Presentation

This programme is for students passionate about all genres of film and moving image (fiction, documentary, experimental movie, institutional film, TV programme, video clip and advertising). Although training in directing – including personal scriptwriting – remains central, this Bachelor course also provides extensive multidisciplinary skills in the various film-making professions (scriptwriter, director of photography, editor, sound recordist, mixer…).

Through lectures and workshops provided by renowned figures of the discipline, the students perfect their skills in fields as varied as stage direction, actor direction, scriptwriting or production. Commissions by institutions or companies ensure that students are confronted with an actual working environment. Often presented in festivals the world over and broadcast on national and foreign TV channels, ECAL films are regularly awarded distinctions. Additionally, the students benefit from theoretical courses and multidisciplinary conferences on the ECAL premises.

The skills acquired during the Bachelor curriculum allow students to explore and submit a portfolio of varied films, enabling them to then sign up for various film-making professions, to produce art house films or advertisements, and to work in television, production companies or festivals. The students may also further their knowledge in their preferred field by embarking on the Master in Cinema at ECAL or a similar programme in another institution.

Language

French

Qualification issued

Bachelor of Arts HES-SO in Visual Communication, major in Film

Yearly fees (materials included)

CHF 2425.-

Length

6 semesters

Credits

180 ECTS

Useful links

Admissions Contact

Equipments & infrastructures

Cinema Studio Sound Studio

Learning Objectives

First year
Filming Actors workshop with Monia Chokri and Josée Deshaies
Filming Actors workshop with Monia Chokri and Josée Deshaies
Filming Actors workshop with Monia Chokri and Josée Deshaies
Workshop with Agnès Godard
Workshop with Agnès Godard

1/5

  • Acquire basic artistic and technical notions related to writing (script) and directing personal and collective fiction and documentary films.
  • Deepen the technical tools related to image (light, camera, editing, etc.) and sound (set, sound editing, Pro-Tools software, etc.) as well as to the direction of actors/actresses.
  • Learn about film theory (writing logbooks, sequence analysis, courses in Film History & Aesthetics, History of Art, Photography, Digital Culture, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Contemporary Photography, exhibitions and publications).
  • Benefit from numerous masterclasses with personalities from the world of cinema and other disciplines.
  • Actively participate in the Clermont-Ferrand Festival and in a workshop organised on site with students from theatre conservatories.
Second year
Light workshop with Marianne Lamour
Make-up workshop with Sonia Geneux

1/2

From the second year onwards, students specialise in one of six possible options: Direction – Screenplay – Photography – Edition – Script Supervison – Sound

For all options

  • Complete internships on feature films via filming and/or editing and/or observation courses in collaboration with RTS/RRS (script and editing).
  • Enhance your knowledge through theory courses (internship diaries, writing portraits during masterclasses and interviews according to the chosen disciplines, writing a research paper on a free subject [2nd year]; in the 3rd year writing a major dissertation dealing with a particular aspect of the major).
  • Participate in festivals (one-week stay at Visions du Réel/Nyon, as well as at Cinéma du Réel/Paris, Angers and Belfort [for scriptwriters]).
Direction Option
  • Direct two short films (fiction and documentary) during the academic year, assisted by screenwriters/directors and editors.
  • Get familiar with scriptwriting, directing actors and actresses, composing film crews, safety onset, creating budgets, shooting authorisations, music rights, editing (Avid, Premiere, Pro-tools), and creating film credits.
  • Develop your writing through theoretical workshops (writing portraits during masterclasses, writing a research paper on a free subject).
  • Participate in festivals (one-week stay at Visions du Réel/Nyon, as well as at Cinéma du Réel/Paris, screening of the semester’s documentary films at the Centre Culturel Suisse/Paris.
Image Option
  • Participate as chief operator, camera assistant, electrician, stagehand for fiction films, documentaries and graduation films (BA and MA).
  • Use specific cameras, locations, cutting techniques, films, etc.
  • Learn about the various image-related trades (camera assistant, point workshop, lights & electricity, machinery, security, etc.).
Screenplay Option
  • Write and direct short fiction and documentary films.
  • Write a feature-length fiction film over two years and get accustomed to writing exercises (short synopses, notes of intent, sequencing, treatments, characterisation of characters, non-dialogued continuity, dialogued scenes, etc.).
  • Shoot a sequence of the planned feature film.
Sound Option
  • Work as a sound engineer on fiction and graduation films (BA and MA).
  • Make a documentary film (from writing to sound editing).
  • Learn specific techniques (perched sound recording, HF, ambience, mix range exercises, etc.).
  • Develop a freesound creation.
  • Learn how to use ECAL’s sound studio and how to prepare projects before mixing in the Auditorium.
Script Supervision Option
  • Work as a script supervisor on feature films, documentaries and graduation films (BA and MA).
  • Immerse yourself in workshops on reading cards, timing, chronology, continuity and counting, technical cutting and floor plan, match cuts, learn to work with other trades (HMC, decor, accessories, etc.).
  • Collaborate on graduation films with students from La Fémis’ Script Supervison Department.
Editing Option
  • Edit short fiction films (BA and MA).
  • Direct and edit short documentaries.
  • Learn about the job of assistant editor on feature films (project preparation, derushing, synchronisation, workflow, etc.).
  • Use advanced software (Avid, Premiere, Pro tools and Da Vinci).
  • Take part in a one-month exchange at La Fémis in Paris (editing section).
Third year
Light workshop with Marianne Lamour
Shooting diploma film "Impériale" by Coline Confort
Shooting diploma film "Montana 1977" by Kimyan Flückiger (Camera Aurel Ganz)

