The Documentary Film and Television Journalism training program teaches the film craft and other professional skills, while imparting cinematic attitude and signature, communication skills, and self-confidence. The curriculum for the eight-semester study program is underpinned by the experience that the praxis of film, television and online media can only be learned through hands-on experience. Thus the core curriculum is focused largely on the craft of the documentary film director or television journalist, whereas the main studies take an in-depth look at the various film and TV program forms. During their main studies, our students specialize in individual areas of study, according to their own individual interests and talents. The curriculum includes hands-on exercises, seminars and lectures, the collective analysis of film and television productions, as well as the realization of a total of four budgeted films on freely chosen subjects.
During the core studies, students are introduced to the classic repertoire of documentary filmmaking: documentary shot selection (camera work), editing (montage), interviewing, non-linear story-telling for the new media (as hands-on exercises); as well as the dramaturgy, history and styles of documentary film; visual esthetics, story development, and documentary film analysis (in solid, theoretical seminars). This knowledge is transmitted, on the one hand, by HFF Munich faculty members; the rest are successful industry professionals. The core curriculum is designed to convey basic knowledge. The separate exercises allow students to test their talent and discover their strengths. Two budgeted documentary films are shot – a short film following the first semester, and a medium-length group project at the end of the fourth semester. Two film exercises round out the list: a short portrait and a shot breakdown / montage exercise.
During the main studies, the knowledge base is deepened, interests and talents are strengthened. To achieve this, we offer a range of electives, again a mixture of theory and praxis: interviewing, dramaturgy, story development, and writing seminars; music in cinema or text in films; seminars on other genres (fiction film, art), cinema history; systemic screenplay analysis, or pitching seminars. During the main studies, two budgeted films are produced: Film 03 and the graduation film (diploma film). Special projects are welcome and possible. During the main studies, student films can be made with broadcaster collaboration and / or be television-commissioned (e.g., in cooperation with the Bavarian Broadcasting Company’s program “Lebenslinien”). During their main studies, students begin to network with the industry. The films and film projects created within our program can also access the new media. We encourage students to explore how new media forms demand new content and innovative ways of story-telling.