College Cinema

Screenwriting, Directing & Producing

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First class:

20 Assigned vacancies

Second class:

20 Assigned vacancies


A few things you should know before choosing this College

You memorise all the lines from your favourite films, you queue up at the cinema for every new release, and you stay up all night to watch the Oscars ceremony every year. You may have filmed some short video clips with your friends and entered them in a competition. If you recognise yourself in any of the above, that’s great: there’s a good chance that this is the College for you.

Be aware though that anyone who decides to study Cinema has to be a social animal; don’t expect to sit in your room scribbling away on your own. You never work alone here, whether you’re working on a set or writing screenplays. So make a note to get yourself a pair of comfortable shoes and get ready to work alongside your classmates.


What you’ll be doing over the two years

We’ll start with the ABC of cinema fundamentals: framing shots, editing, staging, film history, etc. You’ll learn how to write a screenplay and there will be a basic course in directing. The legendary Bruno Fornara will teach you how to really watch a movie, and you’ll also have the chance to sit on the jury of a film festival; the award for best screenplay at the Torino Film Festival  is traditionally decided by cinema students from Holden.

You won’t just be studying theory, you’ll also – and more importantly – be doing practical work. There’s a studio set and equipment at the school available for your use including video cameras, lighting and sound equipment. There will also be a photography course. This year, our Cinema students are experimenting with Zeiss lenses and Red Epic W 8-K video cameras (this camera is what they used to film Guardians of the Galaxy. You can’t get much more advanced than that). There are also acting and blocking classes to familiarise you with the work of actors and learn how to direct (what does telling a person being filmed to do something really mean? How can you know it if you’ve never tried?).

You’ll find out about film production and distribution mechanisms, and ultimately you’ll never stop writing, filming, organising sets, and looking for new stories, ideas and faces for your next project.


What you’ll be able to do by the time you leave

  • you’ll know how to write a script, present your project to producers, and persuade them to invest in your idea;
  • you’ll know your way around a set, and you’ll have experience in practically every role involved on a film set;
  • you’ll know all the ins and outs of making a film, from the initial subject’s conception, through the various stages of script writing, set management and production budget, to staging, post-production and distribution to cinemas;
  • you’ll have a portfolio of work you’ve done (short films, teasers, etc.) and you’ll have at least one major project under development (a screenplay for a feature film or documentary, for example).




Marta Donzelli


Who is she?

A film producer. Together with Gregorio Paonessa, she established Vivo Film in 2004: an independent film and documentary production company.


A few of the films she’s produced

Il mio paese (My Country) by Daniele Vicari, which won the David di Donatello award for Best Documentary in 2007, and Imatra by Corso Salani, which won the Golden Leopard – a Special Jury Prize at the 60th Locarno International Film Festival. Le quattro volte (The Four Times) by Michelangelo Frammartino was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, where it won the Europa Cinemas Label for Best European Film. This is one of the best award-winning Italian films of the last ten years; it received a special Silver Ribbon in 2010, three Ciak d’Oros and three nominations at the David di Donatello awards in 2011.


Last thing she’s done

She produced Nico, 1988 by Susanna Nicchiarelli, that won the Orizzonti Award for Best Film at the 74th Venice Film Festival.


Interesting fact

The name of the production company comes from Danish poet Søren Ulrich Thomsen; Vivo is the title of one of his poems. In 1999 Jørgen Leth made a documentary about Thomsen entitled I’m Alive. As Marta Donzelli says, “His cinema is one where the distinction between reality and fiction is blurred, because what matters is getting to the heart of things. The word Vivo is a demonstration of the meaning that we try to give to our work every day, a meridian that has guided us and still guides us in our choices, aspiring to use the language of film in its broadest sense and with the utmost freedom, to tell the story of our country, its memories of the past, the world in which we live, and the ways it is changing. The first thing that Vivo Film did after it was established was to acquire the Italian distribution rights to I’m Alive, and in 2005 we organised the first Italian retrospective on Jørgen Leth”.




The Master of Biennio (two school years) 2016-2018 is Nicola Giuliano, a film producer and the founder of Indigo Film. He has produced all of the films by Sorrentino.


Here’s a list of people who dropped by College Cinema during the last years: Sergio Castellitto, Nanni Moretti, Domenico Procacci, Andrew Speller, Dylan Stone, Alina Marazzi, Suzy Gillett, Luke Schiller, Stefania Marangoni, Andrea Jublin, Andrea Tomaselli, Daniele Segre, Gigi Roccati, Marco Ponti, Giovanni Arcangeli, Bruno Fornara, Lucian Georgescu, Paolo Virzì, Ferzan Ozpetek, Giorgio Diritti.