Schools

DFFB-Logo

The German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) is one of the most prominent film schools in Europe. Founded in 1966, the DFFB is both an academy of screen technique and a production atelier for new voices and ideas in film and television. Prominent DFFB graduates include Helke Sander, Christian Petzold, Angela Schanelec, Wolfgang Becker, Lars Kraume and Emily Atef. With its special openness to international teaching, students, cultural influences, techniques and emerging platforms, the DFFB study program sets intense and collaborative standards including the development of practical skills, growing knowledge of film history and a deeper understanding of the economic and production conditions of the film and television industry. Especially the teaching of aesthetic and formal strategies enables students to develop an individual artistic spectrum that unites narrative forms both classic and new.

TEACHING AT THE DFFB

Concentrating on the essential crafts of filmmaking, the DFFB offers five specializations in Directing, Producing, Cinematography, Screenwriting and Editing/Sound. Every year, up to 40 students from Germany and abroad are accepted. Instead of an early and rigid specialization, the DFFB offers a generalist first year in which all students take on all crafts. Each student has a clear focus from the second year of study onwards, and there’s a fine balance between technical training, where students gain key skills through making films, and the area of creative development, the process of trying to make the films extraordinary and valuable. The main study program consists of block seminars and practical classes supporting the process of innovative filmmaking of shorts and features that frequently experience a broad distribution in cooperation with broadcasters, public funders, foundations and private production entities.

FILMS & FESTIVALS

At DFFB, around 120 films – including 15 feature films – are developed, produced and edited every year. During their studies, each student develops at least 3 short films and 1 feature film. Students are supported by lecturers and DFFB staff to perfect their projects, including the professional-level technical equipment of the academy. Moreover, the festival office supports students to get their films to audiences. Each year, DFFB films travel to around 200 film festivals worldwide. In 2018, they won prizes in 25 festivals.

EXTRACURRICULAR PROGRAMMES

The international postgraduate programmes Serial Eyes for script writers and UP.GRADE for colour graders are part of the DFFB as well. So is the Filmnetzwerk Berlin that encourages personal, professional and continuous exchange of knowledge between emerging and well established filmmakers in Berlin. Starting in September 2019, a new programme focussing on sales, distribution and audience development called NEXT WAVE will be offered.”

www.dffb.de

NAFTI

The National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) was established in 1978 by the Government of Ghana as a public Institution of Higher Education in Film and Television Production. NAFTI has a campus spread over three studios all within walking distance in a quiet residential vicinity of Accra. Since its inception in 1978, NAFTI has fostered professional and academic excellence in film and television education. The Institute has maintained this high level of performance over the years and consequently has drawn students from many parts of sub-Saharan Africa including Benin , Burkina Faso , Burundi , Cameroon , Ethiopia , Gambia , Ghana , Mali , Nigeria , South Africa , Swaziland , Uganda , Tanzania , Zambia and Zimbabwe . Thus, NAFTI’s graduates have been influential in shaping the film and television industry in Ghana and in Africa.

The Institute offered three-year professional programmes leading to the award of Diploma until 1999, when, in affiliation with the University of Ghana, it commenced full-time four-year professional Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in addition to two-year Diploma programmes. The two-year Diploma programmes are essentially intended for industry practitioners who wish to update their knowledge and skills. NAFTI has over the years also provided diverse collaborative technical support for projects within and outside the continent.

The Institute is a full member of the renowned International Association of Film and Television Academies and Universities (CILECT). As a pace-setter in film and television education in sub-Saharan Africa , NAFTI is proud to become the first full member of this prestigious Association from the Region.

The training programme at NAFTI is designed to develop in the students scholarly, creative and professional approach to film making and television production. The Institute recognises its unique role in the development and propagation of African culture and therefore encourages each student to develop his creative talents to be able to face the challenge of producing materials that reflect the spiritual and intellectual aspiration of the African peoples. In order to accomplish these goals, NAFTI endows its students with modern facilities and equipment. The main NAFTI Library houses the largest book stock (about 25,000) and, film and television materials. The Library subscribes to twenty professional serials (periodicals, journals, magazines) and its collections also cover other branches of the arts which are related to NAFTI’s core discipline of film and television. NAFTI has a well-equipped television studio, film and video production equipment, computer animation facilities, still photo laboratory, viewing theatres, etc.

NAFTI aspires to maintain and further establish a reputation for excellence in film and television education, and also aims to be a worldwide model for other regional institutions of higher education and thereby attract more funding and other forms of support.

www.nafti.edu.gh

MAISHA

Maisha (which means ‘life’ in Kiswahili) is a non-profit training initiative for emerging East African filmmakers. We provide hands-on intensives in screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, editing, sound recording, and acting.

The roots of the Maisha Foundation date back to 1991, when Oscar-nominated director Mira Nair was shooting her second feature film, ‘Mississippi Masala’ in Kampala, Uganda.

During production, Nair was inspired by Uganda’s rich storytelling tradition, but noted a lack in resources that would allow potential filmmakers to express these narratives onscreen.

Encouraged by her own experiences and the support of the international filmmaking community, Nair founded the Maisha Foundation in 2004. The first Maisha Screenwriting lab took place in Kampala in 2005. Since then, more than 500 participants have attended the Maisha labs on full scholarships, having produced over 50 short films that have been screened in multiple international film festivals.

Each of our labs takes place in each of Maisha’s 4 target countries (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania) in conjunction with a partner organization’s cultural event. Maisha has forged long-standing partnerships with the Rwanda Film Festival, the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts, the Kenya International Film Festival, and the Zanzibar International Film Festival. These cultural events provide a backdrop for participants and mentors to network and engage with the local filmmaking community. Maisha plans to continue offering these programs as a vital part of the curriculum. By placing training squarely in the hands and hearts of those who live in the region, Maisha allows unique voices to be heard on the screen. Our filmmakers learn that instead of being spoken for, they have the power to speak for themselves.

Our films have been screened at over 20 international film festivals including The Berlin Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, International Rotterdam Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival among many others. A number of Maisha alumni have received further funding to actualize their short films into features.

Maisha is a leadership development organization. We invest in an emerging film industry in East Africa—with the twin goals of creating economic capacity while contributing vibrant new voices to an increasingly international film world. We don’t just make films, we make filmmakers.

Film is a powerful medium for the transmission of ideas in a free society. In addition to giving our participants the tools to articulate their stories on screen, our curriculum encompasses the practical aspects of filmmaking as well, answering questions such as: “How do I get my film financed?” “How do I pitch my story?” and “How can I make a living as a filmmaker?”

Maisha Film Lab hopes to continue having a positive impact on the lives of aspiring filmmakers in East Africa, and consequently, create an impression on the larger global community.

www.maishafilmlab.org