Presentation

The Bachelor's degree in cinema offers an introduction to the many different professions involved in filmmaking. Students are introduced to film writing, directing and acting, as well as shooting, sound, editing and post-production techniques, thanks to rigorous guidance from recognized professionals in all fields.

In addition, a wide variety of theoretical approaches and numerous masterclasses enable students to acquire the analytical tools they need to understand cinema and express their creativity.

Numerous interactions with the film and audiovisual industry, as well as exchanges with partner schools - notably La Fémis - facilitate access to the professional world. Students can then extend their training by pursuing a Master's degree in Cinema at ECAL, or an equivalent program at another institution.

Language

French

Qualification issued

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

Yearly fees (materials included)

Fees detail

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

The 1st year offers a global approach to cinema through collective work. Students are introduced to every stage of the film-making process. This immersion in the world of cinema also includes meetings, trips to film festivals and numerous workshops, all part of a resolutely multidisciplinary approach, both inside and outside the school.

 

  • 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

The 2nd year aims to deepen knowledge and skills in each field by making at least two short films, one fiction, the other documentary, in workshops led by recognized filmmakers. Students also deepen their critical thinking skills by writing a theoretical essay.

 

  • Write, direct and post-produce a short fiction film. 
  • Write, direct and post-produce a short documentary film.
  • Enrich their knowledge through theory courses (internship logs, writing portraits during masterclasses and interviews, depending on the discipline chosen, writing a research paper on an open-ended topic).
  • Participate in festivals (one-week stay at the Visions du Réel/Nyon festival, as well as the Cannes festival and the Berlinale/Berlin festival).
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 3rd year is dedicated to the diploma project, enabling students to acquire specific tools in the fields of directing, scriptwriting, image and sound, as well as teamwork.

Students can specialize in one of six options: Directing - Screenwriting - Photography - Editing - Script Supervision - Sound.

For all options, the entire year is devoted to making the graduation film (free work, fiction, documentary, experimental film, etc.)

Direction Option
  • Participate in festivals (one-week stay at the Venice Biennale, possibility of going to the Locarno Festival).
  • Write the script for the diploma film - a short film (over 6 months), then pitch the project to producers.
  • Draw up a professional production file (including budget) for submission to film authorities (Cinéforom, OFC, RTS, etc.).
  • Assemble a film crew with professionals from each trade and follow up production with an assistant director.
  • Participate in an acting workshop and castings.
  • Shoot the film, then edit it in collaboration with La Fémis students in the Editing Department.
  • Mix the film at La Fémis with students from the Mixing Department.
    Learn about film distribution (television, festivals, etc.).
Image Option
  • Learn about various image-related professions (camera assistant, point-of-view workshop, lighting & electricity, machinery, security, etc.).
  • Participate as camera operator, camera assistant, electrician or machinist on fiction, documentary and diploma films for Bachelor's and Master's students.
  • Learn to use specific cameras in various workshops (film workshop, camera workshop, etc.).
  • Carry out location scouting and cutting in collaboration with directors.
  • Write a thesis on a subject related to the chosen specialization.
  • Take part in festivals (one-week stay at the Venice Biennale, possibility of attending the Locarno Festival).
Screenplay Option
  • Write and direct short fiction and documentary films.
  • Over a two-year period, write a feature-length fiction film and practice writing exercises (short synopses, notes of intent, sequencers, treatments, characterizations, non-dialogue continuity, dialogue scenes...).
  • Shoot a sequence from you feature-length script.
  • Participate in festivals (one-week stay at the Venice Biennale, possibility of attending the Locarno Festival).
  • Write a thesis on an issue related to the chosen specialization.
Sound Option
  • Work as a sound engineer on fiction workshop films and diploma films by Bachelor and Master students.
  • Direct a documentary film (from writing to sound editing).
  • Learn specific techniques (boom, HF and ambient sound recording, mixing exercises, etc.).
  • Develop free sound creation.
  • Learn how to use the ECAL sound studio and prepare projects before mixing in the Auditorium.
  • Write a theoretical dissertation on a subject related to the chosen specialization.
  • Participate in festivals (one-week stay at the Venice Biennale, possibility of attending the Locarno Festival).
Editing Option
  • Work as an editor on fiction, documentary and diploma films for Bachelor and Master directing students.
  • Learn how to work as an assistant editor on feature films (project preparation, de-rushing, synchronization, workflow, etc.).
  • Practice advanced software (Avid, Première, Pro tools and Da Vinci).
  • Participate in a one-month exchange program at La Fémis in Paris (Editing Section).
  • Participate in festivals (one-week stay at the Venice Biennale, possibility of going to the Locarno Festival).
Script Supervisor Option
  • Work as a script supervisor on the fiction, documentary and diploma films of Bachelor and Master directing students.
  • Immerse yourself in workshops on playlists, timing, chronology, continuity and stripping, technical cutting and ground shots, continuity joins, learning to work with other trades (HMC, sets, props, ....).
  • Collaborate on diploma films with students from the Scripte Department at La Fémis.

