“Our teaching methods are based on an artistic approach to concept development and craft learning”
Industry Report: European Film Schools
Maria Hedman Hvitfeldt • Head of the Department of Film and Media, Stockholm University of the Arts
Our conversation focused on the main opportunities offered to prospective students by the prestigious Swedish university
We spoke to Maria Hedman Hvitfeldt, head of the Department of Film and Media at the Stockholm University of the Arts, to discuss the main learning opportunities it offers to prospective students. The Swedish institution is part of both GEECT (European Grouping of Film and Television Schools) and CILECT (International Association of Film and Television Schools).
Cineuropa: What is your university’s main teaching mission? What are the main benefits of attending it for prospective international students?
Maria Hedman Hvitfeldt: At the Department of Film and Media, we train future independent and artistically conscious filmmakers, radio and TV producers, documentarians, and animators. As one of our students, you will have the opportunity to develop your practical and theoretical knowledge within your area of specialisation, both individually and in collaboration with other students.
Our teaching methods are based on an artistic approach to concept development and craft learning. Through team exercises, your personal expression and collaborative abilities will be strengthened. Over the course of the programme, you will complete exercises where theory, analysis and concept development are translated into artistic practice with an increasing level of difficulty. With the university’s wide range of disciplines, new methods and expressions are developed through projects that transcend boundaries.
What type of study programmes do you offer?
The master’s programme in Film and Media with a specialisation in Animation is aimed at those who want to develop their knowledge of animation and animated film in order to ultimately work as a director, filmmaker, animator or artist working with animation. The programme qualifies the student for third-cycle studies and consists of two years of full-time studies at second-cycle level.
Artistry, technology and collaboration are all necessary elements for making animated films. Here, you will develop your own artistic skills, learn different techniques and participate in projects. The university’s many specialisations in film, media, theatre and acting give us great opportunities to explore the various professional roles of animation in collaboration with students from other specialisations in the school. Our close contact with the industry will allow you to meet several professionals during your training. The programme is also research-preparatory and has a common structure for all specialisations. During the theoretical courses, students are introduced to different perspectives on knowledge, theory, reflection and artistic research methods.
The master’s programme in Film and Media with a specialisation in "The Art of Impact" focuses on the impact of art on society and how it can change it. This programme is also research-preparatory and consists of two years of full-time studies at an advanced level. Working with different formats and new technologies on digital platforms, the students will deepen their understanding of storytelling and its potential impact on their audiences. Methods of studying the audience through analysing audience psychology and perception, as well as hands-on experimenting with creative ways to engage and communicate with the audience, will be at the core of this specialisation. Questions around the nature, role and praxis of entrepreneurship and leadership within the cultural and creative industries will also be explored. Among the areas investigated by the course are world-building methodology for collaborative creative processes and storytelling, digitality, strategies for change and value creation (from innovation in arts to social innovation), and impact production (cultural and creative leadership and applied entrepreneurship).
Do you provide any scholarships?
In Sweden, public higher education is free for EU students. Each year, we provide two scholarships for students coming from outside of the EU.
How are you adapting your teaching and other study activities owing to the pandemic?
Both of the programmes I mentioned above will be able to admit students who work partly from a distance. For more information, please follow us on our webpage.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The Department of Film and Media is one of seven departments at the Stockholm University of the Arts, and offers a unique combination of education and artistic research. Thanks to our extensive resources and a clearly defined pedagogy providing both theoretical knowledge and practical experience, we can offer an environment that allows students to create freely, based on their own ideas and interests. As a student at the Department of Film and Media, you become part of something bigger that constantly seeks to develop knowledge, art forms and the industry.
To view some examples of our students’ works, please visit our Play Channel here.
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