Slide filmmaking
programs

art & craft of filmmaking

Prague Film School filmmaking programs provide foundation training and specialization studies in the areas of screenwriting, directing, cinematography, and post-production. Combing lectures and practical work in the classroom with an intensive production load outside of class, Prague Film School inculcates the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to make quality films.

What makes Prague Film School special?

Praxis-oriented

One would be hard-pressed to find a program that provides as much practical exposure to filmmaking. More than 400 films are shot per year at Prague Film School: each student in the year program can produce 4-5 films of his/her own and participates on as many as 30 other productions. The operating principle of Prague Film School is training, and we believe as with instruments or with languages, the only way to develop fluency is to practice.

High-end facilities

Prague Film School is well-stocked with the latest cutting-edge equipment used in professional film productions throughout the world. Students have immediate access to the school's fleet of cameras, including RED, Arri, Blackmagic, Canon and Sony high-definition cameras, in addition to high-end lighting, sound and grip. The equipment can also be checked-out for personal work / projects.

Intensive

The type of student who chooses Prague Film School comes to us because he or she has essentially only one year in terms of time or financial resources to cross from where he or she is in life at the moment into the world of professional filmmaking. We then have only one year to bring these students to a level of competence where they can operate professionally. As such the program is highly squeezed, with up to 10 hours of classes daily, and weekend practical activities.

Faculty-student relations

Core faculty are brought in from around the world. While all teachers are accomplished professional filmmakers, their primary purpose in Prague is to teach students at Prague Film School. The dynamics are then what you find at exclusive boarding schools and small colleges in the U.S., where the teachers are highly devoted to their students and accessible. Faculty also embody the school’s ideology of integrating European art house with American independent cinemas.

Diversity of student body

In a student body of 100 students, 30-35 countries are represented. Nearly every other student is from a different part of the world, but there’s a sub-cultural glue binding them together. Students live and breathe film together.

Liberalism

Most students at our school have completed undergraduate studies and see their time at film school as a cherished chance to wed their deep interests with a vocation. As such, the administration treats all students as responsible adults and trusts students to take full responsibility for their studies. The school does not interfere with students’ artistic choices.

What does the program offer?

  • A total immersion program in filmmaking in one of the best film schools in Europe
  • Practical Industry-level training - over 400 short films are shot at the school annually
  • Top-tier international teachers and Oscar-nominated film professionals in the classroom and on set
  • Opportunity to live and breath filmmaking with like-minded artists from all over the world
  • Guaranteed acquisition of technical skills in all core areas of filmmaking
  • The best gear in the Industry
  • Material for a show reel compiled from up to 30 short films, commercials and music videos from 1 minute to 30 minutes in length

How will the program help filmmakers get into the industry?

  • Graduating students have access to a robust and ever growing international alumni network offering access to production houses and film projects spanning 6 continents and 40 countries
  • Students leave with substantial material for a quality show reel – the de facto calling card in the film industry
  • The Prague Film School diploma gives students an international competitive advantage when applying for crew or job positions
  • Career courses, workshops and seminars prepare students for finding their way after graduation
  • Annual local and international job announcements posted school-wide
  • Symbolic capital:  the Prague Film School diploma gives students an competitive advantage when applying for international jobs or crew positions
Filmmaking

Student careers

The majority of Prague Film School students come to us in hopes of using us as a stepping stone into the Industry. While the backgrounds of our students are heterogeneous, their aims for the future are homogeneous – to make a living making films. The first thing the school does to help them in this pursuit is equip all with the skillset to make it in the real world. Distinguishing Prague Film School graduates from those of many other film programs is that all our alumni have the skills to fill all crew positions upon graduation. As such, Prague Film School graduates have been uniquely successful at forging careers in filmmaking after graduation.

★ Sample Alumni Career Trajectories

Ziya Demirel (2012) wrote and directed the acclaimed Turkish/French short film Salı/Tuesday (Istos Film - 2015) which participated at the main competition at Cannes Film Festival, Sundance, Toronto, Rotterdam. He shot his first feature Ela & Hilmi and Ali (Istos Film) in 2019 which is in the last stages of post production. He also co-wrote the feature film Zuhal ( Istos Film - post-production). His second feature Two Eyes received the Meetings On the Bridge development award in Istanbul Film Festival and also got support from Hamburg Schleswig Holstein fund in Germany. He’s now developing some series projects in Turkey.

