Top 15 International Film Schools Revealed

6:30 AM 8/18/2016

by THR staff

Film is one language that doesn't necessarily get lost in translation, and from Moscow to Beijing, London to Paris, the truly cosmopolitan cinema student has plenty of options.

Top 15 International Film Schools -James Cameron visits Beijing Film Academy 2012-H 2016
VCG/Getty Images

(Pictured: From left: James Cameron, producer Jon Landau and Fox’s Jim Gianopulos visit the Beijing Film Academy.)

Reporting by Ashley Cullins, Rebecca Ford, Mia Galuppo, Borys Kit, Kendal McAlpin, Pamela McClintock, Brian Porreca, Tatiana Siegel and Rebecca Sun.

  • Australian Film Television and Radio School

    Jane Campion (The Piano), Phillip Noyce (Salt) and Alexander Proyas (Gods of Egypt) all learned to direct at AFTRS, which will offer a raft of new courses in 2017 under new CEO Neil Peplow in response to a survey of local industry needs.

  • Beijing Film Academy

    The AFI of the East, it has churned out A-list directors (from Zhang Yimou to Zhang Yuan) as well as Chinese film stars (such as Zhou Dongyu, Zhang Yishan and Shawn Dou). Established in 1950, the BFA is considered one of the most elite universities in China, accepting only 400 to 500 students annually.

  • Centro de Capacitacion Cinematografica

    Mexico's biggest film school has one huge advantage over its American rivals — it costs only about $1,600 a year. There are no classes in English, but if your Spanish is up to snuff, you could study at the former film school of Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto.

  • Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia

    The oldest film school in Western Europe — it was founded in 1935 by Mussolini's head of cinema — it is conveniently located right next to Cinecitta. Michelangelo Antonioni learned to shoot here, and Netflix's Marco Polo star Lorenzo Richelmy was the youngest actor ever enrolled.

  • Famu

    The fifth oldest film school in the world, founded in 1947, FAMU offers courses at bachelor and masters levels in English for the 120 international students of its annual intake of 420. Notable alumni include Milos Forman and Milan Kundera.

  • The Filmacademy

    Austria's leading film school counts Oscar winner Michael Haneke (Amour) among its faculty and alumni including art house favorites Jessica Hausner (Amour Fou) and Martin Gschlacht (Goodnight Mommy).

  • Film Academy Baden-Wurttemberg

    One of the few European film schools that specializes in animation, it boasts numerous Student Academy Award winners and nominees, including this year's foreign animation short film Eye for an Eye from Steve Bache and Mahyar Goudarzi.

  • Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography

    Founded in 1919, it once counted Sergei Eisenstein as a member of its faculty. Its alumni include multiple foreign-language Oscar winners, including Nikita Mikhalkov (Burnt by the Sun), Vladimir Menshov (Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears) and Sergei Bondarchuk (War and Peace).

  • La Femis

    Long France's top film school, it has alumni including Arnaud Desplechin, Andre Techine and Jean-Jacques Annaud. And recent graduates have taken top prizes in Cannes and at the Cesar Awards. Deniz Gamze Erguven and Alice Winocour met at the school before penning their Oscar-nominated film Mustang.

  • Lodz Film School

    Poland's top film school, founded in 1948, has produced such prominent filmmakers as Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieslowski. International promotion ensures the work of students is at film festivals in Poland and around the world.

  • National Film and Television School

    NFTS students have won BAFTA's short film prize each of the past three years, and the school is where David Yates, Roger Deakins and Nick Park learned their trade. It also has welcomed master classes from Christopher Nolan, Ron Howard, Tim Bevan, Oliver Stone, David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin. Recent expansion will see a range of additional postgraduate courses in 2017.

  • National University of Theater and Film I.L. Caragiale

    Romania's top film school has undergone a series of name changes since it was founded in 1950, all of them nodding to Ion Luca Caragiale, the nation's most beloved classical playwright. Since 1990 — when it achieved university status — it has perpetuated continual reform, adding specializations from sound editing to puppetry and choreography.

  • The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television

    Last year, thanks to a $10 million gift from Steve Tisch, Tel Aviv University's film department became a full-fledged school.

  • Universidad del Cine

    FUC (as it's commonly known in Argentina) has developed art house auteurs such as Lisandro Alonso (Jauja) and Mariano Llinas (Extraordinary Stories), as well as such mainstream filmmakers as Damian Szifron, whose Wild Tales took in $27 million internationally.

  • Wits School of Arts

    Alums include Gary Barber, CEO of MGM, and writer-director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine). This year's Directors' Fortnight sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival opened with a short by recent Wits grad Samantha Nell.