|Established||1943 (IDHEC), 1986 (La Fémis)|
|Location||Paris, Île-de-France, France|
La Fémis (École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son, formerly known as the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques, acronym IDHEC), is the French state film school. FEMIS is an acronym for Fondation Européenne pour les Métiers de l’Image et du Son. Based in Paris, it offers courses balanced between artistic research, professional development and technical training.
La Fémis was rated no.6 in best international film school rankings by The Hollywood Reporter in 2012. Its alumni have won three of the world's most prestigious film prizes - Cannes Film Festival's Golden Palm, Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion and Berlin International Film Festival's Golden Bear - ten times, making it the most rewarded film school in the world, preceding the Beijing Film Academy and the Tisch School of the Arts of New York, in winning those three prizes.
From 1944 to 1985, the IDHEC (Institut des hautes études cinématographiques) was the main French film school — training 1,439 French and foreign film professionals. Among its students were Louis Malle, Alain Resnais, Theo Angelopoulos, Arnaud Desplechin, Claude Sautet, Volker Schlöndorff, Claire Denis, Andrzej Żuławski, Christophe Gans, Alain Corneau, Costa Gavras, Patrice Leconte, Johan van der Keuken, Claude Miller, André Téchiné, Paulo Rocha, Robert Enrico, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Eric Rochant, Ruy Guerra, Yves Boisset, Alain Cavalier, Henri Colpi, Omar Amiralay and Pascale Ferran.
In 1985, the school was restructured under the supervision of the then Minister of Culture Jack Lang and La Fémis was created in 1986. Originally, scriptwriter Jean-Claude Carrière was its president and Jack Gajos was its director.
When La Fémis was created, the school had seven teaching departments: direction, screenwriting, picture, sound, editing, production, and set design. A script continuity course was added in 1992 and a distribution/exploitation course in 2003. Lastly the master-class workshop, a European production training program, was co-created with the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg, Germany in 2002.
The school is now a public establishment under the responsibility of the Ministry of culture and communication. The school first opened in the Palais de Tokyo (Paris 16e), moving on February 15, 1999 to the old Pathé Studios at 6, rue Francoeur (18e).
The main curriculum students follow a four-year training course. During the first year, they all follow the same general course: initiation in the various jobs involved in filmmaking, experimenting in every technical position within a film crew.
During the second and third year, they follow a specific curriculum according to the department they have chosen, including theoretical classes, exercises, days devoted to film analysis, analytical seminars and collective exercises making films. They spend their fourth year fulfilling an individual end-of-studies project (known as "travail de fin d'études" or TFE) and taking part in their classmates' projects.
In sum, the school is designed to foster an applied cinephilia, in which the study of films past and present underwrites advanced skills in the practicalities of filmmaking; returning alumni, like Jean Paul Civeyrac, who come back to themselves lead seminars, carry on this tradition of encouraging advanced auteurist ambitions among the new intake students.
La Fémis has trained over 700 students in all filmmaking trades: directors, screenwriters, producers, editors, cameramen, sound engineers, decorators, script supervisors, distributors and exhibition managers/executives.
Among them: (in alphabetical order)
- La Fémis official website (French)
- http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/thrs-top-25-film-schools-354506#6-la-femis hollywoodreporter.com
- Palmer, Tim (2011). Brutal Intimacy: Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema, Wesleyan University Press, Middleton CT. ISBN 0-8195-6827-9.