Caitlin Mae Burke (2005) pursued a career producing and directing non-fiction and reality television in the United States after her time at PFS. The feature films she went on to produce (both documentary and scripted) have won Emmy, Grand Clio, and Gotham Awards, and been nominated for Independent Spirit Awards and Cinema Eye Honors, as well as being broadcast and shown theatrically worldwide. She is an inaugural inductee into DOC NYC's 40 Under 40 and a 2018 alumna of Berlinale Talents.

Aeden O'Connor Agurcia's (2016) debut feature film 90 Minutes won the audience award at the 37th Miami International Film Festival over the 42 films. It was signed by Outsider Pictures for U.S. and Worldwide distribution. He is currently in pre-production for his next film 'Sun Falls'.

Ani Simon-Kennedy (2011) studied at PFS where she met cinematographer Cailin Yatsko. Together, they founded Bicephaly Pictures, a full-service production company based in New York. She wrote and directed the feature film The Short History of the Long Road, which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival where it received a Special Mention for Best Screenplay. A “breakout vehicle for its writer-director as well as its star” (Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus), the film rose to #2 at the box office.

Ran Li (2015) is a Chinese director whose PFS diploma film Lucie, went to over 60 international film festivals and won over 20 awards. She shot her first feature film Till Love Do Us Part in 2020 in Beijing and Prague, which will be released in 2021.

Filmmaking

Year Program

Next open dates: January 14, 2022 - August 26, 2022
September 2, 2022 - May 26, 2023

The year program in filmmaking is designed to bring the participant to a level of professional competence upon course completion. Films made in the course of the course reflect a gradual progression from the basics of filmmaking to the successful completion of a well-crafted film. Each stage of the process is developed under the supervision of the faculty
whose courses cover theoretical and technical topics aimed at deepening knowledge and honing technical skills.

The year program is divided into two semesters. First semester, each student completes foundation courses in screenwriting, directing, cinematography and editing. Students also enroll in two elective courses while receiving additional training in sound, lighting, camera movement and grip.

Practical exercises are integrated into the curriculum and each student works on up to 16 to 20 productions in some crew capacity within the first 4 months of the program.

During the second semester, students can specialize in the area of their choice. Each specialization has its own curriculum. In all specialization areas, students are exposed to a significant amount of practical work on film sets.

The great emphasis of the second semester is placed on the Diploma Film, which should be of film festival quality.

Filmmaking

Content of the 1st semester

The first semester curriculum of narrative filmmaking program covers foundation courses including:
(1) screenwriting, (2) directing, (3) cinematography, and (4) editing, in addition to a number of other subjects which can be taken as electives (see below).

1. Foundation Courses (obligatory)

Screenwriting Course
Directing Course
Cinematography Course
Editing Course

2. Production Workflow (obligatory)

Operation of filmmaking equipment (camera, lighting and sound systems)
Crew production protocol
Sound production (recording, mixing, design)
Grip equipment (camera support systems)

3. Elective/Specialization Courses (each student takes 2 courses)

Acting
Art Direction
Advanced Cameras
Aspects of Film Language
Blocking
Central and East European Cinema
Czech Language
Directing Actors
Directing the Camera
Documentary Theory and History
Experimental Film
Film Industry
Film Comedy
Film Analysis
Lighting
Master Shot
Photography for Cinematography
Post-production effects
Post-production workflow
Screenwriting Feature Film
Sound

4. Studio Work: End of Semester Film
64 hours of studio work.

Film and practical exercises play an extremely important role in the program. Classroom-based courses are supplemented with a number of practical exercises in the studio and at different locations. In the first semester, each student completes four film projects of his/her own, performing the functions of screenwriter, director, cinematographer and editor on all of them. Each student works on another sixteen to twenty projects shot by other students.

Content of the 2nd semester

Second semester, students are encouraged to specialize in one of the core disciplines covered during the first semester.

Each specialization entails a group of courses which must be taken in order to successfully complete the course.