1/3

The whole year is devoted to the making of the graduation film (free work, fiction, documentary film, experimental film, etc.).

  • Write the script for the graduation film – a short film (over 6 months).
  • Pitch the project to producers.
  • Draw up a professional production file (including budget) to be submitted to film authorities (Cinéforom, OFC, RTS, etc.).
  • Set up a film crew with professionals from each profession.
  • Monitor the production process with a director’s assistant.
  • Participate in an actor-director workshop and do castings
  • Shoot the film.
  • Edit the film in collaboration with students from la Fémis’ Editing Department.
  • Mix the film at La Fémis with students from the Mixing Department
  • Learn about film distribution (television, festivals, etc.).
  • Travel abroad to meet a filmmaker and make films on location (for example Tokyo/Kore-Eda).

Projects

This section contains a selection of emblematic or recent projects related to the disciplines taught in the Bachelor's degree.

Semester projects

Screening at the Swiss Culture Centre, Paris

FILM STUDIES

Screening at the Swiss Culture Centre, Paris

Studio project

Screening of ECAL films at the Swiss Culture Centre, Paris. ECAL and the Centre culturel suisse. Paris present the films made during the "Selfportrait and violence" workshop led by Mio Rau (playwright and theatre director at NTGhent Theatre) and Giacomo Bisordi (playwright and director). You are welcome to join the screening of a selection of the films written and directed by 2nd year Cinema Bachelor students: • Giulia GOY, Casting di un padre (15’) • Solène MERCIER, Ce qu’on partage (15’30) • Laurine JOYEUX, Les quatre chambre s (19’20) • Olivia CALCATERRA, Lovechild, So Happy Together (19’45) • Dario WILLOMMET, Elle habitait Varèse (9’50) Monday 12 July at 19h (followed by an apéritif) in the presence of the students. Obligatory reservation at: accueil@ccsparis.com Centre culturel suisse. Paris 38, rue des Francs-Bourgeois 75003 Paris www.ccsparis.com

Rehearsal

FILM STUDIES

Rehearsal

Studio project with Kaveh Bakhtiari

- Selected at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) 2014 - Selected at International Clermont-Ferrand Shortfilm Festival 2015 Synopsis A choir teacher, pupils of the Lyon Conservatory. Their face-to-face confrontation: a rehearsal, the second to last before the end of the year show. Commentaire Le temps d’un cours de chant, un maître tente de hisser le niveau de ses élèves vers l’audible. Entre la lutte chamanique du professeur et les corps fébriles des adolescents, un territoire inaccessible devient possible. Les souffles archaïques se font harmonie, Robert Schumann n’est alors plus une simple évocation mais une invocation par des adolescents en mutation, captifs entre deux mondes. Kaveh Bakhtiari Rehearsal on Swissfilms.ch

Being too serious

FILM STUDIES

Being too serious

Studio project with Sébastien Lifshitz

Martin has just been dumped and spends the night hanging out with David, a friend he hasn’t seen for a long time.

Brother and Sister

FILM STUDIES

Brother and Sister

Studio project with Sébastien Lifshitz

Ismail and his sister are driving back from the airport. The young man has just arrived in a new country, Switzerland, whilst his sister has been here for a couple of month.

I've got a power

FILM STUDIES

I've got a power

Studio project with Denis Gheerbrant

This is the testimonial of a friendship between the director and his friend Mirko, with whom he spent his childhood playing with "Playmobil"-figures in a fantasy world.

