College Cinema

Screenwriting, Directing & Producing

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21 assigned vacancy

20 assigned vacancy

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. Last year, our Cinema students experimented 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).

Master 2018-2020

Flaminio Zadra


Who is he?

Flaminio Zadra is a film producer and is as Roman as the Nuovo Olimpia and the Metropolitan, two of his favourite cinemas in the capital. He once appeared in the film Estate Romana by Matteo Garrone, for which he was an assistant photographer. He splits his time between Italy and Germany, and the fact that he has an office abroad is linked to the fact that the Metropolitan (like so many other cinemas in Italy) is now permanently closed.


What films has he produced?

Two of his best-known films in Italy are The Edge of Heaven (2007, Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival) and Soul Kitchen (2009, Special Jury Prize at the Venice International Film Festival), both directed by Fatih Akin, the director who won the Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival with Head-On. Flaminio also worked on Julie Bertuccelli’s The Tree (2010).


How did he get started?

By producing a short film by Leonardo D’Agostini in 2005. It had the prophetic title La via del successo (The Road to Success).


His most recent project?

He co-produced In the Fade, a film by Fatih Akin released in theatres in 2017. The protagonist, Diane Kruger, won the Best Actress Award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.


Big question number 1: what’s better, film or digital?

Film – clearly, undoubtedly, indisputably. For Flaminio, digital is a good opportunity for young directors who want to get their name out there quickly and cannot count on big budgets. For more established directors, digital is a stylistic exercise or an opportunity to experiment, but there is no substitute for movies shot on film.


Big question number 2: should films be watched at the cinema or at home?

At the cinema: watching a film there is an experience. But if it’s Sunday, you’re lying on the sofa, it’s raining outside and you want to watch your favourite film or a classic movie for the umpteenth time, then turning on your computer and hitting “Play” is nonetheless an absolute pleasure.


What makes him angry?

Three things: artists being treated like court jesters, anything to do with cronyism, and a lack of determination.


What can you do to prepare yourself for meeting him?

Wait for a rainy day, stake your claim to the sofa at home and binge watch the films that he has produced – two or three at least. You can find the full list here.


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

The Master of 2017-2019 is Marta Donzelli. Together with Gregorio Paonessa, she established Vivo Film, an independent film and documentary production company. They produced Nico, 1988 by Susanna Nicchiarelli, that won the Orizzonti Award for Best Film at the 74th Venice Film Festival.

Here’s a list of people who dropped by College Cinema during the last years: Sergio Castellitto and Margaret Mazzantini, Nanni Moretti, Domenico Procacci, Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia, 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.