The specializations and the required classes are as follows:

1. Screenwriting Specialization

Screenwriting Feature
Screenwriting Diploma Films
Screenwriting Across Genres
Screenwriting Adaptations
Film Industry Business
Film Analysis
Diploma Film, Script

2. Directing Specialization

Directing Workshop
Directing Music Videos and Commercials
Directing Actors
Documentary and Fiction Film Practicum
Screenwriting Diploma Films
Editing Workshop
Diploma Film, Directing

3. Cinematography Specialization

Cinematography Workshop
Camera for Cinematographers
Cinematography Advanced
Film Analysis
Editing Workshop
Diploma Film, Cinematography

4. Editing Specialization

Editing Workshop
Editing Techniques: Commercials / Music Videos / Movie Trailers
Advanced Editing Theory
Post-Production Workflow
Computer Animation
Diploma Film, Editing

5. Elective Courses (each student takes 1-2 courses)

Acting
Art Direction
Advanced Cameras
Aspects of Film Language
Blocking
Central and East European Cinema
Czech Language
Directing Actors
Directing the Camera
Documentary Theory and History
Experimental Film
Film Industry
Film Comedy
Film Analysis
Lighting
Master Shot
Photography for Cinematography
Post-production effects
Post-production workflow
Screenwriting Feature Film
Sound

Filmmaking

Second Year Directing Program

Next open dates: January 14, 2022 – August 26, 2022
September 2, 2022 – May 26, 2023

The second year program aims to refine and broaden filmmaking skills through master class sessions with some of the Industry’s top international professionals.  The program trains students for the production of longer format projects and involves them in substantial full-time work on sets.

Details of the program

The first semester of the course is driven by workshops with visiting filmmakers, course work, consultations and film projects.  Visiting filmmakers lead 3-day to 4-week practical labs covering directing the drama, working with actors, art direction, visualization, script analysis, managing the production process, casting, rehearsals and more.  The semester also incorporates preproduction and preparation for the films which will be shot and edited second semester.

During the second semester students shoot 15 to 30 minute long films. Students are in production for 45 to 60 days. Following the production of the diploma film, students engage in post production, post production workshops and classes relating to the business of selling and promoting films.

Elements of the second semester include: preproduction and consultations prep work for film, production of films, post production, and seminars on sales, festivals and distribution.

Filmmaking

Filmmaking

Second Year Cinematography Program

Next open dates: January 14, 2022 – August 26, 2022
September 2, 2022 – May 26, 2023

The second year PFS cinematography program deepens the skillset developed in the year course through hands on workshops in the classroom and full-time work on film sets.

Details of the program

The first semester is broken into two parts:

1) shooting for genre and the film camera

2) show reel development and shooting for commercials

The first part of the program is designed along the lines of genre, working in different styles of lighting, format and lens selection to achieve certain looks in preparation for working with the PFS directing students for their second year projects. Class projects include the usual hi-key, low-key, mixed lighting situations in the studio but also involve shooting on location. Location work inculcates a better understanding of color temperature, electrical power and the instruments used for different situations. The connection between the creation of the image in the camera and how it is read and interpreted by the color correction system is also treated. Students will also be introduced to the film camera and have the opportunity to shoot on Super 16mm film stock.

The show reel development and shooting for commercials part of the first semester will involve cinematography students shooting commercials for their show reels.  The sessions will introduce students specifically to the world of the cinematographer on TV commercial productions. Students will go through all the steps of the process: scouting locations, planning shots, casting, shooting, color-grading and editing the commercials. Each student will DP on one commercial, and work in the camera or lighting unit on another three. Each student will cut his/her version of each commercial.

We want to send our cinematography students out into the (real) world with a contemporary and professional looking show reel, a body of work that gets them in the door and working and earning a living. The aim of the workshops is two-fold: to help students build a body of professional-grade material for their show reels, and to instruct cutting-edge lighting and camera techniques under the mentorship of one of Prague’s leading DPs.

During the second semester, students shoot up to 30 minute-long films. Students are in production for 45 to 60 days. Following the production of the film, students will be involved in post production (including color correction), post production workshops and classes relating to show reel development.

