The Deutsche Film und Fernsehakademie Berlin
Presentation & Philosophy
The dffb is a well-established film academy (founded in 1966). As one of Germany’s oldest film schools, it has a long tradition of training creative film industry professionals (alumni include Wolfgang Petersen, Helke Sander, Wolfgang Becker, Christian Petzold, Detlev Buck, Thomas Arslan and Chris Kraus). Working on a relatively small budget, the dffb succeeds in striking the right balance between training in the artistic dimension of filmmaking and fostering a commercial understanding in students which can also be seen in the exceptional and extremely professional films by our students.
Its strong links with the European film industry make it well-placed to bring together film students from across the continent in a specialised professional training workshop. In addition to its long tradition, the dffb has kept pace with the times and its courses are tailor-made to prepare students to work in today’s film and television industry, with a particular strong point being the state-of-the-art technical facilities available at the dffb, including the most modern post-production facilities in any European film school. The dffb is currently developing completely new, modern digital post-production facilities, which will meet the highest technical standards for modern post-production. Installation and roll-out of these post-production facilities will be completed at the end of 2011.
The dffb has also operated a number of exchanges and partnerships with international institutions, organisations and schools, including La Fémis (Paris), FAMU (Prague), the NFTS and the London Film School, and Columbia University in the United States.
In all its activities, the dffb aims to highlight the value of the school in the European and international industry context, to promote professional technical and creative skills in its graduates and to connect the School more effectively to current practice around the world, both in teaching terms and in the film industry. It offers a unique blend of artistic training and a clear commercial focus.
Number of students/ full-time/ part-time workshops: 200 (no part-time workshops)
Number of students in film/animation studies: – (no animation studies)
Number of international students: 25% of our students come from outside Germany
Number of teachers: 100
Degree category / length of studies: diploma / 4-6 years
Programme objective and content:
The dffb adopts a pioneering approach to practice-based film training. The dffb’s professional-level courses are structured to focus on the key tools of the trade in filmmaking: directing, scriptwriting, production and cinematography. In addition to a focus on acquiring practical skills, the dffb sets particular store by the vital creative aspects of filmmaking. The courses examine the aesthetic and formal means of expression cinema deploys, analyses how content can be conveyed in the language of film and tackles issues such as how to maintain artistic freedom. Students generally complete the course in 4 years, with participants in the directing course taking slightly longer in order to complete their degree films.
34 students per year are enrolled in the course. Throughout the entire course there is a particular emphasis on fostering the development of each student’s individual signature style in their chosen field of study, a crucial aspect of preparing graduates for their subsequent careers in film or television. 25% of the students come from outside Germany (e.g. Peru, Russia, Chile, Poland, Denmark, Israel, France …).
All the courses are taught by a rotating team of international film industry professionals (around 100 per year), who work with the students for seminars lasting from 1-6 weeks. This gives students a unique opportunity to benefit from the experience and knowledge these teachers have gained in their work around the world.
Subjects covered in the Academy across all its activities are: screenwriting; directing; producing and business skills for producers, writers and directors; introduction to distribution, marketing and exhibition; cinematography; camera; editing. New modules on specific topics are offered each year, keeping the course fresh and right at the cutting edge of the film business.
Each year, the dffb admits up to twelve students in the discipline of Directing, up to six students in the discipline of Cinematography, up to eight students in the discipline of Producing and ten students in the discipline of Screenwriting.
One must be 21 years of age by the date one plans to begin studying if one would like to apply.
Successful practical experience or a finished education in related areas such as film, television, theatre, and journalism heighten the chances of an applicant but are not necessary prerequisites.
English and computer skills are expected in all disciplines. Foreign applicants must have very good knowledge of the German language.
The application tasks will be announced on the website each year in autumn. One has to pass the admission test (which takes place in spring) to study at the dffb.
German Film and Television Academy Berlin GmbH
Potsdamer Str. 2, 10785 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 257 59-0
Fax: +49 (0)30 257 59-161