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Master of Arts*

in Film & Digital Media

Designed by experienced film & TV professionals,
for emerging film & TV professionals.

* subject to contract

"‘I am often asked by younger filmmakers: why do I need to look at old movies? The only response I can give them is: I still consider myself a student … The more pictures I make the more I realise I don’t know."

Martin Scorsese

Do you excel through …

Learning
by Doing?

Work with industry experts and peers to develop your creative thinking, clear communications and innovative production approaches and so steer your projects through increasing uncertainty to success. Explore emerging opportunities arising from rapidly changing technical workflows, distribution channels, business models and audience tastes.

Working
independently?

Create your own projects like scripts/TV proposals, short films or a low budget feature, perhaps write a business plan to meet professional goals. Or you may want to deepen an already established industry perspective through research and strategic thinking (and include production output as coursework). Our first seminars will be online, with additional face to face options.

Negotiating your own feasible goals?

Test your ideas and prototypes, design your own briefs (possibly in collaboration with a production company), to take charge of your career and passion projects. Achieve a Master of Arts Qualification to demonstrate the depth of your engagement. If this sounds relevant to you, please send us an initial expression of interest – no commitment necessary.

Are you becoming a …

Director?

Some of our participants will have worked as an assistant to a head of department but want to develop their skills enabling them to direct a feature film. This participant would have experience working with cast and crew, and might trace her journey in her Learning Agreement to work with the writer on the script, with the cinematographer on the look, and with cast on performances that move audiences. Perhaps organise a public reading of the script with professional actors. If she attracts the right collaborators, the Major Project could be the finished film, or an in-depth pitch and strategy that she could take to pitch forums and markets at film festivals.

Screenwriter?

Perhaps that Director works with a novelist who is writing their first screenplay, That second participant would research her genre and story world to then develop a 100 page screenplay (major project) iteratively through treatments and step outlines, in collaboration with other professionals. Their and her contribution would be clarified in the reflective report.

Cinematographer?

Another works as a corporate cinematographer and videographer, she learns to shoot drama alongside her part time study, understanding how great cinematography captures performance in a moving way. Between her professional overseas film shoots that provide an income, she shoots MA student test scenes and short films, and other film school projects. This leads her to shoot, or produce a feature film look book, lighting strategy and shooting script for her major project after 2 years.

Get started …

Scheduled series of seminars start in February and October. As the course attracts film, TV and digital media producers and freelancers with demanding schedules but rich opportunities for work based learning, you can join our onboarding group at any time. This helps to prepare background research and coursework to ease your workload during the formal course participation.

Since we mainly work with filmmakers who have some experience, we are also reinventing the conventional application process. Instead, if the course is of interest, please ask for our Registration Checklist – if you like you can send us a draft version with attachments and we can have a chat about this.

"I never teach my students;
I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn."

Albert Einstein

Design Your Own Learning Journey

Relevant projects
73%
..................................................................... Reflection
16%
.......................................................................Theory
11%

Industry
Connections

Our seminars are taught by, active, often award-winning filmmaker faculty, which enables both currency and practical relevance of our programme. Working with learners’ initial intentions and ambitions, participants are guided in negotiating their course work, including research, planning, shooting, distribution, and reflection.

Work-Based
Learning

Our curriculum development [link to module narrative tbc] is advised by 100 leading companies who call on us to design and deliver Continuous Professional Development Courses for their staff. We offer optional festival excursions where we maximise research and networking opportunities through expert support and pitch projects in real world environments.

Just-in-time
Learning

We take the long-established individual and personal student-mentor relationship to a new level in the digital age. The teaching is delivered via one-to-one tutorials, curated social media streams as well as regular small group seminars on campus or in web conferences and shared workspaces.

Your part time MA runs over 2 years* and starts with a

  1. Learning Agreement, the first module and seminar, where you sketch out feasible project stages, research required skills and resources, describe the planned activities in more detail: A preliminary overview of the 1800 hours of your MA.
  2. Artistic, practical and theoretical Research Methods are addressed in the next module, where you focus on frameworks specific to your learning journey, e.g., script or directing approaches, a new camera, VFX or editing workflow, interviews with experienced filmmakers. This is also where your familiarise themselves with ‘mastery’ – what it means to work at the very forefront of the discipline.
  3. The Planning module can include production methods, market research, a case study, or a film treatment.
  4. A Prototype module tests your assumptions and requirements underlying the learning trajectory e.g. test or sample scenes, mood reel or internship.
  5. Then Pre-production takes your conclusions from earlier modules into account to add further detail, – e.g., shooting script and production plan, team composition, budget/schedule, TV series proposal or marketing plan.
  6. The Masters Project: e.g., substantial short or low budget feature film, screenplay, documentary proposal / research document, or business plan for your production company.

