Film Schools in Argentina

There are 14,000 film students in Argentina, which means that there are probably 13,500 too many. Especially when you consider that the vast majority want to direct. The film industry (which includes the filming of commercials for TV) generates only about 2000 paid posts per year (and keep in mind, that some of these jobs only last for one day). There are over a dozen film schools in Buenos Aires–too many to list here–but I´ll list the top ones with some personal observations for those thinking about going, or looking to hire an alumni. With some exceptions, most are open admissions, accepting on first come, first served basis (and tend not to give scholarships).

Universidad de Cine. AKA “La Fuc” http://www.ucine.edu.ar/

The most expensive school in Buenos Aires, meaning that most students are foreigners or very wealthy. Beautiful campus in San Telmo, over 1,000 students. Emphasis is on production, the school produces feature length films as well as hundreds of shorts each year, most with latest equipment. Strong alumni network, prestigious professors. The main problem isn´t with the school, but with the students: while they are firm believers in their talent but most haven´t worked an honest day in their lives. And trust me, when you are working under them, they make you sweat, often for no good reason (and then they don´t pay you). “Snobby” is an understatement. School also encourages a style that is light on plot and heavy on beautifully photographed sequences of nothing.

ENERC www.enerc.gov.ar/

The only highly selective film school in Buenos Aires, run by the government. Completely free. All students must take a month long entry course, and only seven students are admitted to each field of study (direction, production, sound, editing, script writing, photography, art) out of hundreds of applicants. It is not uncommon for a student to have already studied in a private film school just to prepare for the exam. Because it has so few students, alumni network is not as strong as La Fuc–but because of its selective nature, alumni tend to be a who´s who of Argentine Film. Also offers free courses to the general public.

CIC www.cic.edu.ar/

Popular amongst students from other countries in Latin America, this school offers some of the bells and whistles of la fuc but without the attitude. Solid formation, little hype.

CFP-SICA

This school is run by the filmmakers´ union, SICA. Instead of offering a degree, if offers courses in practical aspects of film making. The two year long course in Director of Photography is considered by many to be a “must” for aspiring DoPs. In addition to courses, the school also offers seminars and group projects (fiction shorts, documentaries, internships) for students to get hands on experience. A great option for people who want to learn everything but theory. Strong alumni network, mainly because professors also work in the industry.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Film Schools in Argentina

  1. Muy bueno el post.
    Pero creo que falto la Escuela de Cine de Avellaneda, ¿no creen?

    ¡Saludos!

  2. Pingback: 2010 in review « Filming in Argentina: The blog of San Telmo Productions

  3. Pingback: MFA in Film | Kris Haamer *

  4. he there, this is a great blog and a good information source of argentinian film-industry.

    i’m like to get in contact with argentinian film-students and production-companies for the reason to work on a temporary project-based basis.

    is there a possibility to join a filmschool like ENERC, CIC or CFP-SICA for a seminar of two month or a shooting-time?

    I work as a cinematographer and DIT here in Cologne, Germany.

    Thank you in advance.

    Kind regards
    Ronny

  5. The CFP-SICA is the best bet for short classes as you can take them one at a time, no need to be a full time student. The other schools are degree granting institutions, and you will need a student visa and enroll full time. The ENERC does offer free seminars and you can listen in on classes in the UBA, but for networking with professionals, the CFP-SICA si the best option.

  6. The post lacks of: the IUNA’s(NATIONAL UNIVERSITARIAN ART INSTITUTE) degree for FILMMAKING and the FADU’s(Arquitecture, Design and Urbanism School of the University of Buenos Aires) degree for Visual and Sound Design(Diseño de Imagen y Sonido). Both of them are ways of studying filmmaking for free, and the only 2 UNIVERSITARIAN degrees to study filmmaking in Buenos Aires, which really include theory, investigation and technique. The rest are only Film SCHOOLS(Private or Public).

    Thinking that going to certain Film Schools will break you into the FILMING MEDIA, its just utopic an innocent.

