Regionally anchored and internationally networked - at ifs we work with lecturers, students, and institutions from many countries around the world.

Moving Beyond

ifs international

The international orientation is an essential part of our profile. In a globalized industry, providing international perspectives, contacts, and intercultural skills is of particular importance for future filmmakers and media professionals.
Numerous international industry experts teach in our seminars and workshops and excursions to international industry events and festivals are an integral part of many study programs. Fixed mobility windows and a network of partner universities make it possible to study abroad.
Our professors, lecturers, and staff expand their international network through regular participation in international industry events, festivals, conferences, workshops, and scientific symposia.
We are a member of the international association of film and television schools CILECT and the European sub-association GEECT as well as the network ELIA - European League of Institutes of the Arts.


Aktuelles zu internationalen Aktivitäten

International Students

International Students at the ifs

A total of 33% of ifs students are international students. They come from 34 countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, China, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Georgia, Great Britain, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, USA.
The ifs offers its international students comprehensive counseling - before their arrival in Germany, during and at the end of their studies. They also have access to TH Köln's resources for international students.
Since 2020, we have nominated a selection of international students for the DAAD Prize, which is awarded each year to an international student at TH Köln for exceptional academic achievement and social commitment.

Studying Abroad

Bilateral exchange programs and mobility windows

In order to consolidate the respective career aspirations and to expand international activities and cooperations, the ifs has set up a mobility window, which creates free space for internships and semesters abroad.
The mobility window is available to BA FILM students in the 4th OR 5th semester, depending on how it can be most usefully integrated into the individual study plan.
Within the framework of our bilateral academic cooperations, ifs students have so far been able to spend semesters abroad in Australia, India, Israel, South Korea, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom.
When choosing destinations, they can also benefit from our Erasmus partnerships for student mobility.

Erasmus Partnerships

Beit Berl College (Beit Berl, Israel)
Hochschule Luzern (Luzern, Schweiz)
RICTS (Brüssel, Belgien)
Université du Luxembourg (Luxemburg)
FAMU (Prag, Tschechien)

Other Partner Universities

Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Italien)
ECAM The Madrid Film School (Spanien)
FTII (Pune, Indien)
Griffith University (Brisbane, Australien)
La Fémis (Frankreich)
Lodz Film School (Polen)
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (Budapest, Ungarn)
Universidade Lusófona (Lissabon, Portugal)
Kingston University (London, UK)
Westerdals (Norwegen)
Seoul Institute of the Arts (Seoul, Südkorea)

It was a very educational time, as the Czech university showed me a different approach to filmmaking and I met many film students through the semester abroad, with whom I continued to work professionally after graduation. I can only recommend students to do a semester abroad to get a more multi-layered picture of filmmaking.

Leo Decristoforo

Alumnus BA Film Director of Photography about his semester abroad at the Filmacademy Prague (FAMU)

Teaching and Project Work


Students regularly participate in field trips to international industry events in Germany and abroad.
Examples include:

BA Film

Editing Picture and Sound: School of Sound Conference (London, UK)
VFX & Animation: Annecy International Animation Film Festival (Annecy, France)
Direcotr of Photography: Camerimage Filmfestival (Toruń, Poland)
Screenwriting, Creative Producing, Directing: Berlinale (Berlin, Germany)

MA Entertainment Producing

MIPCOM (Marché International des Programmes de Communication) (Cannes, France)

MA Film

Documenta (Kassel, Germany)
International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) (Rotterdam Netherlands)
University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) (Winston-Salem, N.C, USA)

MA Digital Narratives

Transmediale (Berlin, Germany)
Re:publica (Berlin, Germany)
International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

MA Serial Storytelling

Berlinale (Berlin, Germany)
Film Festival Cologne / European Series Day (Köln, Germany)
Series Mania (Lille, France)

ifs films at international Festivals

Many of our student films were screened at renowned international film festivals, including festivals in Beijing, San Francisco, Berlin, Oberhausen, Dresden, Saarbrücken, Munich, Paris, New York, Rhode Island, Beirut, Prishtina, Tirana, Istanbul, Pune, Chennai, Reykjavik, San Sebastián, St. Petersburg, Montreal, Krakow, Bangkok, Auckland, and Sydney.
Numerous ifs films have also won international awards - the crowning example being the ifs graduation film "The Swing of the Coffin Maker" by Elmár Imánov (director) and Eva Blondiau (producer), which won the Student Academy Award - the "Student Oscar" - in Los Angeles in the category "Best Foreign Film" in bronze.

