Overview Budapest Semester
The second semester builds on the theoretical knowledge and practical experience students acquired in the first semester in Lisbon, in order to further improve their awareness of documentary filmmaking specifics and their skills to challenge conventional approaches to the documentary art form.
Advanced skills in the fields of documentary directing, cinematography and photography will be developed with the participation of faculty instructors and professional filmmakers.
Fieldwork in the Countryside is a major activity in the semester in which students are immersed for nine days in a remote location in the Hungarian countryside. The purpose of this exercise is to model the experience of a professional environment, in which students test their abilities to cooperate within working units of several members in different roles, whilst having to adjust the suitable group dynamics to attain the goal of the film exercise in a very limited time. Students take all the practical and aesthetic decisions within the group, solving problems similar to those faced by professional crews. The exercise is about filmmaking, but also about social skills in teamwork.
Throughout the semester other film exercises are programmed, both individually and in small units, aiming for students to find original dramatic approaches to shape the infinite fabric of reality in to strong stories. Their work is constantly assessed and criticized. Students themselves are required to reflect on and assess their own learning.
A core topic in the semester is ‘The Ethics of Documentary and Ethics in Documentary’, which is analysed in a specific course unit, as well as during the film exercises.
During the semester students are acquainted with internationally acknowledged filmmakers and film theoreticians, both in class and whilst visiting local documentary festivals, including their professional conferences and training sessions.