What is behind the name Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris?
What is the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris exactly? What is the course about and how is it organised? And how can you apply? We are happy to answer these questions on the following pages. But let’s start with a fundamental question: What does the programme involve?
The Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris was launched by Prof. Dr. Peter Sehr und Prof. Jan Schütte in 2001, initially as pilot project. Both have been directors of the programme on the German side for many years. Since 2002 the programme has been a regular fixture in the coursus offered by the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg and La Fémis in Paris.
Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris is a one-year programme of continuous education funded by the European Union. More exactly: by Media, which is a sub-programme of the initiative CREATIVE EUROPE. Funds for the Atelier programme also come from the French and German governments, the German state of Baden-Württemberg and the Franco-German Youth Office. The training year is aimed primarily at up-and-coming film producers and distributors who have already graduated in a similar field. Prestigious lecturers come from the most varied fields of expertise in the film industry. They include producers and distributors, and also authors, directors and film composers from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The programme of the training year
During the Atelier programme you will be part of a team of max. 18 persons from an average of eight nations. And you will all undergo your post-tertiary training in different places - the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg, La Fémis in Paris and the National Film and Television School in London.
The year is divided into classroom phases and practical work. The latter involves excursions to TV stations, film festival visits and a one-month placement in distribution or international sales. At the end of the training year you produce your own short film, which you will start to plan from the very start of the course at Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris.*
Station 1 | October to December:
Ludwigsburg, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.
Class work, excursion to Strasbourg
and start of developing short film project.
Station 2 | January:
Paris, film school La Fémis.
Class work and visit to Festival du Court-Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Station 3 | February:
Informative workshop during the film festival, and attendance
at the Berlinale as an accredited visitor.
Station 4 | February:
London, National Film and Television School.
Class work at the NFTS in London.
Station 5 | March:
Ludwigsburg, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.
Class work and excursion to Series Mania in Lille.
Station 6 | April:
Internship in distribution or international sales.
Station 7 | May:
Paris, Film school La Fémis.
Class work and attending the film festival in Cannes as accredited visitor.
Station 8 | June to August:
Paris, film university La Fémis or Ludwigsburg, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.
Production of the final short film.
Class work: theory phase
In the class work phases you will deepen your knowledge in the different areas of the film industry. That means attending seminars and workshops and broadening your skills and experience with the help of case studies.
During your time in Ludwigsburg, Paris and London you will attend seminars in the respective film schools. Selected instructors from the film industry will give classes and share their expertise in many different fields. The syllabus includes script development, budgeting, financing, contract law, shooting planning, on-site shooting, promotion, distribution and international sales.
A further important component of the training year is specialised workshops at the different locations of the Atelier. For example, during the Berlinale workshops running over several days will offer valuable insights into the US film business. Under the guidance of instructors from the United States you will learn about the fundamental differences in the American film market. The aim is to broaden your horizons – and look at the film industry in Europe with new eyes.
- Case studies
It is important to take a closer look at good practice. Consequently you will constantly be confronted with case studies, to analyse together with your instructors. For example, your two weeks at the NFTS in London will include an initiation to the real-life issues encountered in the British production system.
Alternating theory and practice
Besides the classroom work outlined above, you will constantly broaden your mind through practice. The different destinations offer their own special opportunities for first-hand experience.
In Ludwigsburg you will take part in a several-day excursion to Strasbourg. There you will gain closer insights into everyday production routines at the broadcaster ARTE and also get to know the work of European film promotion at EURIMAGES.
- Film festival visits
During the session in Paris you will attend the short film festival in Clermont-Ferrand and the Cannes International Film Festival. A visit to the Berlinale is on the programme for February and in March you will get to know the Series Mania festival in Lille. At the film festivals you can attend all showings as an accredited trade visitor. You can have a peak behind the scenes of the film market and enjoy the many side events and tours. In Cannes you will also be able to gain at least two days of work experience in a firm for international sales. During the various visits you will constantly increase your knowledge about the organization, offerings and potential of a premier, ‘A’ festival.
In April up to seven weeks are reserved for an internship with a European film distributor or international sales company. In everyday business you will learn how to cope with different challenges and how to reach targets. Afterwards you can apply your new knowledge in a written study on the topic of distribution.
Producing your final short film
Besides all the theory, the practical planning and production of a short film is essential to the course. That is why you will have to think about this project from the very beginning. The first steps will be in October. Then, little by little, you will continually feed your new-found expertise into the short film project, until the final product is due at the end of the training year.
Since 2003 each year has developed short films on a given topic, in close cooperation with ARTE and SWR. Atelier participants slip into the role of producer. Students at our partner film schools in Ludwigsburg and Paris take on the direction, camera, editing, production design and music. Participants here have the opportunity to integrate from the start – to network and make valuable contacts for their future career. The short film project is broken down into different phases:
- Script and cooperation selection
At the start of the training year in autumn, you and the members of your year will view films by interested and potential directors. In parallel, the script students at the film schools in Ludwigsburg and Paris begin developing script proposals on a given topic. Each of the nine planned short films will be produced by two Atelier participants with different nationalities and native languages. So in autumn you will decide on the person you want to do your production with. At the following script pitch you and your partner will choose the scripts you are interested in. The final selection will be made with a drama expert, the heads of the programme of the Atelier and the editors Brigitte Dithard (SWR), Barbara Häbe and Laurence Rilly (ARTE). In Ludwigsburg the decision is taken at the end of the year – in Paris in the New Year.
- Team-building and completing the shooting
After choosing the script, participants start building their team for the short film production. By March the authors and producers will put together a new version of the script. If possible they should involve the director in this. The team discusses the new script version with the editors, the drama expert and the Atelier programme directors. The aim is to submit the final version for shooting in June.
