MFA Academic overview

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME:

We have to educate filmmakers who think responsibly and in a humanistic manner, artists who have an individual look, their own form of expression and use their creative powers in defense of the dignity of man, depicting the reality billowing on around us. It is a question of worldview that has to influence work of young filmmakers and it is based on extremely strong, solid moral of filmmaking. Thus the main aim of this film school would primarily be the instruction of filmmakers who can give their own answers to social progressions. We strongly belief that film is an independent art discipline. We can provide students with the knowledge on how to make professional films. The talent they have to bring by themselves.

Time of the MFA study is 2 years. We expect that the students possess a basic knowledge of the fundamental aspects of filmmaking, film history and film theory. The main objective of the Programme is not only to expand and consolidate the knowledge and skills of students, but also to educate filmmakers who leave the beaten track of film industry behind and liberate their imagination and creativity, filmmakers who develop their own distinctive style of author film.

During the first year we will help the students to expand their knowledge in all the main elements of filmmaking. One main goal of the curriculum is the relations between reality, society and film and creation of content that covers these acknowledgments. At the end of the first year, every student has to produce a documentary or an up to 20 min. original or literature-based fiction film. The second year would mostly concentrate on artistic development of an original distinctive style of filmmaking. At the end of the second year the students should each do a (minimum) 20 min. long fictional film in a dramatic genre of their choice which will be considered as their final thesis project and it has to be approved by their mentor.


INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES:

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:

At the end of the 2-year programme students should be able to demonstrate advanced understanding of the:

  1. Filmmaking: Students should be able to develop and create a feature film project in a professional way - Idea, synopsis, screenplay, storyboard, cinematography, mise-en-scène, montage, preparation for shooting, different methods of shooting, organisation of shooting, film crew, postproduction, final creation of film.
  2. Creative process: In-depth knowledge and understanding of the aesthetic and technique of the main aspects of filmmaking - photography, working with professional and amateur actors, production design, art design, costume design, editing and montage. Students should be able to communicate their ideas, decisions and instructions to all departments of the film crew.
  3. Film art and technique. Science as a precondition of the discovery and development of film. The techniques of photography, pre-cinematic inventions, phonography, camera, laboratory processing, projections.
  4. Theory (aesthetics) of film. Methodologies of analysis of images. Film as a form of artistic expression. Categories of film expression, the relationship of film to reality, the psychology of film, the nature of the creative process, structures of a film work, film and other arts, film categories, types, and genres, theories of film, key theoreticians of film. The differences between film and digital medium.
  5. Materialistic history of film and history of concepts and practices of the image. The conditions of the birth of film, the prehistory of the cinematic seeing of the world, the period
  6. of the silent film, talkies, the age of television, the digital age. Film movements, styles, national cinematography. The case of experimental film and Film Encyclopaedia. The evolution of film categories, types and genres. The evolution of film expression. The greatest achievements of the art of film.
  7. Film production – manufacture and industry, organisation of production, financing of production, sales agent, film distribution, film advertising, screening. Movie theatres, festivals, laws on film, international film organisations.
  8. Film and society, film politics, the film audiences and different screening places - from traditional cinema to galleries and installations. Manifestos, censorship, film criticism, film magazines and schools. The star system, the typology of “stars” regarding their socio-psychological significance.

LEARNING AND TEACHING STRATEGIES TO BE USED:

Courses are conducted mainly in the form of workshops and seminars, held by mentor, leading professors of the courses and guest lecturers, where theoretical lectures and practical exercises will be merged. The students will get help with their practical realisation of exercises and films through continuous individual consultations with their mentor. Experienced, renowned filmmakers and film artists join the programme (with previous discussion and preparation) for intensive one to four week sets. They work closely with the students, sharing their craft and practical knowledge through a collaborative process. Under the motto "How did you do it ...?" we invite mature and sensitive filmmakers that already succeed to liberate their phantasy and create strong films. The aim of those workshops is to give insight about different and authentic approaches of contemporary filmmaking.

Students should realize at least a short film or practical exercise per semester. This may be an individual project or a group work within the framework of a workshop. Furthermore they have to realize one final film project each year.

In their practical work, the students are encouraged to work in groups in which they take over various functions within the crew like cameraman, focus puller, sound engineer, first AD, etc. They also should share and discuss their filmmaking work and experience with other film students.

COGNITIVE SKILS:

At the end of the programme students should be able to:

  1. Apply advanced theoretical and practical knowledge and the concepts in the film practice.
  2. Identify critical awareness and responsibility for the image of different aesthetical approaches in filmmaking that arise in different geopolitical, economic, cultural and individual contexts.
  3. Interpret visual styles through the film history and develop their own film style.
  4. Effectively communicate thoughts and opinions in spirit of humanism and artistic freedom, as expression of personal and human liberty.

ASSESSEMENT CRITERIA:

  1. Practical coursework: in-class and film screenings participation.
  2. Presentation on selected topics.
  3. Theoretical and empirical research.
  4. Final exam that includes production of the final film.

AWARDING MECHANISM:

MFA in FILM DIRECTING
  • The grading and awarding of the degree will be done in accordance with existing regulations, policies and procedures of the Sarajevo School of Science.

These special rules apply:

  • In order to be awarded the MFA degree; a candidate must pass every element of the degree programme.
  • The minimum passing grade is C, i.e. 60%.
  • Candidates who pass all elements of the degree programme with an average 86% or above will be awarded the masters degree with distinction.
  • Candidates who pass the project but fail no more than two taught courses may be considered for the award of Undergraduate Certificate of SFA
  • Candidates who take an individual element of the program for training purposes may be considered for the award of a Certificate of SFA in that element.