You believe you are the next Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese? This new high-profile academic course is your chance to prove it.
In May 2017, alongside the 70th edition of the international Cannes Film Festival, an initiative was launched which solicited international attention: Cannes City Council, Université Côte d’Azur (UCA), Vivendi and Canal+ jointly announced the creation of the International Storytelling Institute, providing top-level training in storytelling and screenwriting for aspiring filmmakers. Starting in 2018, the chair will set up a first training course in motion-picture screenwriting in partnership with the Association Française du Festival International du Film and UCLA TFT (University of California Los Angeles, School of Theater, Film and Television), one of the world’s foremost schools for entertainment and performing arts. The programme aims to attract, train and certify the finest motion-picture screenwriting talent among French, American and international students. For its first session, the International Storytelling Institute, which will be based on campus and in municipal facilities, will provide a small, carefully selected group of students with classes and coaching from the leading specialists in screenwriting and movie production.
To participate in the first class, to be held from April 9 to May 20, 2018, candidates are now invited to submit their applications before the October 15, 2017 deadline through the UCA website.
In the interdisciplinary environment of the new Cannes Campus-UCA Creativity Hub, this intensive educational programme involves total immersion in feature film screenwriting, based on the model developed by UCLA TFT, and is designed to nurture and discover a new generation of feature film screenwriters. The teaching body is composed of high-profile experienced film makers and film industry professionals.
Each student will have six weeks to complete a fully realized first draft of a feature-length narrative screenplay developed from an original idea. Selected students will reside in Cannes for the duration of the programme, and for the first four weeks will take part in daily classes and seminars given by faculty from UCLA TFT and UCA. They will receive personalized supervision in the writing of their script, and benefit from writing time in a creative environment. The Institute culminates in a unique two-week experience at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival. There, students will attend master classes with artists present at the Festival–screenwriters, directors, producers, actors—as well as professional meetings (panels), screenings, and press conferences, and will also have an opportunity to walk the red carpet at the festival.
The inaugural 2018 programme is accessible to students in France who are citizens or permanent residents of France and either currently enrolled in a graduate programme or who have obtained an undergraduate degree within the past academic year, and to current UCLA TFT graduate screenwriting students. As the courses will take place in English, a high level of English is required. The screenplays can be written in either English or in French.
The announcement of successful candidates will be made in early January 2018. The Institute will start four weeks before the beginning of the 2018 edition of the Cannes International Film Festival. The selection for this program will be highly competitive, but all prospective candidates are encouraged to apply.
For the Cannes City Council, this is a major milestone in its plan to develop a technology park for video technology and the creative economy in the city’s western quarter. Université Côte d’Azur will provide best-in-class training for 1,000 students at this technology park. Several of these courses will deal with writing and creating content relating to the events hosted by the city of Cannes. Vivendi as well as Canal+, French cinema’s prime partner and a movie and series production and distribution leader in Europe via Studiocanal, put talents at the core of their development strategy. Supporting innovative first-class training will help a new generation of creative talent, in particular specializing in the art of storytelling, to thrive and reach new audiences in Europe and beyond.
All images courtesy UCA, UCLA, and Ville de Cannes