After the last classroom phases at the beginning of June you will concentrate on the short film project. Participants will divide into two groups: one producing the film in Paris and the other in Ludwigsburg. You and your team will plan, shoot and complete your film under the guidance of a line producer. In August the cut will be approved by the editors and Atelier managers. Then you will have two weeks to finalise the sound, music and mixing, and make any colour corrections. Finally you will deliver the finished master to the broadcaster. The deadline is the beginning of September.
*Please note: All dates, trips and programmes listed here are subject to change.
Management and team
Both in class work or practical projects – in the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris you will benefit from successful lecturers from the film industry. The management in Ludwigsburg has recruited Prof. Roman Paul and Prof. Gerhard Meixner – founders of RAZOR FILM. Their productions earned them two Golden Globes and two Oscar nominations. Dorothee Martin is responsible for coordination on the German side. Pierre-Yves Jourdain manages the Atelier in France.
Director of Connecting Cottbus East-West Co-Production Market, Independent film and script consultant
Who is eligible to participate in the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris?
The year of continuous education is addressed to up-and-coming producers and distributors aged up to 30. It offers in-depth training with a European bias. If you have graduated from a film university or other relevant course, and have gained some professional experience in the film industry, we look forward to your application. The deadline for the academic year 2023/2024 is 31 May 2023, 12 pm CEST. If your application is positively received, we will invite you to Ludwigsburg for an entrance examination end of June 2023. The entrance examination in Paris is expected to take place in July.
Applicants from all over the world
Besides European applicants, international candidates are also eligible for the training year at Ludwigsburg-Paris.
The 2023/2024 programme is also open to applicants who do not come from member countries of the EU’s CREATIVE EUROPE programme. That also gives non-European beginners the opportunity to acquire or develop their skills for a career in the European film industry.
Necessary language skills
For the sixth time, this year English-speaking candidates can also apply - even if they do not speak French or German. However they will be required to take preparatory language courses in these languages. In addition, the Atelier offers accompanying courses in German and French. During the first two sessions in Ludwigsburg and Paris teaching in some modules will be in English or will be interpreted simultaneously (German into English or French into English).
The course fees in 2022/2023 were €1500, plus costs for accommodation in Ludwigsburg, Paris and London (€2900) (subject to change in the 2023/2024 course year). The Atelier will organise and cover the cost of accommodation for excursions and festivals. It will also organise and subside accommodation in Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart, Paris and London on a pro rata basis (included in the €2900).
The course fee and share in accommodation costs must be paid before you start the programme at the film academy.
It is possible to apply for a scholarship for candidates who have been selected on the German side, further information will be sent to you after you receive your notice of acceptance by the Filmakademie.
Necessary application documents*
Please submit your application by email to our programme coordinator Mareike Schmid. Please only send one PDF file which should not exceed 3 MB. The following documents in English or German are required:
- Application form (here)
- C.v. in tabular form with a photo
- Letter of motivation for participating in the Atelier and a short explanation of the career pathway you wish to pursue after the training year (maximum one DIN A4 page)
- Portrait of a real, well-known producer (maximum two DIN A4 pages)
- Description of a film that appeared in cinemas the last 24 months and impressed you (maximum two DIN A4 pages)
- Proof of higher education entrance qualification (e.g. high school diploma, school leaving certificate)
- Proof of academic degree (e.g. university, college)
- Proof of at least six months of practical experience in the film industry (e.g. letters of recommandation) and of at least four weeks set experience (placements etc)
- Proof of good English skills (e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge Certificate, time spent abroad)
- Scan of your identity card or passport
- Optional: a link/file with a two-minute film (extracts, work samples, montages)
Where do I send my application?
German and German-speaking candidates should send their applications to Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg. The same applies to English-speaking applicants without adequate French or German knowledge. Applications from French-speaking candidates go to La Fémis film school in Paris. For more details, see www.femis.fr.
If you are not taken the first time, you can reapply once for a place in Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris.
The interviews will be held for the German side end of June 2023 and for the French side end of June / beginning of July 2023.
Find additional information here.
*Transmission of application documents
In the course of your application (by email/mail) various personal application data will be collected and processed by us.
This particularly includes your
• contact details (name, address, telephone number and email address)
• application documents (cover letter, CV, certificates or evidence of formal qualifications)
• copy of identity card/passport
• work samples
Your personal application data will be collected and processed exclusively for the intended purpose of selecting participants for the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris. Your data will only be communicated to internal bodies and departments in our company that are competent for the specific application process. Your personal application data will not be transmitted to other companies without your previous express approval. Your application data will not be exploited in any other way or disclosed to third parties. Three months after completion of the application process, your personal application data will automatically be deleted. This does not apply provided that a deletion of your data conflicts with statutory regulations, a further storage is required for evidence or you have given explicit consent to further store your data for future vacancies etc. The application documents for participating in the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris are kept permanently for archiving purposes. If an applicant is admitted to the programme, the transmitted data will be stored for the purpose of the programme in compliance with the statutory provisions.
THE MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME OF CREATIVE EUROPE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
THE MINISTRY OF SCIENCE, RESEARCH AND ART BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG
THE GERMAN FEDERAL MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND MEDIA
CENTRE NATIONAL DU CINÉMA ET DE L'IMAGE ANIMÉE
THE FRENCH MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION
THE EUROPEAN CULTURAL TELEVISION CHANNEL ARTE
THE GERMAN TELEVISION CHANNEL SWR
THE FRANCO-GERMAN YOUTH OFFICE