Filming in Argentina: The blog of San Telmo Productions

Film Schools in Argentina

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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.

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