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Program Overview

Spend two or four weeks of your summer living in Florence and training in filmmaking with working industry professionals from the New York Film Academy. You will spend the first week participating in PAA excursions and cultural activities, and exploring Florence on your own. The workshops are all-day intensive training sessions, and from day one, you will be writing, directing, producing, and editing your own films with top-notch equipment provided for you by the program and the city of Florence as your backdrop. Two-week program participants will produce one film, and four-week program participants will produce two film projects of increasing difficulty.

If you are interested in film acting, please see our “Acting for Film Intensive Workshop in Florence, Italy” website listing.

For much more specific information, including instructor bios and a detailed description of a typical day on this program, please see the “Host Group” tab.

Performing Arts Points of Interest

Odeon Firenze Cinehall

Cinema Odeon Firenze is an elaborately designed theatre in Florence inaugurated in 1922. Here you can find English film screenings along with Italian films. The cinema hosts events as well as film screenings, including the British 100 Film Festival.

Alfieri Space

The Alfieri Space is a creative theatre venue in Florence that houses cultural events such as plays, film, music, and visual arts. The Alfieri Space theatre houses performances ranging from works of local playwrights to Shakespeare. Film opportunities in the Alfieri Space include festivals year-round. Past festivals have been the annual International Documentary Film Festival and the Sea Film Festival of 2017.

Cinema La Compagnia

Cinema La Compagnia is a cinema in Florence built in 1921 and renovated most recently in 1987. The cinema houses excellent technical equipment that allows accommodation for many different activities: 35m me 4K digital projection (2D and 3D), simultaneous translation and multilingual audio broadcasting. Cinema La Compagnia is a venue for the annual Florence international documentary film festival, Festival dei Popoli.

PAA Home Base

About the Location

For centuries, Florence has inspired and nurtured artists, writers, musicians, and actors; the city is one of the most important destinations for students, particularly those in the arts, studying abroad. 500 years ago, Florence was the epicenter of the renaissance. If you were an artist, a person in finance, a liberal, or part of a minority, you would have come to Florence. Important and wealthy families, such as the Medici, were philanthropists and made Florence the outdoor walking museum that it is seen as today.

In 2008, the Government of Tuscany and the Tuscan Film Commission invited the New York Film Academy to offer its world-renowned programs in a newly renovated facility overlooking the Piazza San Lorenzo, in the heart of the historic center of Florence. Currently, our summer workshop operates from a renovated renaissance era building across from the Basilica di San Lorenzo, one of the largest churches in Florence, which houses the Medici Chapels, the burial place of the principal members of the Medici family.

The workshop facilities overlook the Piazza San Lorenzo and are steps away from the famous Piazza del Duomo, Santa Maria Novella, Ponte Vecchio, and the Galleria, which houses Michelangelo’s David. You will be just a block away from the celebrated main food shopping market. It is tough to imagine a more prominent and convenient location.

Florence, and indeed all of Tuscany, provides perfect open-air sets for shooting movies and learning the craft of filmmaking. Florence’s architecture is breathtaking: monuments, churches, bridges and ancient statues decorate the city in an incredibly unique way. Magnificent art galleries and the Uffizi Museum contain some of the most famous works of the most important artists in the world.

During the workshop, you are encouraged to scout locations and shoot your films with these amazing venues as backdrops for your movies. You are also encouraged to explore and utilize other picturesque towns, such as Fiesole, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, and Chianti and to utilize these small towns and the natural environment of Tuscany as your sets—all a short bus or train ride away.

Housing

You will live in a centrally-located apartment near the workshop classes and will share a room and flat with other students. You will have a common area, at least one bathroom depending on the size of your apartment, a washing machine, and a fully-equipped kitchen for cooking meals. You will attend a housing orientation upon arrival where you will receive your keys and information about security and who to call if you have an issue with the apartment.

A Day in the Life



On Arrival

You will book a flight to arrive at Florence’s Peretola Airport (FLR) before noon on your arrival day. You will gather at a pre-determined meeting point where our site director Alessandro will greet you and wait with you as other participants arrive. Once the last person has come through customs and joined the group, you will all travel together to your housing in shared apartments in Florence’s city center. You will attend a short housing orientation and a neighborhood tour so you can know immediately where to find the nearest grocery store, ATM, and other amenities. The rest of the afternoon and evening will be free time to unpack, settle in, and explore your neighborhood.