As these modules are very flexible, they are also core modules. At present we do not offer optional modules.

*Subject to contract.

Assessment & Equipment
After the initial Learning Agreement and the Research Report, much of your coursework will include a film or filmmaking activity, testing or planning documentation, always supplemented by a Reflective Report in which you outline what you have learned. The coursework required to pass these modules does not have to be practical, though we encourage this at some stage. If need be, this can be produced on a current smartphone and laptop, which we expect you to have access to, as well as other filmmaking equipment that may be required for your specialisation. Applicants usually have access to these, as the course is designed for emerging filmmakers in the 21st century. Your mentors can advise you on approaching and negotiating with equipment providers or other filmmakers inside and outside the course who may have access to cameras, microphones, lighting and editing workstations etc.

Cost
Tuition fees amount are €14,400, payable in 24 monthly instalments of €600 (part-time mode) or 12 monthly instalments of €1,200 (full-time mode, from 2023). We grant a 15% discount for prepayment of the total tuition fees at the start of the programme. Students will have access to Liverpool John Moores University online library facilities, as well as many world class Munich public libraries. We may also offer optional film festival and conference excursions and networking events, for which we may need to charge, but these would not be required to pass the course. So as long as you are set up for distance learning with a smartphone, laptop and broadband connection, there are no hidden extras.

Contact us if you would like to receive more details, start dates etc.

8%
8%
16%
16%
16%
34%

Academic Partner

Registration Checklist

"Are you in love with the art in yourself, or yourself in the art?"

Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski

Admission Requirements

  • A first degree – classification normally a minimum of 2.2 Honours or equivalent, of a UK university, or equivalent overseas qualification.
  • For non-standard Mature entry, candidates would normally be required to have a minimum of 12 months professional experience in a media production context, or a related area (e.g. making corporate films for a company).
  • If a candidate does not have this professional experience, they will be required to send us an enhanced CV demonstrating how their professional role(s) so far have enabled them to understand the creative, management and business aspects of production along standard undergraduate learning outcomes like Knowledge, Understanding, Analysis, Evaluation, Application and Reflection. It will also be necessary to explain how this programme will benefit their career progression.

Please see the Liverpool John Moores University website for English language certificate requirements.

If your first language is not English, you may demonstrate equivalent English language proficiency and suitability for a masters level programme in the form of:

  • An English language bachelor degree or higher;
  • Successful completion of a 1000 word research report in English (please contact us if you need help with this);
  • Evidence of significant professional practice in English

Following your application, we will arrange online interview with the Course Director.

We follow the same complaints procedure as Liverpool John Moores University, available here.

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."

Picasso

About us

The Munich Film Society

MFS provides practice-oriented education and training for freelancers – from the media industry for the industry –  in small, intensive groups. This ranges across writing, directing, producing (including legal, financing and entrepreneurship), acting, career development, as well as camera, sound and editing including specialisations, new applications and tools. We run longer courses in Production Management, Screenwriting, Assistant Directing and Documentary Development, some of these courses prepare for Chamber of Commerce examinations for recognitions a Craftsman’s master. There is more about us here (currently available in German only).

We are a member of regional and national networks, including AG Shortfilm, Mediaschool Bavaria, MedienCampus Bavaria, The Joint Training Institute, The Federal Association Youth und Film, and the Association of Bavarian Film Festivals. On an international level, we are involved in NISI MASA, the European Network of Young Cinema, and the International Short Film Conference. Last but not least we are “comrade” of Drop-Out Cinema and the cultural commons collecting society.

Our Core Delivery Team

Carl Schönfeld

Carl Schönfeld

Head Of Studies

This course structure is based on my experience as a producer of award-winning films and BAFTA nominated TV, working with both veteran auteurs as well as early career filmmakers. This led to innovative courses for The British Council, The British Film Institute and leading Universities like Oxford and York. Some of my former students are in negotiation with companies like Legendary (Batman, Blackklansman, Enola Holmes) and their scripts have been turned into films that screened at leading film festivals (Edinburgh, Berlin, Cannes), released theatrically (The Odd Monk) as well as on Netflix (Astral). Please don't hesitate to connect on LinkedIn below.

