BFA Academic overview

 
EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAM

Our goal is to educate filmmakers in the spirit of humanism and liberalism, artists of individual outlook, capable of asserting their own vision and offering answers to the current state of our world and social progressions. Both our undergraduate and post-graduate programs place a strong accent on practical work and experience in exploring the filmmaker’s own creative voice. At the BFA level, core classes form a backbone to exciting workshops, master classes and specialized modules, seeking to combine the build-up of candidates’ technical capabilities with their creative and artistic development. Our tuition-based system and limited class size ensure that individual needs of each candidate are addressed as we offer competitive education; well beyond the basic goal of is a graduate’s easy integration into the film industry. Our faculty brings together some of the most prominent and experienced filmmakers and industry professionals, with world renowned authors joining us both as core staff and visiting lecturers.

The BFA Program is a three-year (6 Semesters), Bologna certified degree program. 

 

BFA YEAR 1

In the first year students learn the basic aspects of filmmaking, through acquiring core knowledge and experience about film and film language. The emphasis is on “hands-on” practical work, through the required completion of 4 film exercises (maximum 5 minutes each), covering themes of Space, Time, Marketplace and Crossroad. Students will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of visual storytelling - cinematic space and time, introduction to cinematography, sound and editing techniques, production. This knowledge will provide the students with the basic narrative and visual literacy, preparing them for the development of their own creative projects. 

 

BFA YEAR 2

During the second year the students will complete a documentary film (10 to 30 minutes) and receive an introduction into fiction film format. Among other, second year courses will explore the relationship between literature and film, making literary adaptations, learning different dramaturgical structures and mastering key elements of cinematic narration like mise-en-scène, decoupage and montage. Furthermore, the students will learn about character building and portrayal, as well asworking with actors. In the final semester of the academic year (Semester 4), candidates will complete a short fiction film (up to 10 minutes), either as a literary adaptation or an original script. 

 

BFA YEAR 3

During the third year, the accent is placed on students’ personal artistic development and the growth of their expression in terms of film language and style. Technical training will continue with grater tailoring (mentorship) to individual student’s needs, and achieved knowledge in liberal arts, film history and art history will be both utilized and challenged. Master classes with leading international professionals and artists will continue as a strong element of inspiration and guidance, as candidates work towards the preparation of their graduate film. Core classes will be completed at close of Semester 5. During the final academic semester (Semester 6), candidates will complete the graduate film, in genre and style of their choice, in consultation with mentors. Candidates will have set budgets and professional crew support in realization of their final graduate films.

 


INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING

At the end of the three-year program students should be able to demonstrate basic understanding of the:

  • Filmmaking

Idea, synopsis, screenplay, storyboard, preparation for shooting, organization of shooting, methods of shooting, structure of the film crew, postproduction.

  • Film art and technique

The techniques of photography, age of pre-cinematic inventions, phonography, camera, laboratory processing, projections.

  • Working with actors

History of performing arts, script character analysis, director-actor relationship, character building and portrayal, relationship between tech specifications and character portrayal.

  • Theory (aesthetics) of film

Methodologies of image analysis, the relationship of film to reality, the nature of the creative process, structure of a film work, movements and styles in film, film genres, the most important theories of film.

  • Film history

Director's Poetics, history of concepts and most significant achievements in film art, landmark authors: influences and impact, movements and styles in film, the evolution of film expression.

  • Film production

No budget, low budget, high budget, introduction to film industry, independent production, large studio production, preproduction and organization of production, financing of production, distribution, screening.

  • Film and society

Influence of social and environmental circumstances on film, film art from esthetics to social values and dimensions, film and politics, film audiences and venues (from traditional cinema to galleries and installations), new technologies and screening formats, film criticism, film publications, censorship. 

 

COGNITIVE SKILS

At the end of the three-year program students should be able to:

  • Applytheoretical knowledge, practical knowledge and understanding of concepts in practice.
  • Develop critical awareness in film art, as well as awareness of own esthetics with means of defending and exploring personal artistic approaches.
  • Interpret visual styles through film history, with ability to identify and examine building blocks in development of own film style.  
  • Effectively communicate ideas, decisions and instructions to the film crew.

 

LEARNING AND TEACHING STRATEGIES

Courses are held as core classes, supported by workshops, modules and master classes by some of the world’s leading film professionals and artists. The students will get help with the development of their own films, from ideas to production, though continuous individual consultations with mentors and work with Academy’s production and technical staff.

Experienced, acclaimed filmmakers and artists, along with accomplished film professionals join the program as guest lecturers (with previous discussions and preparation) for intensive workshops and master classes. All faculty works closely with the students, sharing their craft and practical knowledge through a collaborative process. Our stimulating master classes aim to inspire and give insight into diverse and authentic approaches to filmmaking.

Students are guided though completing four film exercises in the first year. Throughout the second academic year, students will complete a documentary film of up to 30 minutes, as well as a short fiction film of up to 10 minutes. In the third academic year, students will complete a graduate film, in genre and style of their choice. Though all practical work, continuous mentorship is offered, as well as support by technical and production permanent and part-time staff. The students are encouraged to work in groups and on each-other’s projects, taking over various functions within the crew such as cameraman/camerawoman, focus puller, sound engineer, first AD, etc.

All technical and core subjects (script writing, working with actors, directing, technical elements of film, editing, production) require a practical output – completed set exercises or film, on the basis of which candidates are graded. Students are further expected to show the understanding and the application of knowledge learned in theoretical classes, within their practical work.

As part of theoretical subjects and accompanying select modules (film history, film and society, artistic elements of film), students are required to complete a written assignment/essay at the end of each semester.

 

ASSESSEMENT CRITERIA

  • Attendance (students may not miss more than a maximum of 20% of all set classes, modules, workshops and master classes in order to qualify for a degree).
  • Coursework – completion of set exercises and individual projects; participation in group projects and select roles within colleagues’ productions; personal engagement and the meeting of deadlines.
  • Theoretical analyses of films in form of written assignments/essays.
  • Final (end of year) examination that includes the production of individual films.

AWARDING MECHANISM

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Directing

The grading and awarding of the degree will be done in accordance with existing regulations, policies and procedures of the University Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, as well as specified regulations, policies and procedures of Department - Sarajevo Film Academy.

 

These special rules apply:

  • In order to be awarded the BFA degree, a candidate must pass every element of the degree program.
  • The minimum passing grade is D, i.e. 51%.
  • Candidates who pass all elements of the degree program with an average 86% or above will be awarded the degree with Distinction.
  • Candidates who take an individual element or elements of the program for training purposes (non-degree track) may be considered for the Award of a Certificate of SFA for the relevant course or course components.