Shooting abroad

Some students shoot their films abroad, either as part of a bilateral exchange program or as their graduation films. Numerous feature films and documentaries have been shot in international locations: including Belgium, Ghana, Scotland, Spain, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Turkey, Morocco, Israel, South Korea, and Bangladesh.

International cooperation projects

» – Online Teaching and Diversity in European Film Schools«

" - Online Teaching and Diversity in European Film Schools".

European Research Project | 2021 - 2023 | Co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.

The aim of the European research project is to contribute to a more innovative, inclusive and diverse film and higher education - both on- and offline. was initiated by the ifs internationale filmschule köln in cooperation with the Moholy Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) in Hungary and the Cooperativa de Formação e Animação Cultural (COFAC) of the Universidade Lusófona in Portugal.

Within the framework of the project, research groups developed the following:

  • a toolkit on online teaching
  • a toolkit on diversity
  • a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Diversity in Film and Media for European film and art schools

The toolkits include course materials, best practices, guidelines and a self-assessment survey. The MOOC includes 14 modules on gender theories, queer studies, representation of people with disabilities, decolonisation in film studies, among others.

The three offerings are intended to both improve online teaching and address (in)equality in education, as well as to support the development of strategies to introduce diversity and inclusion as study goals and to establish them as a central concept in higher education.

The toolkits and the MOOC are available free of charge on the website.

Past cooperation projects

Double Gaze (2017/18) - intercultural documentary film project of the ifs with Beit Berl College in Israel, in which students from both schools jointly produced four short films in Germany and Israel.
Hives (2012) - international omnibus project realized by students from five European film schools: the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb, the Sam Spiegel School in Jerusalem, the National Film and Television School in the UK, and the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague.
Summer School People on Sunday (2010-2011) - for students of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and alumni of the ifs, in which short films were shot in German-American teams in the style of the film "Menschen am Sonntag" (1930) and compiled in a compilation.
A Triangle Dialogue (2007-2008) - intercultural documentary film project, in cooperation with the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem, and the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw, resulting in a compilation of documentary short films. Three workshops in Jerusalem, Warsaw and Cologne accompanied the making of a total of seven documentaries.
Reflection (2005) - first international cooperation between ifs and the Polish Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw, which resulted in a compilation of 12 documentary shorts on small-town life in Germany and Poland.

EPAS (2016-2018) - Pilot project for a new degree program European Master of Arts in Sound (EMAS), developed by a consortium consisting of KASK School of Arts Ghent, HoGent in Belgium, Netherlands Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam, ifs, ENSATT Lyon in France, School of Sound/UK, and Flanders and Aubagne Film Festivals.
ESSEMBLE (2011-2017) - the Erasmus+ funded European educational program consisted of several workshops that taught the integration of visual effects in the storytelling process. The program was implemented from 2011 to 2017 by Universidade Lusófona in Lisbon, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) in Budapest, LUCA School of Arts, Sint-Lukas in Brussels and ifs.
CIAKL - Cinema and Industry Alliance for Knowledge and Learning (2012-2013) - CIAKL was an EU-funded program that taught entrepreneurial skills to film students and alumni. The cooperation network consisted of Universidade Lusófona in Lisbon, University of Theatre and Film (SZFE) in Budapest, Universidade de Vigo in Spain, Tallinn University Baltic Film and Media School in Estonia, and various international industry partners. As part of this program, a pilot project, the ifs Media Entrepreneurship Lab, took place from October 2012 to February 2013.

Any questions? We will be happy to help!

Nina Möhrke

Assistant Head of Studies


International Affairs

0221 920188227