Projects

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

Semester projects

Documentary film workshop with Guillaume Brac

FILM STUDIES

Documentary film workshop with Guillaume Brac

with Guillaume Brac, Karen Benainous, Marie-Eve Hildbrand

2nd year students took part in a documentary workshop led by Guillaume Brac, on the theme of friendship.

1st year Documentary Workshop

FILM STUDIES

1st year Documentary Workshop

with Benoit Rossel, Karin Sudan

1st year students took part in a documentary workshop led by Benoit Rossel, on the theme of the interview.

Fiction film workshop with Thierry de Peretti

FILM STUDIES

Fiction film workshop with Thierry de Peretti

with Thierry de Peretti, Claire Mathon, Marion Monnier

The 2022 fiction film workshop was lead by Thierry de Peretti.

Documentary film workshop with Guillaume Brac

FILM STUDIES

Documentary film workshop with Guillaume Brac

with Guillaume Brac

The 2022 documentary workshop was lead by Guillaume Brac. In partnership with the Lausanne Sport!

Screening at the Swiss Culture Centre, Paris

FILM STUDIES

Screening 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).

Rehearsal

FILM STUDIES

Rehearsal

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

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.

Happyland

FILM STUDIES

Happyland

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.

I've got a power

FILM STUDIES

I've got a power

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.

Brother and Sister

FILM STUDIES

Brother and Sister

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.

Spare time

FILM STUDIES

Spare time

with Dominique Marchais

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

Elie

FILM STUDIES

Elie

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.

Diploma projects

Remo Corazza – Satellites never fall from the sky (Photography)

FILM STUDIES

Remo Corazza – Satellites never fall from the sky (Photography)

with Valentina Novati, Stéphane Demoustier

My diploma work consisted in being the cinematographer on the film Satellites never fall from the sky, which I co-directed with Matias Carlier, Ecal alumni in cinema, class of 2022.

Marcello Balzaretti – There were cowboys (Photography)

FILM STUDIES

Marcello Balzaretti – There were cowboys (Photography)

with Agnès Godard

Infinitely disappointed by his recent pilgrimage to the USA for which he had great expectations, Daniel, back in Switzerland, goes back to his daily routine. One day appears before him a ghostly cowboy, giving him a mission: to steal a Chevy El Camino.

Rémi Molleyres – The wild waltz (Direction)

FILM STUDIES

Rémi Molleyres – The wild waltz (Direction)

with Valentina Novati, Stéphane Demoustier

Joseph discovers that Félicie, his fiancée, just killed her uncle and has decided to run away. A whole life collapses for the young couple.

César Cadène – Before ocean (Photography)

FILM STUDIES

César Cadène – Before ocean (Photography)

with Agnès Godard

My ECAL graduation project involved making the photography of the film "Before the Ocean," written and directed by Ilan Dubi, a student director. Inspired by the cinema of the Safdie brothers and John Cassavetes, this film was a real technical and creative challenge.

Jay Holdener – There were cowboys (Direction)

FILM STUDIES

Jay Holdener – There were cowboys (Direction)

with Valentina Novati, Stéphane Demoustier

Daniel back from the USA, is given a mission by a  ghostly Cowboy: to steal a Chevy El Camino.

Ilù Seydoux – Before ocean (Sound)

FILM STUDIES

Ilù Seydoux – Before ocean (Sound)

with Fanny Martin

My diploma work in sound engineering involved recording and sound editing the film Before ocean, directed by Ilan Dubi.

Giulia Goy – Rose on the farm (Direction)

FILM STUDIES

Giulia Goy – Rose on the farm (Direction)

with Valentina Novati, Stéphane Demoustier

Rose is a young filmmaker who's looking for a job. She decides to go on a course to retrain as a farmer. This is an inceptive story that questions our relationship with the land, with art, as well as the role of filmmakers as observers of our world.

