, Prishtina, Tirana, Istanbul, Pune, Chennai, Reykjavik, San Sebastián, St. Petersburg, Montreal, Krakow, Bangkok, Auckland, and Sydney. What’s more, Elmár Imánov’s recent graduation film, “The Swing of the Coffin Maker”, won the Student Academy Award in Los Angeles for Best Foreign Film in bronze in 2012.
Faculty and staff at the ifs are also encouraged to expand their international network by attending conferences and workshops such as CILECT and GEECT events, academic symposia, and film and multimedia festivals.
Finally, the school draws on a pool of international industry experts who visit the school to teach courses and workshops. Many of these courses are taught in English, and ifs students also have the opportunity to take English language classes with a particular focus on film terminology.
We are sure that these intensified activities can offer our students an international perspective and strengthen their intercultural competence. We believe that it is necessary for future filmmakers to act and communicate transnationally in order to be prepared for the global market in the best way possible.
If you would like more information about our international programs or would like to discuss possible collaborations, please contact our International Relations Manager, Marieke Steinhoff.
International Affairs / Quality Management
T +49 (0)221 920188-225