Filmmaking

Semester Program

Next open dates:

  • Autumn: September 2 - December 16, 2022
  • Spring: January 14 - May 5, 2022

The semester program at Prague Film School is a highly-intensive, praxis-oriented course with a steep learning curve. The objective of the program is to instruct concrete craft skills through substantial production and course work. By the program's end, students will have developed a certain fluency in both the technical aspects of filmmaking and in film language in general.

Students enrolled in the semester program are required to follow courses in each of the core modules of screenwriting, editing, cinematography and directing. Students attend classes in sound, camera-related workshops and two elective courses from a menu of courses listed below. Within the semester, each student can direct four film productions while working on up to an additional 16 - 20 film sets.

By the end of the course, students will be competent in: shooting with RED, Black Magic cameras; operating and designing with lights ranging from dedos to 4K HMI, editing with AVID Media Composer systems, color grading, applying graphics and animation using Affer Effects, location sound recording and sound post production. Students will have also received training in screenplay structure and dramaturgy, character development, script analysis, visualization, color theory, directing the camera, directing actors and more.

Filmmaking

Content of the semester

The semester curriculum of narrative filmmaking program covers foundation courses including: (1) screenwriting, (2) directing, (3) cinematography, and (4) editing, in addition to a number of other subjects which can be taken as electives (see below).

1. Foundation Courses (obligatory)

Screenwriting Course
Directing Course
Cinematography Course
Editing Course

2. Production Workflow (obligatory)

Operation of filmmaking equipment (camera, lighting and sound systems)
Crew production protocol
Sound production (recording, mixing, design)
Grip equipment (camera support systems)

3. Elective/Specialization Courses (each student takes 2 courses)

Acting
Art Direction
Advanced Cameras
Aspects of Film Language
Blocking
Central and East European Cinema
Czech Language
Directing Actors
Directing the Camera
Documentary Theory and History
Experimental Film
Film Industry
Film Comedy
Film Analysis
Lighting
Master Shot
Photography for Cinematography
Post-production effects
Post-production workflow
Screenwriting Feature Film
Sound

4. Studio Work: End of Semester Film

64 hours of studio work.

Film and practical exercises play an extremely important role in the program. Classroom-based courses are supplemented with a number of practical exercises in the studio and at different locations. In the first semester, each student completes four film projects of his/her own, performing the functions of screenwriter, director, cinematographer and editor on all of them. Each student works on another sixteen to twenty projects shot by other students.

The semester program at Prague Film School is identical to the first semester of the year program.

Filmmaking

Summer Workshops

Next open dates:

  • June Filmmaking Workshop: June 5 – July 2, 2022
  • July Filmmaking Workshop: July 3 – July 30, 2022
  • August Filmmaking Workshop: July 31 – August 27, 2022

Covering screenwriting, directing, camera, editing and sound, the four-week summer workshops at Prague Film School are designed to lead the student from story idea to finished short film.

The first two weeks of the program are classroom-based – introducing the fundamentals of directing, screenwriting, editing, cinematography and sound while also prepping students for their end-of- workshop short film. Each student writes and directs his or her own short while also working on other student productions in various crew capacities.

The third week, students shoot their films – five minutes in length and shot with the assistance of the school production office, providing access to one of Europe’s largest props and costumes studios and the city of Prague as the film set.

The final week of the program, students edit their films, all of which are screened at a public cinema and reviewed by the faculty. Some might even end up hitting the festival circuit.

Number of places is limited – apply ASAP to secure a place

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Workshop schedule in detail

WEEK I (classes)

Monday - Friday:
• Screenwriting: 9.30 - 11.15
• Directing: 11.30 - 13.15
• Cinematography: 15.00 - 16.45
• Editing: 17.00 - 18.45
Saturday:
• Film exercise shooting: 9.00 - 18.00
Sunday:
• Film exercise editing: 9.00 - 21.00

WEEK II (classes, consultations & pre-production for film shoot)

Monday - Friday:
• Screenwriting: 9.30 - 11.15
• Directing: 11.30 - 13.15
• Cinematography: 15.00 - 16.45
• Editing: 17.00 - 18.45
Saturday - Sunday
• Shooting of student films

WEEK III (shooting of student films)

Students shoot their own films, and crew for other students.