Martin Blankemeyer

Martin Blankemeyer

Munich Film Society CEO

As founder of the Munich Film Society (MFS), Martin has produced short and feature films, from the comedy 'The Secret of Kottlitz Castle' to the arthouse cinema hit 'Der Rote Punkt', for which we were awarded the Bavarian Film Prize, among others. Our current production 'Un café sans musique c'est rare à Paris' is currently being released in cinemas nationwide. In recognition of his services to the cultural city of Munich founding and managing MFS, Chief Executive Martin Blankemeyer has been awarded the medal "Munich Shines", as well as Germany’s highest honour, the Federal Cross of Merit.

Nicole Leykauf

Nicole Leykauf

Module Leader Planning

After completing her studies in Slavic Languages and Theater, documentary film producer Nicole Leykauf worked between 1990 and 1999 with the Paris-based production firm Archipel 33 and Bioskop Film in Munich. In 1996, she founded Leykauf Film, her own documentary film production company. The realization of unusual film topics in artistically ambitious ways that are both attractive to and commercially viable for international audiences is pivotal to her. She has been a member of the German Film Academy since 2007. Recent productions include: The el Masri Case, 2021 directed by Stefan Eberlein with ZDF / ARTE; Kids, 2019 directed by Nina Wesemann with ARTE, Berlinale 2019; Animals, 2019 (75’) directed by Jonas Spriestersbach with ZDF.

The Munich Film Society by numbers

MFS Participants p.a.
CPD Courses for Employers
Workshops p.a.
Average Group Size

Testimonials Munich Film Society

“The STOFF.lab has taught me a lot about story development! I now know much better how to relate to an idea and its development towards the treatment: what issues I have to consider and can negotiate, in my own attitude towards the story and in dealing with the feedback. A valuable experience and highly recommended for future authors!”

Pablo Hagemeyer, Writer

“I can warmly recommend to every interested person who is enthusiastic about writing and film to attend a seminar at the Münchner Filmwerkstatt! I myself and my own project benefited immensely from it! At the Münchner Filmwerkstatt you meet nice, like-minded people who all share the love of film storytelling – and convey it!”

Alexander Pautz, Writer

“The great thing about STOFF.lab is that you regularly work with creative experts to further develop an idea and learn how to avoid the difficulties of writing. The great atmosphere and the collegial environment in the film workshop make the weekend courses special. Above all, the final event offers a safe industry platform for all writers to pitch market ready projects to producers.”

Lia Neumair, Writer

“I can warmly recommend the DOK.lab of the Münchner Filmwerkstatt e.V. to anyone who would like to develop their documentary film material in a group of like-minded people. Not least thanks to the super-committed support of the producer and DOK.lab director, I wrote a 20-page exposé after the last session which I was able to pitch successfully on the marketplace of the Documentary Film Festival Munich. Documentary filmmaker guest speakers discussed a range of relevant topics and also gave a good insight into the practice.”

Manuele Deho, Documentary Director

Testimonials Head of Studies

“I am very excited, this is my first script commission, and I want to thank you from all my heart, you are my first mentor.”

Arzu Oezer, Writer

“Student Feedback on Carl’s teaching is inevitably enthusiastic and he is often described as knowledgeable, energetic, and inspiring.”

Dr. Sandie Byrne, Director of Studies in English, Creative Writing and Film, University of Oxford

“Carl is a fine teacher because he conveys a real enthusiasm for learning. There is a freshness about what he teaches because one feels he has recently learned it himself — from personal experience and with a good deal of pleasure.”

Simon Perry, President, ACE

“As an industry professional, his knowledge is extremely vast and has been helpful during my personal progression from student to industry professional. Carl is not only a recommendable asset in the film industry, but an individual I always consider when looking for feedback or assistance regarding new projects.

Chris Mul, Director Astral

Why is the MA called "Film & Digital Media"?

We love cinema. Movies will always have a special position among an increasing range of visual media. This is important to us, so we had to write it into the name of our degree programme. On the other hand exciting stories are being expressed in new formats which we don’t just embrace but want to actively develop as part of this course. With Film and Digital Media, we feel simultaneously connected to a traditional foundation and exploring new digital opportunities.