    I have worked in the MEDIA and met people from The University of Buenos Aires, La Escuela de Cine de Avellaneda, IUNA, ENERC, FUC, etc, etc, etc.

    If you don’t trust yourself and you just depend on a Film School you are damn lost forever in any step you take in your carrer.

    Cheers,

  7. Hi
    I understood that the Argetinian Cinema is sponserd by the INCAA and TV. I would like to know how much money invested per year by the INCAA and TV and others if there is. I’m giving a lacture about Argentinian Cinema and this information will be very helpfull for me. Thank you in advanced
    Smadar

  8. Hi Smadar, Hopefully in the next months we will have an article about this, stay tuned! It is hard to get an exact figure, but it is in the million of dollars.
    About 80 films are funded each year at about half a million dollars each (rough estimate, some get more), in addition about 50 documentaries (about 45,000 USD each), plus TV shows, shorts, other projects.

  9. I went to “La Fuc” and have to say that was a pretty accurate description of it!!

    Although I no longer work in the industry (not directly at least), and believe it or not I did (in a paid post and all!- “lucky” me), I see the massive amounts of film students as a potential to open up the industry and generate more demand, better quality and hopefully a broader and richer spectrum of cultural expressions.

    Also, just out of curiosity, and because I am a bit out of the loop, regarding Smadar’s question are INCAA’s subsidies in dollars or in pesos?

  10. Hi Ana, thanks for sharing your experience at la Fuc.
    All subsidies from the INCAA are in pesos, the prices I quoted below are in dollars to make it easier for an international public to understand.

  11. Hi, I’m a former engineering student looking for a place to study film. I’m currently torn between CIC and FUC.

    FUC is apparently the best films school in BA, according to the internet anyway. But its a bit too expensive. Most of the alumni could be describe as posh and there’s a general atmosphere of elitisms going around.. again.. according to the internet…

    CIC, on the other hand seems more… popular (?). I dont know.. Its slightly cheaper than FUC, you dont get the licentiate degree but you’re out in 3 years. Much less theoretical background and a nod towards TV production rather than the more purist FUC approach.
    I found a lot of comments about it. People that knew CIC students, students, graduates, former students (all with the word, “alleged” attached to them). Some of them good, some bad.. but nothing concrete. The fact that most of them are anonymous does not help at all..

    I need help.. seriously

    Side Note:
    The thing that drives me nuts is that all of the more successful Argentine directors (commercially and artistically) studied abroad. Campanella studied in NYU while Gaspar Noé went to France. Worst, there seems to be a general contempt towards foreign film (at least within the local academic circles).

    Ill be honest, I want to make huge block buster films, not just the more personal artistic more meritorious stuff. I want to work with the big studios.I want to be like Del Toro, not like Jodorowsky (not that I’m aiming for a M.Bay…) I want big movies, meaningful films.

  12. The secret is that the degree is not as important as work experience. No film school in Buenos Aires is geared towards making large films, for that you will need to study in LA, but that does not mean that you cannot learn. Have you thought about taking the test to apply to ENERC? It is easier to enter in the production and sound programs than directing programs, but you will still take many of the same classes. Remember, being a director is a long, hard road, so you need a specific skill to get work experience, and it is work experience that counts. You can also take specific classes at CFP SICA for more technical training, and many talented people come out of the UBA if price is an issue (remember, on top of tuition you need money to buy equipment and make films). In any film school you will find talented people and idiots, hard workers and lazy folks, so don´t let a few bad apples spoil the rep of a school. FUC moves its students films like no other school and can open doors, but there are many people who didn´t go there who are very succesful. I (Ginger Gentile, blog editor) did not go to film school, I got my degree in History then studied in the CFP SICA and some technical courses, also editing with Miguel Perez. But I am fine learning theory on my own, needed help with technical aspects. The important thing is to get working ASAP, which is REALLY hard!
    Ask both schools if you can sit in on a class (or directly ask a professor) to see which approach you like better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s