The OHRID FILM ACADEMY screenwriting course will produce some of the outstanding writers of our generation. The course prepares writers for work in film and television. Taught by working writers, producers and commissioners, the course addresses the main aspects of the profession of writing. Recent students’ work has been nominated for Berlinale, a Bafta, several TV awards and countless other awards.
Graduating screenwriters will have had the opportunity to complete a range of work for their portfolio, demonstrating their talent and unique voice. Introductions are made to literary agents, broadcasters and film and television production companies. It covers all aspects of screenwriting, from the development of ideas through to production and post-production. Screenwriting students have their writing work-shopped by professional directors and actors. Working with student producers and directors, they have the chance to see their writing tested in production.
The FIOFA program also includes masterclasses from eminent practitioners in all fields, and regular previews of current film releases. Screenwriting graduates have access to feature and TV project development opportunities, set up by the School in partnership with broadcasters and film companies such as Vardar Film, Kaval Film and Kino Oko Films. There are also extended industry–oriented script development workshops.
Ivo Trajkov is the FIOFA Head of Screenwriting. Other tutors include Asen Shopov, Elishka Luhanova, Erik Rosenzweig, Georgy Bagdasarov, Brendan Ward, Jan Bernard, Marta Lamperova, Martin Dolensky, Martin Padivy, Pavel Marek, Tomash Dorushka, Tomash Petran and Vojtech Hladky.
The first year of the course deals with the basic principles of storytelling, the craft of screenwriting for film and television, and the collaborative nature of production via exercises with other departments; some shorter writing assignments; and the formal groundwork for writing industry-length material. Writing for the expanding field of animation will be introduced via a series of practical collaborations. Writers also learn about writing for the stage and their short plays are performed to the school by a professional cast.
The second year is a project-based course focusing on longer writing assignments. Individual talents and interests will determine the content of the final portfolio, though this must include at least one full-length screenplay (feature film or television-hour), plus a short piece (a short fiction, animation, short stage play or sitcom). At the School’s discretion, one or more of the short pieces may be filmed. Writers may opt to write two feature screenplays. The second year will also feature specialist modules tailored to the interests of the students, e.g. comedy, horror, factual-based drama, radio. There is also an introduction to online drama and virals.
The course ends with extensive introductions to the industry with preparation on the practicalities and legalities of working. In this process, writers learn to pitch the projects in their portfolio. This has resulted in many graduating students securing agents either prior to graduation, or immediately following their studies.
The course is full time and requires a high level of dedication; a prolific output, and the ability to meet professional–style deadlines. Graduation is also based on completion of a tutored dissertation.
Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School. In addition you will be given a cash Production Budget. FIOFA students are engaged in more productions as part of the curriculum than any of our competitors.
Applicants will have a developed talent for writing (plays, screenplays, novels, short stories), a body of work, a fund of ideas and the desire to express them in screen form. Professional experience in any field is an advantage, in particular work in film, TV or theater, or allied fields. It is not essential to have a degree, but a sound general knowledge of film, TV and theater writing is expected, as well as a high level of self-discipline and personal motivation.
- Knowledge of English at the B2 level
- Bachelor’s diploma (certified copy) or confirmation, that the bachelor´s study will end before the beginning of FA master studies
- One letter of recommendation from a current or previous teacher outlining the applicant’s abilities and study motivations
- Structured CV
- Letter of motivation (will contain names of 10 films which are inspiring for the student)
- Artistic samples:
- Screenplay for a short fiction film or 10 pages sample from a feature screenplay
- A treatment for a full-length feature film
- A sample of your own literary writings
- Audio-visual self-portrait (two minutes maximum, YouTube quality)