From Miloš Forman and Agnieszka Holland, to Emir Kusturica and Jan Sverák – few countries boast a tradition of filmmaking as rich as the Czech Republic. And now it’s your turn to join it.
Through Czech language study, film theory and intensive student-led projects, the CIEE Film Studies study abroad program in Prague gives serious film students an exceptional international opportunity to hone their production and screenwriting skills through work and study with some of Europe’s leading film professionals.
Study abroad in Prague and you will:
Study with both American and international film students at The Prague Film and Television School of the Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU), one of the preeminent film schools in Central Europe.
Work directly with film professionals to produce a short 16mm film or develop a feature-length screenplay
Visit local film studios and attend guest lectures by European directors, producers, cinematographers, and screenwriters
Whether your place is at the writer’s table or behind the camera, build your knowledge of Central European film tradition and develop your practical skills, using Prague’s beauty as inspiration for your creative projects.
The CIEE Difference
Continue to build your understanding film theory through a host of required and elective courses:
Analyze feature length films from a practical dramaturgical perspective, discussing dramatic structures, narrative techniques, and genres, while examining the process and craft of screenwriting in Script Analysis
In Visual Theory, investigate the construction of visual images, analyzing the use of various aesthetic and design elements used by image-makers and the effects of these elements on the viewer
Explore the voluminous possibilities in film language and non-narrative cinema in Topics in Avant-Garde Cinema
Production and Screenwriting Tracks
Grow your skills and work through mentor-style instruction from renowned and professionally active FAMU faculty in one of two tracks of study:
In the Production Track, you’ll engage in pre-production, production, and post-production of a short 16mm film, under the supervision of faculty mentors and the support of FAMU studio production staff.
In the Screenwriting Track, you’ll embark on the creation of the first draft of a feature-length screenplay, actively participating in the critical and constructive analysis of both your own work and that of your peers.
Travel to a number of film schools outside of Prague for master class discussions and film screenings
Tour Barrandov Studios, the so-called “Hollywood of the East”
See the cultural and historic sites of the Czech Republic through an academic, film-oriented field trip led by CIEE/FAMU professors and staff
Total recommended credit for the semester is 17 semester/25.5 quarter hours. Contact hours are 45 hours with recommended credit of 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours, unless otherwise indicated.
Production Track: All study abroad students enroll in Intensive Czech Language, Topics in Production, and Filmmaking Practicum and Mentorship. In addition, students choose two regular 3-credit FAMU courses from the selected FAMU courses. At least one must be from the Production Track electives.
Screenwriting Track: All students enroll in Intensive Czech Language, Feature Screenwriting, and Script Analysis. In addition, students choose two regular 3-credit FAMU courses from the selected FAMU courses listed. At least one must be from the Screenwriting Track electives.
Because of its innumerable characteristic steeples, Prague is called the city of a thousand spires. This EU member is a perfect example of the steady development of a society while recently transitioning from its communist past. With a population of only 1.2 million, Prague has an unusually rich cultural life: festivals, operas, concerts, and cultural programs, many accessible on a student budget. CIEE study abroad students experience life similar to that of Czech students and make use of numerous neighborhoods of the city like native Praguers.
Where You’ll Study
The Prague Film and Television School of the Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU) is one of the preeminent film schools in Central Europe. It is one of the three schools that comprise the Academy of Performing Arts and one of the oldest film schools in Europe. Many influential filmmakers and screenwriters are FAMU alumni, including Stanislav Barabas and Oscar-winners Miloš Forman and Agnieszka Holland. FAMU offers professional film production facilities including digital Betacam, HDV, and 16mm and 35mm film for student work.
Housing & Meals
Study abroad students live in CIEE-administered apartments with other CIEE Film Studies participants and local film students (CIEE Flat Buddy). Each CIEE apartment houses three CIEE students as well as one Flat Buddy. Apartments consist of two bedrooms with shared areas: fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom. Please note that meals and Internet fees are not included with this option. Apartments are located in various locations in the center, all within close proximity to FAMU.
The CIEE Film Studies Program operating at FAMU since 2008 is designed for students who have prior experience in film production, screenwriting, or film studies and offers qualified students the opportunity to engage firsthand in film production and screenwriting work alongside faculty, staff, and students at one of Europe’s top film schools. Through a combination of specially designed CIEE film courses and FAMU elective offerings, students hone their production and writing skills and develop and produce their own short films in teams of two on the Production Track, or write their own screenplays on the Screenwriting Track. Please note that CIEE reserves the right to combine the two tracks should there be insufficient enrollment in one of the tracks.
The Film Studies Program includes both practical hands-on and traditional university courses. The Production Track has eight weeks of instruction, two weeks of guided pre-production, two weeks of production, and two weeks of post-production. The Screenwriting Track follows a more traditional schedule, also fourteen weeks, and culminates in the creation of a feature-length screenplay. Courses are small and include both theoretical and practical exercises. The study abroad program is intensive in nature and requires both evening and weekend sessions, film screenings, and production work.
All classes are taught by FAMU professors. Professors encourage participation and active student engagement in the course material. FAMU expects independent, mature students who come prepared to follow the advice of the faculty. A mentorship style of instruction is utilized in many classes, requiring students to do outside work and consult with the faculty individually or in small groups.
Nature of Classes
Required CIEE Czech language and production and screenwriting courses are with CIEE students only. FAMU elective courses are with CIEE and international students.
Assessment is varied in nature and includes mid-term and final exams, faculty assessment of final production or screenwriting projects, and participation in seminars, workshops, and other program activities. All courses are graded A–F.
Language of Instruction
Czech language is taught by language faculty from Charles University. All required and elective Film Studies courses are taught by faculty and staff from FAMU. The students are under the guidance of FAMU faculty member, Mary Angiolillo, their acting instructor in the topics in production course, and the liaison between CIEE and FAMU. Mary is a native American, but is a longtime resident of the Czech Republic. With a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Mary initially came to Europe on a CIEE study abroad program, and is well prepared and eager to help the students in their work at FAMU.