Scarlet Cicero is a Dancer from Miami, Florida who’s traveled the world from a young age. She is currently on PAA’s Dance Administration Internship in Florence, Italy. “That which cannot be spoken can be sung; that which cannot be sung…
Spend six or twelve weeks living in Florence and training in filmmaking with working industry professionals from the New York Film Academy. The film workshop is full of 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. You will produce several film projects of increasing difficulty.
If you are interested in film acting, please see our Acting for Film in Florence 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Founder and Executive Director
Reynolds graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 with a degree in Theater and African and African American Studies. For an honors thesis Reynolds filmed, edited, and produced a full-length documentary in Kenya with Haba na Haba, a group using performance for education and social change in the slums of Nairobi. This project earned him the Forum on Education Abroad Undergraduate Research Award. A year later, Reynolds organized a trip to bring Haba na Haba to the United States for a tour of St. Louis and Washington University. Immediately after graduation, Reynolds worked in Rwanda as a filmmaker for Millennium Congregations, an interfaith organization connecting communities of faith in the United States with development projects in Rwanda’s Bugesera District. Reynolds then served two years with Teach for America, teaching in the South Bronx and receiving a Masters Degree in Education from Hunter College. He completed a second graduate degree in African Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, and his Masters thesis focused on the impact of donors on the creative process of Theatre for Development (TfD) groups in Kenya.
Reynolds has traveled extensively in Africa, spending time in Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also studied acting, voice, and movement at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Reynolds is a two-time Rhodes Scholarship finalist, the inaugural recipient of the Dred and Harriet Scott Award for the Advancement of Human Rights, and the winner of two research fellowships. He was also a Dialogue Fellow for the Xenia Institute, has twice served as the co-director for the Roosevelt Institution’s International Diplomacy Center (Washington University branch), and was president of the Graduate Students of African Studies (GSAS) at Indiana University.
Reynolds lives in Northampton, MA with his wife Julia who is a professional costume designer and his daughter Lily who is a cute baby. In his free time Reynolds likes to play his guitar, go hiking, act in local productions, hit the karaoke bars, sing with his dog Captain (the best doggy singer in the universe), and play various yard games such as KanJam, cornhole, “cups”, and Kubb.
Joanna makes Performing Arts Abroad tick. She handles many behind-the-scene tasks such as processing applications, reviewing and approving participant tasks, collecting payments, and welcoming newly accepted applicants to the PAA family.
Ever since she was little, Joanna Wright has loved the creative arts. Whether organizing a backyard circus or putting on plays in the living room, she showed an early flair for the dramatic- and also the pragmatic, selling tickets and popcorn to neighbors, and even attempting (unsuccessfully) to charge her parents a penny to watch her plays. While in high school, she balanced AP classes with the responsibilities of being president of the juggling club, and her education at Swarthmore College as a Dance and Theatre Major prepared her both to perform in shows and to write about them. While at Swarthmore, she embarked on a semester-long study abroad program in Kolkata, India, where she studied Kathak (North Indian classical dance), pantomime and Bengali. Joanna continued her international education after college, earning an MFA in Lecoq-based Actor-created Theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts in collaboration with Naropa University. After leaving London, Joanna moved to Austin, Texas and rekindled her love for the circus arts at the Sky Candy Aerial and Circus Studio. Pragmatic as ever, in addition to performing and teaching circus skills such as Aerial Silks, Trapeze, Juggling and Clowning, she was hired as Sky Candy’s Marketing Director, and happily held that position for eight years. Now living in Easthampton, Joanna focuses her creative energy on teaching at SHOW Circus Studio and knitting extremely elaborate scarves. As Administrative Assistant at Performing Arts Abroad, she is thrilled and honored to help young artists find the same joy and inspiration as she did from her international studies.
Florence Site Director, Film Programs
Alessandro supports all participants on our Florence programs, acting as the main point of contact throughout their stay in Italy. He coordinates airport pickup, arranges housing, leads cultural excursions, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.
Born in Maryland, USA, raised in Rome with Italian and Guatemalan parents and having traveled extensively through Europe, Central America, North America and China, Alessandro considers himself a citizen of the world. During his travels, he acquired a passion for the environment, its preservation, cultures and languages. This passion led him to obtain a BA in Geography with a minor in Chinese Studies from Humboldt State University in California. In 2010 he spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Shanghai in China and this outstanding experience turned him into an even stronger proponent of study abroad programs, no matter where. After graduation, his passion for the outdoors and the environment led him to successfully complete the National Park Service Ranger Academy as well as the National Outdoor Leadership School Wilderness First Responder certification. Wanting to get back into the international education world, he moved to Florence at the beginning of 2013 and has coordinated several study abroad programs in Florence and throughout Italy. Some of his hobbies are learning new languages (he speaks English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French along with some German and Mandarin), cooking, traveling, sharing what he knows of this wonderful part of the world, and learning from other cultures.
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!”
From the blog
My name is Marina Stagnaro, from Argentina, and I am now a PAA Alumni. I completed 12-week Dance Administration program in Florence Italy, 2 months ago. When I traveled, I knew I wanted to learn as much as possible about…
We at Performing Arts Abroad are incredibly proud of the Study Abroad programs we offer in Ireland, England, Italy, and New Zealand, as well as the participants who go on them. Students are applying now for Spring semester, and in honor…
Shreenika Ramani did a PAA Arts Administration Internship in Italy in the summer of 2015. You can read the amazing essay she wrote as her internship capstone about the state and nature of Theatre here. My summers are usually constructive.…
|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Spring 2020 Semester||Nov 15 2019||Jan 29 2020||May 14 2020|
|Summer 2020 Semester||Feb 28 2020||May 17 2020||Aug 08 2020|
|Summer 2020 Session 1||Feb 28 2020||May 17 2020||Jun 27 2020|
|Summer 2020 Session 2||Apr 11 2020||Jun 28 2020||Aug 08 2020|
|Fall 2020 Semester||Jun 16 2020||Sep 02 2020||Dec 19 2020|
Important Summer 2020 Dates
|Summer 2020 six-week sessions (4 academic credits available)||$8,995|
|Semester (13 academic credits available)||$19,370|
Apply today — How the process works
Submit a simple online application
Schedule a live video interview with a Program Coordinator
Upload program specific materials to an online portal
Receive your aceptance decision and begin your journey!
How the Process Works
To apply, click the “Apply Now” button below. You will fill out a simple initial application online and pay a deposit that is refundable if you are not accepted, and will be applied toward your overall program cost if you are accepted (not an additional fee). At this point, we will ask you to send us the following materials:
- Your resume/CV
- A filmmaker’s showreel and/or online portfolio (optional)
- Your availability in U.S. Eastern Time for a 30 minute Skype interview. We will contact you with an acceptance decision within two weeks of your Skype interview and finishing your application.
- The Skype interview is our first face-to-face impression of you. Show up on time, dress well, and be personable.
- Make sure your resume is up to date and includes all relevant filmmaking experience.
- If you’re thinking of submitting a showreel, but don’t know where to start, here’s a great video with some suggestions.
Participants must be 18 or over the day they begin the program.
GPA / Student Status
There is no GPA requirement for this program, students and non-students are welcome to apply.
There is no Italian language requirement for this program, as all instruction is in English. Although it is not required, a basic understanding of Italian before beginning your program will improve your experience and allow you to become more immersed in the culture.
We give preference to applicants with at least one year of film experience. An audition video showing your current skill level is helpful, but not required.
We are looking for open-minded, flexible applicants who can clearly convey their passion for filmmaking and an acute interest in international travel and exposure to new ideas.