Do you offer other programmes, e.g. directing, producing, writing series, VFX?

As the actual study content of MA Film & Digital Media is highly flexible, it’s your degree programme. The questions and projects you explore are individually negotiated between student and mentors, leading to a ‘learning contract’ which is the first assignment. This allows you to focus on concrete projects and career goals. You can choose to complete the Master’s programme as a director, TV producer, writer, VFX etc and prepare yourself precisely for the challenges of that sector or role.

Are there funding opportunities such as scholarships?

Just like other providers of education delivered in parallel with work, we aren’t getting subsidies. So we finance the MA only from the course fees. We hope to offer scholarships once we have established the course, but first we have to pay back the investments in setting up the programme. Our business plan is designed to return 50% of profits into scholarships for students whose projects increase the range of voices in film, TV and Digital Media. There are other opportunities though, you may want to try a general internet search, or established starting points like https://www.arbeiterkind.de/studium-finanzieren.

How much does it cost to take the MA Film & Digital Media?

Tuition fees amount to 14,400 euros, payable in 24 monthly instalments of 600 euros each (part-time study) or 12 monthly instalments of 1,200 euros each (full-time study). We grant a 15 percent discount for prepayment of the total tuition fees at the beginning of the programme.

How much time does the MA Film & Digital Media course take?

Studying part-time lasts 24 months, and we expect to start a full-time pathways in a few years. Should any unforeseen major events happen in your life, there are procedures to make it possible to take a break. The course follows a work-based learning design, so you are able to complete it alongside a regular job with activities scheduled outside business hours. In film & TV, we support students in researching and experimenting around industry projects they are involved in, and to use periods between projects including for spec and ‘passion’ projects. Please contact our Head of Studies for details. The programme is designed around a workload of at least 1800 hours across the 2 years.

When can I start studying for the MA Film & Digital Media?

The work with the mentors on your study, including the development first learning agreement assignment can be started at the first of each month. Structured group seminars and the formal enrolment at Liverpool John Moores University begin in October and February.

Who can be admitted to the MA Film & Digital Media?

One way is with a good bachelor’s degree (2.2 Honours). We can also consider candidates with a minimum of 12 months professional experience in a media production context, or a related area (e.g. making corporate films for a company). If a candidate does not have this professional experience, we need an enhanced CV demonstrating how their work so far enables them to understand the creative, management and business aspects of production. Please contact the Head of Studies for details. We welcome career changers and emerging voices in the film and digital media industry who want to attain a Masters qualification.

How do I apply to take part in the MA Film & Digital Media programme?

There is no strict limit on the places we can offer, so we are likely to accept anyone who can demonstrate their passion for film and digital media, and who fulfils the formal requirements, as above. Once you have decided on our course of study (e.g. following a personal interview) and sent us required admission documents, pay the first instalment, you can start.

In which language does the MA Film & Digital Media take place?

Our partner institution where the students are enrolled and which awards the Master’s degree is Liverpool John Moores University, a British university. All documents that have to be submitted there for assessment towards the Master’s degree have to be in English. This applies in particular to written work, screenplays and other written preparation, as well as Reflective Reports that accompany all practical work. Whilst you can work and make films in all languages, and you are encouraged to use a great variety of sources, films and other media projects must be submitted with English subtitles. In any case this is essential for an international marketing or festival career.

Can the MA Film & Digital Media be compared to a film school course?

The seven state film schools in Germany, receive full tax payer funding from taxes, unlike our course, and can therefore largely do without tuition fees. Among institutions that charge tuition fees, we are practically the only non-profit provider. This means that we do not use your tuition fees to benefit our shareholders, but the quality of the course.

Who teaches on the MA Film & Digital Media?

Active, often award-winning filmmakers who earn their living mainly by making films teach on both the MA as well as on the weekend workshops. Staff with academic responsibilities also have a Masters Degree.

What resources does Munich Filmwerkstatt provide me with?

