I bet you know a lot of successful people in the filmmaking industry who are successful without attending a film school. Right? Well, the truth is that a film degree is not necessary to work in the film industry. Many accomplished filmmakers received their education either through independent or on-the-job training. However, film schools can offer you a structured and formal program to learn the skills and expertise required to pursue a profession in filmmaking.
Film schools are educational institutes that specialize in teaching various aspects of filmmaking including film production, film theory, digital media production, and screenwriting. Most film schools typically include both technical training and cinematic history studies in their curriculum. The technical training may cover instructions in the use and operation of cameras, lighting gear, software for film or video editing, and other pertinent equipment. Film schools also offer courses and training in areas including television production, broadcasting, audio engineering, and animation.
There are several film schools in Switzerland that can offer this formal education that gives you the backpack you need to hit the filmmaking profession with a headstart. In this article, we will be listing the 10 best film schools in Switzerland you can consider if you are looking to become a professional filmmaker.
The 10 Best Film Schools in Switzerland
It might be shocking to learn that the Swiss government invests 5.7% of its GDP towards the nation’s education system. This may have resulted in Switzerland’s educational system is well-known across the world for upholding high academic standards, cutting-edge research findings, and student-centered instructional strategies. The film schools in Switzerland are educational institutes too and hence are no different.
#1. Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (CILECT)
The art and design school Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) is one of the best film schools in Switzerland situated in the Renens neighborhood of Lausanne. It was established in 1821 and is connected to the Western Swiss University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HES-SO). ECAL provides a range of courses in digital media, design, and art. The institution is renowned for its cutting-edge and innovative approach to education. ECAL students are encouraged to experiment with new and emerging technologies and think critically and creatively.
ECAL’s film school has an excellent reputation. The school provides a three-year Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking curriculum. Students will receive a thorough education in all facets of filmmaking, from pre-production to post-production, as a result of the program’s design.
A competitive exam is required for students to be admitted to the Foundation Year at ECAL, and its goal is to evaluate their artistic and creative aptitudes.
As part of their online registration, candidates send ECAL
- A comprehensive resume
- A duplicate of an identity document
- A copy of the necessary credentials and/or certifications (for languages other than French, German, Italian, English, or Spanish, a verified translation is required).
#2. Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts Genève
The Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts Genève (HEAD) is a public art and design school in Geneva, Switzerland. It was established in 1748 as an École de Dessein and has since developed into one of Europe’s top institutions for art and design.
The Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts Genève (HEAD) has a film school. The university provides a three-year curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema that trains students for a job in the film industry. Among the many topics covered by the program are screenwriting, digital media creation, cinema theory, and the production of moving pictures. Additionally, students have the chance to collaborate on actual film productions.
To get admission into HEAD, applicants must have the following
- A high school diploma or equivalent from a recognized institution.
- An official TOEFL score of at least 90
- An official IELTS score of at least 6.5
- A certificate of completion of an English language course at a recognized institution
- Applicants to all programs must submit a portfolio of their work. They are also required to submit a short film.
The deadline for applying for the undergraduate program is January 31st.
#3. Ecole de Cinema, Genève
The Ecole de Cinema Genève is one of the film schools in Switzerland located in Geneva. A group of academics and filmmakers formed it in 1992. A Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema and a Master of Arts degree in Cinema are among the institution’s several undergraduate and graduate programs.
Students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in cinema or any other related discipline can enroll in the two-year Master of Arts in Cinema program. The curriculum focuses on in-depth research in screenplay, production, and film theory.
After paying the required application fee for this film school in Switzerland, applicants are required to:
- Complete application file
- Be interviewed (by appointment) by one of the members of management.
- Pass the aptitude test (exercise related to cinema).
- If the interview is validated, confirmation of registration by payment of the first month of tuition.
The file required for registration should cover:
- Presentation video: Why are you interested in cinema? Gender and free form. Max 1 minute.
- Demo or portfolio (short films made, etc.)
- 1 Passport-sized photo (photocopies not admissible)
- Copy of identity document
- CV and cover letter
- Copy of the civil liability insurance policy (RC)
- Registration form with signed legal agreements
#4. F+F Zürich – Schule für Kunst und Mediendesign
The only significant art and design university that is a non-profit foundation is The F+ F School. Small class numbers and manageable group sizes in the courses allow for personalized and practice-oriented instruction and continuing education with a vast network of speakers. All training programs are state-approved and typically qualify for financial aid.
Registration for the school year 2024/25 opens on June 16, 2024, and the training starts on August 26, 2024. An admission fee of CHF 150.00 is required to apply for this school.
The following data is required to be uploaded:
- Portrait photo at least 300 dpi (4.5 * 5.5 cm), with a neutral light background (passport photo), max. 1MB
- Training certificates
- Job references
- Motivation letter
#5. Haute Ecole d’Arts Appliquès du Canton Vaud
The Haute École d’Arts Appliques du Canton de Vaud is located in Switzerland, which has a population of approximately 8.7 million people. 75-80% of applicants are accepted by universities. Local and foreign students are admitted to the university. The educational language is French. Numerous universities offer degree programs in English. Students may apply to programs leading to the bachelor’s (B.Sc. ), master’s (M.Sc. ), and doctoral degrees. The university is a recognized institution recognized by the Swiss Ministry of Higher Education.