Ilan Dubi – Before ocean (Direction)

FILM STUDIES

Ilan Dubi – Before ocean (Direction)

with Valentina Novati, Stéphane Demoustier

Léon has a tough night as he runs away from home to join Olivia on her journey to the ocean.

Adrien Beroud – Before ocean (Scriptwriting)

FILM STUDIES

Adrien Beroud – Before ocean (Scriptwriting)

with Antoine Russbach

Before being adapted into a short film, "Aire de Jeux" is my Bachelor project: a feature film script, a satirical comedy in the world of contemporary theatre.

Marion Reymond – Drifiting away (Direction)

FILM STUDIES

Marion Reymond – Drifiting away (Direction)

with Valentina Novati, Stéphane Demoustier

A young caregiver uses her imagination to cope with the mourning of her mother and to escape from the nursing home where she works.

Solène Mercier – Les mouches de Beni (Photography)

FILM STUDIES

Solène Mercier – Les mouches de Beni (Photography)

with Céline Bozon

For my degree, I did the photography of the short film Les mouches de Beni, directed by Alice-Denyse Matthey.

Loris Theurillat – The wonderful pain of the wild Broom (Photography)

FILM STUDIES

Loris Theurillat – The wonderful pain of the wild Broom (Photography)

with Céline Bozon

Strongly attracted to cinematography in documentaries, I did the photography for Olivia Calcaterra’s short documentary film for her degree.

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
  • Introduction to the history and aesthetics of cinema
  • Sequence analysis
Fiction workshop I - writing
6 ECTS
Fiction Workshop I – Directing & Editing
6 ECTS
Technical Initiations I
8 ECTS
  • Electricity, security and machinery
  • Photography
  • Sound
  • Editing
  • Sound (Post-Production)
  • Credits
Commissioned Film Workshop
4 ECTS
Theory II
6 ECTS
  • Introduction to the history and aesthetics of cinema
  • Creative writing
Documentary Workshop I - Writing
6 ECTS
Documentary Workshop I - Directing & Editing
6 ECTS
Technical Initiations II
4 ECTS
  • Screenwriting techniques
  • Direction of actors
Sound Workshop Post-Production (Diploma Projects)
8 ECTS
Theory III
6 ECTS
  • Introduction to the history and aesthetics of cinema
  • Creative writing
Fiction Workshop II - Writing
7 ECTS
Fiction Workshop II - Directing & Editing
7 ECTS
Technical Initiations III
10 ECTS
  • Photography, lights and set design
  • Security (electricity and machinery)
Theory IV
4 ECTS
  • Introduction to the history and aesthetics of cinema
  • Sequence analysis
Thesis
12 ECTS
Documentary Workshop II - Writing
6 ECTS
Documentary Workshop II - Directing & Editing
6 ECTS
Technical Initiations IV - Documentary Images
2 ECTS
Diploma – Pre-Production
12 ECTS
Diploma – Writing
12 ECTS
Technical Initiations V
6 ECTS
  • Direction of actors Workshop
  • Shot list Workshop
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
Paolo Moretti

Academic deputy
Rachel Noël

Coordination

Administrative deputy
Laurence Wegener

Production & distribution
Jean-Guillaume Sonnier

Post-production assistants
Jules Pourchet
Paul Pourchet

Academic assistant
Yan Ciszewski

Professors

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

EVENTS

Masterclass ECAL - Céline Sciamma,24.01.2023,IKEA Auditorium, ECAL

LECTURES

Masterclass ECAL - Céline Sciamma,
24.01.2023,
IKEA Auditorium, ECAL

Invited by ECAL Cinema Department, French director and screenwriter Céline Sciamma present a Masterclass on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, moderated by Paolo Moretti, head of the Cinema department, and Valentina Novati, French producer and distributor.

ECAL AT SOLOTHURN DAYS 2023: 19 NOMINATIONS

AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS

ECAL AT SOLOTHURN DAYS 2023: 19 NOMINATIONS

On the occasion of the 58th Solothurn Film Festival, which takes place from January 18 to 25, 2023, ECAL Film Department presents several films by students and graduates.

ECAL Masterclass - Albert Serra,20.12.2022, 17:00,Leenaards Auditorium, ECAL

LECTURES

ECAL Masterclass - Albert Serra,
20.12.2022, 17:00,
Leenaards Auditorium, ECAL

Invited by ECAL Cinema Department, the Catalan director Albert Serra will present a Masterclass on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, moderated by Paolo Moretti, head of Bachelor and Master Cinema.