Happyland

FILM STUDIES

Happyland

Studio project with Denis Gheerbrant

Happyland, an amusement park in Switzerland, surrounded by mountains. A film on the people who work there, two women: one young and the other less so.

Elie

FILM STUDIES

Elie

Studio project with Sébastien Lifshitz

Jules is a young man, he is twenty one years old. His grand father is about to die. He is afraid to loose him. He decide to go and find a Rabin his grandfather used to know. During this travel, Jules mourns and grows up.

In your arms

FILM STUDIES

In your arms

Studio project with Sébastien Lifshitz

A mother and daughter, two Portuguese immigrants. An evening watching series. The atmosphere becomes suffocating.

Spare time

FILM STUDIES

Spare time

Studio project with Dominique Marchais

Two young women live together in a brothel. The camera captures their daily life in their hours away from work.

Born behind the stones

FILM STUDIES

Born behind the stones

Studio project with Jean-Stéphane Bron

From the photographs of my family and that of my boyfriend, I realize the portrait of two clans that everything opposes. And between the two: me.

The Ambassador & me

FILM STUDIES

The Ambassador & me

Studio project with Jean-Stéphane Bron

A son, a father. The first one holds a camera; the second one holds the title ambassador. The camera trembles, the ambassador remains.

The Girls' Grave

FILM STUDIES

The Girls' Grave

Studio project with Frédéric Mermoud

Sissi and Victoria are sisters. Whereas the younger is slowly emerging from the world of childhood, the elder tries in vain to be grown up. In the room that they share, Sissi is preparing for her gymnastic compétition and Victoria has boys coming and going...

Diploma projects

Matias Carlier – Fever

FILM STUDIES

Matias Carlier – Fever

Diploma project with Gilles Marchand, Marie Monge

Two young skateboarders decide to go to a party, their evening gets complicated.

Avril Lehmann – The Heiresses

FILM STUDIES

Avril Lehmann – The Heiresses

Diploma project with Gilles Marchand, Marie Monge

Luna returns to the family home where still lives her younger sister, Diana. Diana has been living alone in this large, dilapidated house since the death of their father.

Axel Bezençon – Being a ghost (Editing)

FILM STUDIES

Axel Bezençon – Being a ghost (Editing)

Diploma project by Axel Bezençon

Serge discovers what being a ghost is like but Martial, an old spirit, prevents him from having fun.

Gabriel Colban – Balthazar and Madalena

FILM STUDIES

Gabriel Colban – Balthazar and Madalena

Diploma project with Gilles Marchand, Marie Monge

In the midst of an aerobatic flight, a canonball woman meets a trapeze artist. A haunted love story.

Alexandre Brulé – The new millenium

FILM STUDIES

Alexandre Brulé – The new millenium

Diploma project with Gilles Marchand, Marie Monge

On the eve of Y2K, Christine finally introduces her lover, Mina, to her parents. The evening promises to be strange.

Elias Ben Khalifa – We are the others

FILM STUDIES

Elias Ben Khalifa – We are the others

Diploma project with Gilles Marchand, Marie Monge

Karim and Adin are childhood friends. They haven't seen each other for a long time and get together for a drink to make up for lost time.

Yael Vallotton – Sleeping Water

FILM STUDIES

Yael Vallotton – Sleeping Water

Diploma project with Gilles Marchand, Marie Monge

In the small kitchen of a family home, two women in their fourties are chatting. Out of the blue, one of them kisses the other.

Keerthigan Sivakumar – Doosra

FILM STUDIES

Keerthigan Sivakumar – Doosra

Diploma project with Gilles Marchand, Marie Monge

Vinoth, a refugee, is looking for a volunteer activity to escape his loneliness, but no one is willing to accept his help.

Charlène Girel – Outside

FILM STUDIES

Charlène Girel – Outside

Diploma project with Gilles Marchand, Marie Monge

It is raining in the park. Natacha and her son Eli are looking for a shelter for the night. Walter wanders alone with his guitar.

Sebastián Friedmann – Being a ghost

FILM STUDIES

Sebastián Friedmann – Being a ghost

Diploma project with Gilles Marchand, Marie Monge

Serge discovers what being a ghost is like but Martial, an old spirit, prevents him from having fun.

Natasha Degrandi – Imperial (editing)

FILM STUDIES

Natasha Degrandi – Imperial (editing)

Diploma project by Natasha Degrandi

At dawn, a cannon shatters the silence. The horses gallop across the beaten ground. Eva, 21, wants to join the Imperial HorseGuards, a historical reenactment of a Napoleonic regiment reserved for men.

