Minnie Ferrara • Director, Civica Scuola di Cinema Luchino Visconti
“It is essential that education establishes a direct link with the world of work and that we focus on training the professionals demanded by the market”
– We took the opportunity to discuss with the director of the film school about the options offered by the prestigious Milanese institution
We met Minnie ferrara, the director of the Civica Scuola di Cinema Luchino Visconti of Milan. During our conversation, we discussed the educational program offered by the school to its students, its main educational objectives and the strong links forged by the school with the Italian audiovisual industry. The establishment is part of the GEECT (European Group of Film and Television Schools) and the CILECT (International Association of Film and Television Schools).
Cineuropa: How is the school’s educational program structured? What is your mission?
Minnie Ferrara: La Civica Scuola di Cinema Luchino Visconti was founded in the early 1950s and saw its more structured activities increase in the 1960s. Since then it has grown and strengthened continuously by continuously improving its educational program. We now offer a variety of courses. The first is a three-year day course leading to a diploma equivalent to a diploma in film and audiovisual art and technology. This particular course prepares students for eight different fields. It begins with a first year in all fields, exposing the general and theoretical bases of film and audiovisual production. At the end of this first year, the students choose – or are helped to choose – their particular field. The options are filmmaking, screenwriting, production, animation, filming and photography, editing, sound and multimedia. We also offer the traditional evening course. These courses last an average of one year and cover screenwriting, production, documentary filmmaking, and social video making, alongside the new Film Critic and Programmer course. We also offer a variety of short courses for our graduates – or anyone interested in gaining a more in-depth understanding of a specific area, in the interest of lifelong learning – which are aimed at graduates. help them specialize in a field and improve their professional expertise. . Our summer schools take a similar approach. Finally, there is the brand new specialized master organized with the support of Netflix, namely the Master in Series Development, oriented towards the development and creative production of series. This course is focused on the production of new professional figures, namely development executives – called by certain executive producers or creative producers – who will in the future become responsible for the fiction or the content of the various broadcasters or independent producers. Such a person would have strong editorial skills but would also be able to oversee the development of content from conception to distribution. In this time of great crisis for our sector, it is essential that education establish a direct link with the world of work, and that we focus on training the professionals demanded by the market.
In what language are the courses given?
The three-year courses are taught in Italian, although there are occasional meetings with international guests that take place in English. The master’s course itself, however, is largely taught in Italian, although we have several international lecturers who teach their courses in English. That is why we ask for an advanced knowledge of the language as an entry requirement.
What is the admission process for students?
First, they take a written multiple-choice exam. Once they have passed it, they are invited to attend interviews, to which they can bring their equipment. We have a list of reference texts on our website, which we update regularly, and which help students prepare for the exam. Some texts are of general culture, others are specialized in our sector.
Do you offer scholarships?
Yes. Two forms of support are available. Some scholarships, as is the case for all other universities, are funded by the Office for the Right to Higher Education; other forms of support or monetary rewards are financed by private donations.
Are internships optional or compulsory?
Before being able to graduate, students must earn credits through educational internships. After their diploma, we support them through a series of extra-curricular internships. We are in contact with various production houses and players in the sector who are always looking for young graduates to invest and develop.
What changes have you made to your teaching activities in these times of Covid?
If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would say we jumped through hoops! Covid took us by surprise the first year, like everyone else. But we never stopped our classes. We managed to cover the theoretical element of the course and to carry out practical experiences via distance education. Then we postponed the end of the academic year; our students graduated in september and with a lot of effort and working 24/7 we were able to catch up with our workshops. We were better prepared this year and we managed to organize ourselves, planning as many workshops as possible, as soon as the rules allowed, but also ready and willing to adopt alternative solutions. Now we’re all caught up, we made it!
(Translated from Italian)