Masterclass and screening - Tatiana Huezo,28.11.2022,ECAL, Renens

LECTURES

Masterclass and screening - Tatiana Huezo,
28.11.2022,
ECAL, Renens

Invited by ECAL Cinema Department, Mexican director Tatiana Huezo presents a Masterclass on Monday, November 28, 2022, followed by the screening of her first feature film Noche de fuego and a Q&A.

LECTURES

ECAL Instagram Live: Jean-Luc Godard,
07.04.2020

ECAL Instagram Live: Jean-Luc Godard, fillmmaker, Rolle

Masterclass ECAL - Paul Hirsch,03.10.2022,ECAL, Renens

LECTURES

Masterclass ECAL - Paul Hirsch,
03.10.2022,
ECAL, Renens

On the occasion of the release of his book Il y a bien longtemps, dans une salle de montage lointaine, très lointaine..., Paul Hirsch presents at ECAL his autobiography. A meeting led by Benoît Rossel (film director and teacher at ECAL) and Mykyta Kryvosheiev (film editor and Master Cinema ECAL/HEAD graduate).

ECAL graduates at Locarno Film Festival,03–13.08.2022,Locarno

OTHER

ECAL graduates at Locarno Film Festival,
03–13.08.2022,
Locarno

On the occasion of the 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival from 3 to 13 August 2022, many graduates of ECAL/Universityof Art and Design Lausanne will present movies:

LECTURES

ECAL at Visions du Réel: Marco Bellocchio masterclass + Films,
07–17.04.2022,
Visions du Réel, Nyon

ECAL Masterclass at Visions du Réel: Marco Bellocchio – Director, screenwriter, producer, Rome.

Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne 2022,12–20.03.2022,ECAL and Online

LECTURES

Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne 2022,
12–20.03.2022,
ECAL and Online

On the occasion of the 5th edition of the Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne, an event initiated by the Swiss actor and director Vincent Perez, ECAL is hosting a series of online masterclasses by leading figures in the film industry.

Special screening of "Donbass" by Sergei Loznitsa,11.03.2022

OTHER

Special screening of "Donbass" by Sergei Loznitsa,
11.03.2022

The Swiss Cinematheque and the ECAL Film Department invite you to an evening of support for the Ukrainian people on Friday 11th March at 7pm at ECAL.

LECTURES

ECAL Masterclass: Nabil Ayouch,
09.03.2022, 17:30,
IKEA Auditorium, ECAL

ECAL Masterclass: Nabil Ayouch – Director, Sarcelles/Casablanca

ECAL at Solothurn Days 2022,19–26.01.2022,Solothurn

PROJECTION

ECAL at Solothurn Days 2022,
19–26.01.2022,
Solothurn

On the occasion of the Solothurn Days from 19 to 26 January 2022, ECAL Cinema Department presents several Bachelor diploma films by students.

LECTURES

ECAL Masterclass: Mathieu Amalric,
18.01.2022,
IKEA Auditorium, ECAL

ECAL Masterclass: Mathieu Amalric, actor, director, Paris

ECAL Diplomas 2021: Bachelor films screening,03.11.2021,Cinémathèque suisse, Lausanne

OTHER

ECAL Diplomas 2021: Bachelor films screening,
03.11.2021,
Cinémathèque suisse, Lausanne

Screening of the 2021 graduation films of the ECAL's Bachelor's degree in Cinema on Wednesday 3 November 2021 at Cinémathèque suisse in the presence of the students.

LECTURES

ECAL Masterclass: Abel Ferrara,
05.10.2021,
IKEA Auditorium, ECAL

ECAL Masterclass: Abel Ferrara – Filmmaker and screenwriter, Rome

Screening at the Swiss Culture Centre, Paris,12.07.2021

PROJECTION

Screening at the Swiss Culture Centre, Paris,
12.07.2021

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).

LECTURES

ECAL Masterclass: Gisèle Vienne,
11.05.2021,
Online, Zoom

ECAL Masterclass: Gisèle Vienne – Artist, choregrapher and theater director, Les Lilas

Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne 2021,27.04–01.05.2021

LECTURES

Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne 2021,
27.04–01.05.2021

A l’occasion de la 4e édition des Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne, l’ECAL propose une série de masterclasses en ligne de personnalités du Cinéma.