Presentation and Philosophy:
Founded in 1926, inspired by figures such as Louis Lumière and Léon Gaumont, ENS Louis-Lumière was a pioneer in film and photography education.
It is a state-funded school run under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. It offers theoretical, practical, technical and artistic education and training for those wishing to go into the various branches of the audiovisual industry.
The school also conducts applied research in film and video, photography and sound.
It has three departments: Film (Cinematography), Photography and Sound Engineering. It is currently located in the eastern suburbs of Paris in a tailor-made building covering a surface area of 8,000m2. In 2012, the school will be transferred to new premises in the Cité du Cinéma complex north of Paris.
Number of students/ full-time/ part-time workshops: There are approximately 150 full-time students, with an intake of 16 students per year and per department. Various workshops and short courses are run by the Continuing Education Department; the number of participants varies.
Number of students in film/animation studies: 16 students per year enrol in each department (see above). The school does not teach animation as such, though this is covered via several exercises and an SFX elective in the final year.
Number of international students: The number of international students varies from year to year, the majority of students admitted via the competitive entrance exam are French. Many of the international students come for one or two semesters via bilateral agreements with partner institutions.
Number of teachers: 50+ The school’s emphasis on applied theory and practice requires that the teaching staff be varied. It is made up of: tenured professors and other academic staff, active members of the audiovisual industries and various specialists in different fields of interest and benefit to our students.
Degree category/length of studies:
Courses are run at Master’s level. Each course runs over three academic years (6 semesters) with the possibility of enrolling in the school for a 7th semester to encourage graduate mobility abroad.
Programme objective and content:
The 1st year consists of a foundation course to enable students to acquire basic theoretical, artistic, scientific and technical knowledge and skills. It also allows students to gain practice in areas such as camera-work, sound recording, post-production and image processing through practical exercises.
During the 2nd year, students build on their theoretical and practical knowledge through a mix of courses and projects from conception to post-production: documentaries and fiction films (35mm, 16mm, digital video - HD and SD), photography reporting, studio and laboratory work, radio plays, radio documentaries and musical recording.
In the 3rd year, students do a research project in which the written dissertation is complemented by a practical component part. This may consist of: a short film, a documentary, a photography report, materials or software test results, sound or image editing, a multimedia product…
The objective of this research project is twofold: it can be used as a springboard towards a first job or enable the student to go on to do further research.
Throughout their three years at the school, students attend conferences given by specialists and are also involved in practical projects under the supervision of industry professionals.
Admission and entry requirements: National and European candidates must have a minimum of 120 ECTS (or the equivalent thereof) in order to take the competitive entrance exam held annually in March. Non-European candidates should have studied for at least two years in a higher education institution. Applicants must be under 27 when they sit the exam.
The entrance exam is open to all nationalities. Candidates should choose an area of study: Film (Cinematography), Photography or Sound Engineering. The exam is held in France. Details of admission can be found on the website.
Exchange programmes allow students to study at ENS Louis-Lumière for one or two semesters. Once an agreement between the two schools/institutions has been signed, candidates should apply in writing by the beginning of April for entry in September/October of the same year.