Preserving and Fostering Self-Will

The Film Academy Vienna is an artistically innovative center for education and training in filmmaking and media design at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, oriented toward a vital form of cross-disciplinarity, toward passions for artistic, creative discovery, and toward theoretical, reflective debate as well as the practice of taking critical positions in the global age of the media.

What began in 1951 as a special course in filmmaking – a class at the former Academy for Music and Performing Arts – is today a prosperous, internationally recognized institute within the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

International awards and honors conferred upon current members of the teaching staff of the Film Academy Vienna (Michael Haneke, Wolfgang Murnberger, Götz Spielmann, Thomas Benesch, Wolfgang Thaler, Danny Krausz, Michael Hudecek, among others) speak for themselves. At the same time, both the long list of successful graduates (Ulrich Seidl, Barbara Albert, Jessica Hausner, Martin Gschlacht, to name only a few) and, especially, the many achievements on the part of students during the course of their studies (awards at festivals and competitions) attest to the continuing success of the Film Academy Wien.

Compared with other film schools, especially those in German-speaking Europe, the Film Academy Vienna posseses exceptionally favorable conditions for preparing students to become artistically creative filmmakers. On the one hand, the student-faculty ratio is 4:1, which is an above-average ratio to the students‘ advantage. On the other hand, the Film Acadmy Vienna offers an outstanding general framework for teaching and research: many prominent personalities in the arts; dedicated scholars; exceptionally high standards in studio and film technology; proximity to music, composition and acting at the University of Music and Performing Arts, with numerous opportunities for collaboration; in spite of the high demands placed on the students, curricula that leave ample time especially for the unfolding of artistic processes, the development of critical awareness and the students‘ discovery of their personal potential.

The work of the Film Academy Vienna consists of artistic production, with emphasis being placed on analysis and development of the arts involved. In addition, since March 2012, when a professorship in Film and Media Studies was created, theory and research have also been essential components of the institute‘s activity. Within the framework of a research laboratory (fundamental research on aesthetics, theory construction in the context of current trends in the evolution of the media), and also within the framework of doctoral projects, cultures of knowledge are explored, expanded and deepened.

Claudia Walkensteiner-Preschl (Director of the Institute)