We provide a digital learning environment for seminars and tutorials take place that uses Zoom, Slack and other services. For face-to-face events in Munich, we use local seminar rooms, including the usual equipment. In addition, each student has a Google Workspace with email and cloud storage as well as curated social media channels. For the students’ projects, we provide extensive know-how on how to work with public libraries, available software, Creative Commons, etc. We arrange discounts with institutions and organisations that offer further services if needed, e.g. local equipment rental companies. As always in independent filmmaking, students are responsible for for additional resources should these be required. We focus on exciting, entertaining and relevant storytelling. That is why we designed the course to enable you to complete the necessary work using an up-to-date laptop and smartphone (<5 years).

Can I continue my corporate, production or other business, or would I need to pause this?

Working with brands to build experience with crews and actors is a very good foundation. One of Carl’s previous students worked with perfume brands and recently produced a film for a leading director’s company and Netflix. In any case I’d encourage you to include your industry work as coursework – only we would need to work on you meeting learning outcomes with this e.g. using your background research and innovation.

I want to write, direct or produce a feature, will this be possible?

Acquiring the writing skills, researching the background and industry context for a feature film, and writing a feature length screenplay can be done. If you have some experience directing actors or in financing, it may be possible to make a feature, or if you have not been able to complete it at least have a very professional package that you can take to industry financiers.

Would it help to do an internship before or during the MA?

Either way, if you work with directors as an Assistant Director, their assistant or shadowing, this should help you a) develop questions about your personal directing approach, and b) keep a journal, even if you do this before course start. As long as you have not submitted a reflective document on work placement experience to another University, you should be able to submit this as course work. You should also compare what you have seen to what you find in directing books, director interviews etc.

Flexible, negotiated Learning sounds nice. But surely, not everything can be negotiated?

The Negotiation Matrix below may help you

Topic Negotiable…  Required / Handbook
Data: scripts, films, directors, campaigns x
Methodology: comparison, case study, write script, film x
Referencing in all submissions x
Assessment Criteria x
Reflective Report Word Count x

What is the Learning Agreement?

The Learning Agreement describes a plan of students work, not its final results. It allows the student as well as their advisors to discuss the usefulness, coherence and feasibility of each stage. Students are required to research resources including books, films and experts; and to structure the information, the audience and the time frame. The Learning Agreement assignment aims to improve your understanding of how to manage this information better.

Learning Agreements benefit a lot from detailed and specific information on everything related to your project. Answer questions such us:

  • What exactly you want to find out about the subject
  • What do you need to learn in order to achieve your goal
  • Clarify what role your resources play when preparing yourself, and ultimately the films
  • Identify problems of narrative, performance, film language, effective blocking, production etc and how other films, books and courses help you to improve your work.
  • Clarification how your working on the project helps you to meet the learning outcomes.

Once I have submitted my plan in a Learning Agreement, can I still change it?

Of course, as you are learning about your specialized field we do indeed expect that your plans will change. As you talk to collaborators who give you a different and perhaps professional perspective, find other more relevant and exciting methodologies or stories to tell, or change your career aims on the basis of what you have learnt. This is a key advantage of not having to serve a pre-defined curriculum that you sign up to in the beginning, but you can adapt it to your emerging needs in a flexible way.

What if I have already written a script or film, can I use this for my course work?

Only if the work has not yet been submitted for academic credits, for example in your undergraduate course. If you submit this we recommend that you include additional reflection on

  • Why you wrote the script or made the film in the first place
  • In how far you now find it meets, or fails to meet your own expectations
  • How it compares with other work of the same genre, similar theme, setting or audience
  • Get feedback from class mates, potential actors, directors, producers
  • Look at finished films similar to the one you want to make and look at how the writing contributes to the ‘success’

Can I get professionals to help me with my project?

Remember, at our work-based Degree there are no criteria preventing you from working with outside collaborators, but you would need to identify their role, contribution, and your learning from the working relationship very clearly in a reflective report to identify the contribution we are marking.

I want to do a work placement or assistant job - but how can I find one?

In self-directed learning your job search, identifying information and networking sources and opportunities and evaluating companies & individuals, preparing (versions of) your CV etc can be all part of your research. If this does not lead to satisfying results, design a survey and approach people who are working in entry level jobs you would like to be in. Even a brief runner job on a short film can bring you together with professionals who you can ask for advice and about upcoming opportunities.

Contact us








    Contact Info

    • Münchner Filmwerkstatt e.V., Rosenheimer Straße 145, 81632 München, Germany
    • +49 89 20 333 712
    • enquiries@ma-fdm.com