Kimyan Flückiger – Montana 1977

FILM STUDIES

Kimyan Flückiger – Montana 1977

Diploma project with Laurent Larivière

A short film by Kimyan Flückiger

Program

This section lists the detailed modules and courses for each semester of the programme.

Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5 Semester 6

Theory I
6 ECTS
  • History of Art (opt.)
  • History of Photography (opt.)
  • History of Cinema
  • History of Video Games (opt.)
  • Theory Workshop
Transversal skills I
3 ECTS
  • Photography

Documentary Workshop I – Writing
4 ECTS
Documentary Workshop I – Directing
4 ECTS
Documentary Workshop I – Editing
4 ECTS
Fiction Workshop V1
2 ECTS
Fiction Workshop V2
2 ECTS
SOUND WORKSHOP FILMING
2 ECTS
Technical Initiations I
3 ECTS
Theory II
6 ECTS
  • History of Art (opt.)
  • History of Graphic Design (opt.)
  • History of Industrial Design (opt.)
  • History of Ideas (opt.)
  • Theoretical workshop
Experience stories
2 ECTS
Direction of actors
2 ECTS
Documentary Workshop II
3 ECTS
Fiction Workshop V3
4 ECTS
Fiction Workshop V4
5 ECTS
Sound Workshop Post-production
3 ECTS
Sequence Analysis I
2 ECTS
Technical Initiations II
3 ECTS
Fiction Workshop Writing
6 ECTS
Fiction Workshop Pre-production
4 ECTS
Fiction Workshop Directing
14 ECTS
Fiction Workshop Direction of actors
2 ECTS
Fiction Workshop Post-production
2 ECTS
Meetings and Masterclasses I
2 ECTS
Documentary Workshop Festival
2 ECTS
Documentary Workshop Writing
6 ECTS
Documentary Workshop Directing
14 ECTS
Thesis
4 ECTS
Meetings and Masterclasses II
2 ECTS
Sequence Analysis II
2 ECTS
Diploma – Scenario writing
18 ECTS
Diploma – Direction of actors
8 ECTS
Diploma – Pre-production
4 ECTS
Diploma – Production
7 ECTS
Diploma – Directing
23 ECTS
Find all the programme documents below

Alumni

Career Opportunities

Film director of documentaries or fiction, Director of photography, Editor, Sound mixer, Sound engineer, Scriptwriter, Producer, Teacher…

Other alumni

(BA and MA Cinéma) Fabrice Aragno, Kaveh Bakhtiari, Claude Barras, Fulvio Bernasconi, Jean-Stéphane Bron, Frédéric Choffat, Blaise Harrison, Marie-Eve Hildbrand, Nathan Hofstetter, Frédéric Mermoud, Klaudia Reynicke, Lila Ribi, Christophe M. Saber, Rafael Sommerhalder, Karine Sudan, Mathieu Urfer…

Raphael Dubach
Elie Grappe
Pauline Jeanbourquin
Robert-Jan Lacombe
Patrick Muroni
Joséphine Pittet
Malika Pellicioli

Staff

Head

Head
Pauline Gygax

Academic deputy
Rachel Noël

Coordination

Assistant
Adèle Beaulieu

Production & distribution
Jean-Guillaume Sonnier

Post-production Assistants
Jules Pourchet
Paul Pourchet

Professors

Antonio Albanese 
Lionel Baier 
François Bovier 
Pauline Gygax 
Rachel Noël 
Benoît Rossel

Visiting lecturers, masterclasses

Elsa Amiel
Darren Aronofsky 
Frédéric Baillehaiche
Jeanne Balibar
Renato Berta
Susanne Bier
Emmanuel Bourdieu
Céline Bozon
Guillaume Brac
Claire Burger
Emmanuel Carrère
Benjamin Charbit
Monia Chokri 
Joel Coen
Camille Cottagnoud 
Donatienne de Gorostarzu 
Thierry de Peretti
Stéphane Demoustier
Claire Denis
Josée Deshaies 
Laetitia Dosch
Jean Dujardin 
Annette Dutertre 
Abel Ferrara
Thierry Frémaux 
Kōji Fukada
Pauline Gaillard 
Hippolyte Girardot 
Agnès Godard 
Jean-­Luc Godard 
Yann Gonzalez 
Laurent Guido 
Adèle Haenel
Blaise Harrison 
Michel Hazanavicius 
Werner Herzog 
Agnès Jaoui
Denis Jutzeler