The following day, our site director will lead a full orientation to Florence including detailed health and safety information, cultural norms, and how to navigate public transportation.

A Typical Day

For the rest of your first week in Florence, you will have ample free time to explore the city and the surrounding areas, and will be invited to join several free activities and excursions such as a Florence market and museum visit and tour, a day trip to nearby city such as Bologna, Chianti, Pisa, Maremma, or Lucca, an Italian cooking class, a Fiesole hike and dinner, a pizza making class, and a Traiditional Florentine Aperitivo Evening.

Registration for your workshop will take place between 10:30 and noon on the Monday of your second week in Florence, followed by an orientation to the course and your instructors. From the very first day of class, the focus of the workshop is to learn through making films. Each participant writes, produces, directs, and edits his or her own films, and rotates among crew positions when your classmates shoot.

ONE-WEEK WORKSHOP OVERVIEW

The One-Week Hi-Def Filmmaking Workshop is the most intensive, instructional one-week program in filmmaking that can be found at any film school. In one short week, you are instructed in the basics of writing, directing, camera and digital editing, and you will write, direct, shoots, and edit a short film project. The pace of this one-week course is feverish, and you must be prepared to live and breathe filmmaking for the entire week. The program begins with two days of intensive study in camera, writing and directing. On day three, you will begin shooting your individual exercises, which you will continue shooting on day four. Day five is composed of editing class and post-production, ending with a final screening.

The one-week workshop qualifies for one academic credit via an academic transcript issued by Endicott College.

THREE-WEEK WORKSHOP OVERVIEW

This Three-Week Workshop provides you with a thorough introduction to the foundations of film craft. The workshop is a full-time program, and you must be prepared to make a serious commitment to its completion.

Classes and hands-on workshops are held throughout the week and some weekends are reserved for additional classes or shooting.

Evenings are spent on writing, location scouting, casting, and editing. The third week is devoted to shooting and editing the final film, culminating in the final screening. You will write, direct, shoot, and edit a series of short film projects of your own using Canon 5D Mark II digital cameras, Lowel lighting packages, and digital editing software. Classes in directing, writing, editing, cinematography, and production cover the creative and technical demands of telling a story with moving images. Each week your films are screened and critiqued in class with the instructor.

The three-week workshop qualifies for two academic credits via an academic transcript issued by Endicott College.

Host Group

Performing Arts Abroad has begun a special partnership with the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) in Florence, Italy to offer some of the highest level film training in the world. These workshops in Florence are open to participants across all disciplines. Whether you are already a budding filmmaker, whether you want to learn how films are made, or what it takes to create a performance, you will benefit from this intensive training course. We welcome anyone who wants to integrate filmmaking and other visual arts disciplines into an international cultural experience.

During this filmmaking workshop, you will be taught by working industry professionals whose experience includes Hollywood, HBO, MGM, Walt Disney Co., Sony, NBC, Universal Pictures, ABC, and much more. The diverse international faculty is comprised of experienced instructors and professional filmmakers who have earned their terminal graduate degrees from the most prestigious film programs in the United States. The instructors on this program are faculty from NYFA’s U.S. campuses in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, and are among the institution’s longest standing and most respected teachers. We often welcome guest lecturers from the Italian and European Filmmaking communities as well.

Your peers during the training course will be incredibly diverse. This past summer’s enrollment compromised students from 22 countries, including India, Thailand, Iran, Macedonia, Jordan, Canada, and Nigeria. The multiplicity of global students means that you will not be studying in a monocultural “bubble” as in many programs, including semester and faculty-led offerings by schools and universities. You will interact with local Italians to organize your productions, and will work with many peers who have English as a second language.

Support Staff

Support Staff

Support Staff

Support Staff

Testimonials

Just one unforgettable experience. I made friends for life and I discovered what kind of path I want to make in my career. I also discovered things about myself I didn’t know before. I wish it never ended.

“Interning abroad as a graduate student was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Being in Florence, immersed in culture and art all around me was absolutely wonderful. From my work in the marketing department at the Theatre, to the phenomenal food, and amazing people I got to enjoy, I felt so grateful for every moment I spent in Italy. Performing Arts Abroad was truly the perfect link to making my dreams I couldn’t even fathom come true. It is so rare to find a program specifically dedicated to creating opportunities abroad for those interested in the arts and I am just so glad that I am one, of what I hope to be so many, to benefit from it.”

“The in-country staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and supportive. Just great!”

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Program Dates

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