Davide Abbatescianni, www.cineuropa.org, 22.04.2021
Cineuropa: What is ifs’s main teaching mission?
Nadja Radojevic: The ifs international filmschool cologne offers young talent high quality and innovative studies with strong links to the film and media industry, both nationally and internationally. This means our programmes are primarily focused on combining scientific-theoretical and technical skills with artistic hands-on project work. We have a firm commitment to teaching our students the craft of filmmaking and media creation, teamwork and storytelling in all our programmes, while reflecting current developments and their aesthetic and cultural potential. Working together with media industry professionals and professors who are renowned and actively working guarantees the students a first-class education with the best chances for building valuable networks to serve their careers.
What are the main benefits of attending your school for prospective international students?
We offer international students a very open structure to study and be creative in their project work with the most advanced technology. From our Dolby Atmos mixing theatre, pre-mix suites, edit suites and grading suites to the 300m² studio space with green screen, the students are able to book most equipment and rooms as needed. We attach great importance to an intensive individualised academic support for our students. Also, the ifs’ team is the size of a large family. All our staff, including the international office, is willing to help with arriving in a new country and getting settled for the experience of a lifetime. The ifs is located in Cologne, one of the most buzzing media hubs in Germany. A third of Germany’s TV programmes are produced here. Key TV and radio stations, numerous renowned film and TV production companies, many print and digital publishing firms are based in the city, drawing a creative crowd. Many of our international students do decide to stay and are now enjoying life in Cologne as part of the media industry.
What type of study programmes do you offer? What are the main subjects?
The portfolio of the ifs is growing rapidly. We now offer an MA in Serial Storytelling (4 semesters, full time, English- and German-language), focused on writing serial formats with tracks that are taught together in English. The practical writing work is then applied in an English track and a German track of project work. Next, we offer an MA in Digital Narratives (4 semesters, full time, English-language), specialised in non-linear formats, including trans-media and ludic storytelling. We also have an MA in 3D Animation (4 semesters, part-time, English-language), offered together with the Cologne Game Lab and focusing on animation for film and games, as well as an MA in Entertainment (4 semesters, part-time, German-language), whose study emphasis is on the development, production and distribution of non-fictional entertainment formats (set to kick off in autumn 2021). Finally, we offer film programmes at both MA and BA level. The MA in Film (4 semesters, full time, German-language) is based on co-creative processes in the development of linear narratives within the context of social responsibility (this programme is also set to kick off later this autumn), whilst the BA in Film (7 semesters, full time, German-language) is delivered for seven different disciplines: Screenwriting, Directing, Creative Producing, Cinematography, Editing Picture & Sound, Production Design and VFX & Animation. This programme is taught primarily in German with some English classes.
Do you provide any scholarships?
Yes! There are many different funding opportunities, you can find out more here.
How should a student prepare for admission?
A study programme needs to be a good fit, as it is a big commitment of time to spend together. So potential students should be prepared to answer, but also to ask questions – that way we can decide together if the ifs is the right school for the person in question.
How are you adapting teaching and other study activities owing to the pandemic?
During the pandemic we have changed our project work processes to conform with national healthcare regulations. Some courses have changed to online but filmmaking courses, such as camera exercises have been adjusted to meet the necessary changes.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Diversity, equality and respect are the core values of the ifs. Through a series of internal and cross-university initiatives, we are continuously anchoring the topic of diversity in curricular and institutional terms.