Documents you would need to apply for this school are listed below.
- Diploma (Certificate) – translation into French, if required
- Transcript – translation into French, if required
- Identity document (Passport) as well as a copy of the residence permit if available (notarized translation into French, if required).
- Digital photo in size of 384;
- Language Certificate if any (optional)
- Medical certificate if required by the university.
#6. Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel (HGK Basel)
In Basel, Switzerland, there is a public art and design school called Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel (HGK Basel). In 1999, the Hochschule für Gestaltung Basel (HGK) and the Kunsthochschule Basel (KHB) merged to form the new institution. At the undergraduate and graduate levels, the school provides a wide range of degrees in fine arts, design, and media and information design.
To apply and register for an aptitude test for a place at the HGK Basel, the required documents must be submitted on the following dates:
- Bachelor’s degree: February 15, 2024
- Master’s degree: March 15, 2024
#7. Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Luzern
The Lucerne School of Art and Design, established in 1877 as the Lucerne School of Arts and Crafts, now enrolls over 900 students and is one of Switzerland’s top universities for degree programs in art, design, and film. These students make use of the school’s outstanding research and development capabilities.
The Lucerne School of Arts and Crafts creates images, narratives, products, techniques, and processes that convey meaning and add cultural, economic, and social value. Their workshops are practical and relevant; they have a high public presence and collaborate with their external partners. Despite having their origins in Central Switzerland, Lucerne School of Arts and Crafts has a global network.
Before the application is submitted, a fee of CHF 200 must be paid for the admissions procedure.
The online application form must have all supporting papers supplied (file size limit: 2GB).
The following files must be included in your application:
- Upper Secondary level degree certification (Higher Secondary Education, A-Level, Senior High)
- Diplomas, school records, or certifications related to your fundamental and advanced education
- Exmatriculation confirmation (from former Swiss universities)
- Language accreditations
- References from employers and confirmations of your professional experience/work
Foreign degrees must be accompanied by an English or German translation and the original scan.
The next step in the application process is to anticipate a 45-minute physical interview. After which you await an acceptance or rejection letter.
#8. Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Zuerich
Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Zürich (HGK Zürich) is an art and design public school in Zürich, Switzerland. It was established in 1875 as the Zürich Kunstgewerbeschule (KGZ). At the undergraduate and graduate levels, the school provides a wide range of degrees in fine arts, design, and media and information design.
The Department of Performing Arts and Film offers courses in three disciplines of performance arts: film, dance, and theatre. The three master’s degree provides—in dance, theater, and film—are made as cluster offers. Opportunities for cross-disciplinary study are both possible and preferred. The department owns two venues: the Toni Cinema and the Theater of the Arts. For the courses, they act as classrooms and places for presentations.
An admission fee of CHF 720 / CHF 1220 is required to apply for this school and the application deadline is February.
#9. SAE Institute
SAE Institute is a global provider of creative media education with over 50 campuses in 25 countries. Programs in audio engineering, music production, film, animation, digital design, and the entertainment industry are among the many creative media courses that SAE provides.
SAE is renowned for its practical, hands-on approach to education. Students have access to cutting-edge facilities and instruction from professionals in the field. Employers in the creative media industry value SAE graduates highly. Additionally, SAE Institute has solid connections with business partners, which presents students with chances for internships and post-graduation jobs.
Since SAE Institute has 54 campuses across 28 countries, the tuition fee and admission requirements may vary depending on the nationality of the applicants, the campus location, and the program.
This is the last film in our list of the best film schools in Switzerland. It is situated in Schlieren, Switzerland. A group of academics and filmmakers formed Studio1 in 1991. The institution provides a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, such as a Master of Arts in Film and a Diploma in Filmmaking.
Students can prepare for a career in filmmaking by enrolling in the three-year Diploma in Filmmaking program. Among the many topics covered by the program are screenwriting, digital media creation, cinema theory, and the production of moving pictures. Additionally, students have the chance to collaborate on actual film productions.
What age do most people go to film schools in Switzerland?
The age range of transfer students is 20 to 40, with a 25 average age. Despite your age, you will fit in just fine. Additionally, you will be considerably younger than the instructors, which is a benefit.
Which country has the richest film industry?
Since the early 20th century, American cinema, sometimes known as Hollywood, has had a significant impact on cinema all over the world. Hollywood in the United States is both the largest and oldest film industry in the world in terms of revenue.
These top ten film schools in Switzerland are the ones you should look into if you want to reap the rewards of structured filmmaking education. These film schools in Switzerland assure you that they will provide you with a sense of direction, a foundation of information, experience, and connections from which you can draw as you develop your career in the film business. Do share this post on your social media accounts if you find it to be useful.