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Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia

Coordinates: 41°51′03″N 12°34′10″E / 41.85083°N 12.56944°E / 41.85083; 12.56944
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Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia
Experimental Center of Cinematography

Established1935; 89 years ago (1935)

The Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Experimental Center of Cinematography; CSC), also referred to as the Scuola Nazionale di Cinema (National Film School), is an Italian national film school headquartered in Rome, with satellite educational hubs in five other Italian regions.

It was established in 1935 and aims to promote the art and technique of cinematography and film.


The center is the oldest film school in Western Europe.[1] It was founded in Rome in 1935,[2] during the Fascist era, by Benito Mussolini's head of cinema, Luigi Freddi, and his son, Vittorio Mussolini, as part of the Cinecittà Studios. He aimed to revive the Italian film industry, but he was also aware of the propaganda value of films. He created the slogan "Il cinema è l'arma più forte" ("cinema is the most powerful weapon").[3][4]

During World War II, much of the original production equipment was stolen or destroyed by the Nazi occupiers.[5] Many attempts to trace them in Germany and the Soviet Union after the war were unsuccessful.[6]

Directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni and Giuseppe De Santis attended the school in the 1940s, and Marco Bellocchio would often visit during the 1960s.[7]

In 1955, it became a founding member of the international CILECT (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision) network of film schools.[8][2]

Description and aims[edit]

The Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (CSC), or in English the Experimental Center of Cinematography,[9] also refers to itself as the Scuola Nazionale di Cinema.[10] Headquartered in Rome, it also has five regional offices, in Abruzzo, Lombardy, Piedmont, Sicily, and Veneto.[11]

It is known for its research and experimentation and offers a range of courses covering different aspects of making films. Courses are taught in English and Italian and run for three years. Entry is competitive, with only six to eight places available per class.[9] It has a history of admitting a large number of international students and offers courses in acting, directing, cinematography, set design, costume design, screenwriting, sound design, film editing, film production, and, since 1983, animation.[12]

Among the center's goals are the development of cinema and audiovisual art and techniques to levels of excellence through distinct sectors of the foundation itself, the National Film School, and the National Film Archive (Cineteca Nazionale[7]). It is one of the oldest film archives in the world.[2]

Governance and funding[edit]

The CSC was and still is financed by the Italian Government.[7] Since the election of the far-right government of Giorgia Meloni, there has been political interference. In mid-2023, the government passed a decree that enabled it to appoint board members to the CSC. Over 600 Italian film professionals, including Nanni Moretti, Marco Bellocchio, Paolo Sorrentino, Luca Guadagnino, and Alice Rohrwacher signed an open letter, which was published in the press.[7] President Marta Donzelli, along with two board members, resigned in protest against the new legislation, which also abolished the position of the director-general. In August 2023, minister of culture Gennaro Sangiuliano announced the appointment of actor Sergio Castellitto as the new president, and a number of new board members, including Pupi Avati and Giancarlo Giannini.[13]

As of January 2024, Adriano De Santis is head of the school.[2]

Notable people[edit]

The school's mentors have included Piero Tosi (costumes), Giuseppe Rotunno (photography), and Giancarlo Giannini (acting).[14]

Alumni include:[15][16]




Costume designers[edit]


  1. ^ "Italian National film school". Top Universities. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d "Scuola di Cinema Roma". Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. 16 January 2024. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  3. ^ The Italian Tribune (7 June 2018). "Italian Cinema Featuring the Early Genres and Cinecittà". The Italian Tribune. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  4. ^ Verdone, Mario (1951). "The Italian Cinema from Its Beginnings to Today". Hollywood Quarterly. 5 (3). University of California Press: 270–281. ISSN 1549-0076. JSTOR 1209662. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  5. ^ Steinhart, Daniel. (2019). Runaway Hollywood: Internationalizing Postwar Production and Location Shooting. University of California Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-52-029864-4.
  6. ^ Fausto Montesanti, at the time director of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, in Sperduti nel buio... a mezzogiorno, article appeared on Bianco e nero, n. 6, of June 1953
  7. ^ a b c d Kaval, Allan (12 August 2023). "In Italy, the far-right government's move to overhaul prestigious film institution causes concern". Le Monde.fr. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  8. ^ Williams, G. (1970). "CILECT — The Early Years". Journal of the University Film Association. 22 (4). University of Illinois Press: 100–102. ISSN 0041-9311. JSTOR 20687093. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  9. ^ a b "Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia Reviews & Admissions Statistics". FilmSchool.org. 15 December 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  10. ^ "Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia". Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. 10 January 2024. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  11. ^ "Sedi Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia". Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. 26 December 2023. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  12. ^ Laviosa, Flavia; Baldi, Alfredo; Carter, Jim; Bonelli, Diego (1 March 2021). "International students at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome: 1935–2020: A history to be written". Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies. 9 (2): 175–209. doi:10.1386/jicms_00061_1. ISSN 2047-7368.
  13. ^ Scarpa, Federica (4 October 2023). "Sergio Castellitto president of the CSC". Fred Film Radio. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  14. ^ "Scuola Nazionale di Cinema/Docenti" (in Italian). Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Scuola Nazionale di Cinema/Ex allievi". List of the famous alumni (in Italian). Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Versione definitiva del 8 febbraio 2011 elenco exallievi CSC per sito web" (PDF). Full list of the CSC Alumni (08.02.2011) (in Italian). Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. 8 February 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2012.

External links[edit]

41°51′03″N 12°34′10″E / 41.85083°N 12.56944°E / 41.85083; 12.56944