WEEK IV (post-production & evaluations)

Monday - Thursday
• Post-production
Friday
• Public screening: 9.00 - 11:30
• Evaluations with faculty: 12.00 - 17.00
• Closing event: 20.00

Gabriel Paletz Ph.D. - Filmmaking Faculty - Screenwriting

Gabriel M. Paletz, Ph.D.

Screenwriting

 

Gabriel M. Paletz, Ph.D (Screenwriting, Documentary, Film Comedy and Learning from Bad Films), with a BA from Yale University, is the first PhD graduate from the University of Southern California in film history, theory and film production. Dr. Paletz has taught film at the College of William and Mary, Duke University and USC. He has published numerous scholarly essays and articles, as well as pieces in popular journals like Variety. He has served on several film festival juries and as both historical consultant on the film Serena starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, and as visual storytelling consultant to the Ethiopian Aids Resource Center in Addis Ababa. He has just completed a book that reveals the connections between the multi-media innovations in the career of Orson Welles. As a film programmer, his recent series include "The Cinema of the Absurd," with new restorations from nine Eastern European national film archives, that has played in both Hong Kong and the U.S. National Gallery of Art, and "Creators of the Photoplay," a series dedicated to the great women screenwriters of Hollywood silent cinema.

Diego Fandos - Filmmaking Faculty - Screenwriting

Diego Fandos

Screenwriting

 

Diego Fandos (screenwriting) is a filmmaker from Spain. Originally a journalist (University of Navarra), he has written and directed TV commercials, documentaries and the feature Cosmos, presented in the San Sebastian Film Festival and released in 2008. His last two shorts - Under Pressure (2014) and Aurora (2017) - have been selected and awarded in more than 60 festivals around the world. Diego has published two collections of short stories -"Lemon Loves" (2015) and “Prague on February” (2020)- and the handbook "Writing for Short Film" (2019).

Michael Brierley - Filmmaking Faculty - Cinematography

Michael Brierley

Cinematography

 

Michael is an international director / cinematographer. Originally from South Africa he now lives in Prague where he primarily shoots and directs high-end TV commercials. He has served as a Director of Photography on 11 feature films, some episodic TV and he has directed and photographed hundreds of TV commercials. A feature film that he photographed, ‘Yesterday’ was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards in 2005.

Kaveh Daneshmand - Filmmaking Faculty - Directing

Kaveh Daneshmand

Directing

 

Kaveh Daneshmand is an Iranian writer and director based in Prague, Czech Republic. A graduate of directing, Kaveh co-founded IRAN:CI, the festival of Iranian films in Prague, Brno and Bratislava in 2012. Since then, he has been active mainly as a writer and director as well as the artistic director of IRAN:CI. His first short film, Occasional Showers, premiered in Fajr International Film Festival and was chosen as the best short film of the year in 2016 by the Union of Writers and Critics in Iran. His second short film, Alula, premiered in the official competition of Oberhausen International Short Film Festival in 2019. At the moment, Kaveh is developing his feature debut, a co-production of Czech Republic, Germany, Iran and Canada.

Robert Gottman - Filmmaking Faculty - Editing

Robert Gottman

Editing

 

Robert Gottman is a master Avid instructor with 10 years of experience teaching editing at the university level. He served as editor at NBC, KRON TV, KICU TV and KNTV. He has edited multiple award-winning news stories and specials.

Masa Hilcisin, Ph.D. - Filmmaking / Documentary Faculty - Directing, Documentary Film

Masa Hilcisin, Ph.D.

Directing, Documentary Film

 

Masa Hilcisin is a visual artist, educator, and creative arts therapist. Her documentary films and experimental videos have been screened at many film festivals around the world. She teaches film production, creative video, and other forms of visual art at various schools and universities, and holds PhD In Film Studies and Audio-Visual Culture from the Masaryk University. Masa has been involved in many cultural and artistic projects, including film festival curating and various women artists’ support initiatives. For several years, she has been running visual personal storytelling workshops in Czech Republic, Georgia, Mexico, and India.

Neal Dhand - Filmmaking Faculty - Directing

Neal Dhand

Directing

 

Neal Dhand is a writer, director, and teacher who makes fiction films and music videos. Neal’s 2019 short film The Well premiered in-competition at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, 2020, winning an Honorable Mention. He’s in development on the science-fiction feature Dark My Light, which was selected for the NAFF It Project Market and Blood Window at Ventana-Sur 2020, and was a Special Mention at Sitges Pitchbox, 2020. Neal’s screenplays have recently placed in a variety of prestigious competitions, including American Zoetrope, Austin, and BlueCat, and have been featured on The Black List. Neal has taught screenwriting, directing, producing, and film analysis at universities in Pennsylvania, New York, and the Czech Republic.

Thomas Krivy - Filmmaking Faculty - Cinematography

Thomas Krivy

Cinematography

 

Thomas Krivy, son of Czech parents and brought up and raised in Germany, gained experience as a camera assistant in Berlin and at the Babelsberg Studios before earning his MA in cinematography from the Czech national film academy. He regularly works on narrative feature films, commercials, documentaries and music videos.

Josef Pecak - Filmmaking Faculty - Cinematography

Josef Pecak

Cinematography

 

Josef Pecak (cinematography) is one of the Czech Republic’s leading authorities on the art and physics of cinema lighting. Josef was the former Dean of FAMU during the golden years of FAMU’s birth of new generation Czech filmmakers (1992 - 1994).

Beth Lazroe - Filmmaking Faculty - Photography for Cinematography

Beth Lazroe

Photography for cinematography

 

Beth Lazroe (photography for cinematography) has been operating as a professional photographer since the mid-70s. She has taught photography and visual communication at several universities, including Dublin City University, Anglo American College, University of New York, Prague. She is the author of the text book, Photography as Visual Communication: a Curriculum, 1998 and has been teaching at Prague Film School since 2003.

Luka Knezevic - Filmmaking Faculty - Aspects of Film Language, Editing for Actors

Luka Knezevic

Editing, Aspects of film language

 

Luka Knezevic is a PhD candidate in film studies at the University of Zagreb and manages the post production facilities at Prague Film School. He is a graduate of Prague Film School (2012) and is an active writer/director. His latest short, Pressure Point, was completed in 2018 and screened at several international festivals (Myrtle Beach, TIFF Oda)

Steve Reverand - Filmmaking Faculty - Production

Steve Reverand

Production

 

Steve Reverand is a French-born and now Czech-based producer, graduate from Prague Film School. He co-founded in 2012 in Prague the production company "The LAB". Steve has been developing, producing and post-producing international fiction projects from short to feature films, with a focus on European-based hybrid genre narratives that can tap into a niche worldwide audience. Among the successful short film he produced are Kaveh Daneshmand's Occasional Showers (Best Short Film - Iranian Society of Film Critics’ Awards, 2016), Nicole Goode's Supine (Silver Méliès Winner 2019) and Rusty Lake: Paradox (over 4m views online). In 2020, he produced for The LAB his debut feature project as a film producer, the LGBTQ dark fantasy film Playdurizm (winner of the Jury Prize for Best Feature Film at LUFF 2020).

Martin Raiman - Filmmaking Faculty - Production

Martin Raiman

Production

 

Martin Raiman is an award-winning Czech/German film & advertisement producer and co-founder of the 2012-established, Prague-based production company "The LAB". As a producer, Martin likes to focus on one-stop solutions both for films and branded media concepts, that are not only economically effective but also help productions to have the least possible ecological impact on our planet. Notable examples are the critically acclaimed multimedia project Rusty Lake: Paradox and the in-house developed genre bending feature film Playdurizm, winner of Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival in 2020.

Saimir Bajo - Filmmaking Faculty - Directing

Saimir Bajo

Directing, Documentary Film

 

Saimir Bajo is a award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, director, dramaturge, producer, lecturer and scholar. His screenplays have placed in a number of prestigious festivals and competitions including Berlinale Co-Production Market, CineLink, Co-Production Market at Sarajevo International Film Festival, ALBAScript and Cineuropa, TIFForm and Torino Film Lab, Meeting Poit Vilnius, Zagreb DOX Pro, Creative Europe. His films have been screened at the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Recently, he has directed the fiction film The Violinist (2020) and is finishing the feature documentary: Tomas Venclova - Forms of Hope (2021). Saimir is developing his new feature film, Journey to Awakening, a co-production of Czech Republic, Albania, Slovenia, Italy.

 

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