Établissement d'Enseignement Supérieur Technique Privé Cinéma & Télévision

The brainchild of Luc Besson, the Ecole de la Cité puts talent first. The creativity and motivation of candidates are the principal criteria for admission.

Two courses are offered: screenwriting and directing. Teaching focuses on practical aspects. Internships and group work are a regular feature of the courses. Contact with the film industry and professionals is constant thanks to the school's location at the heart of the Cité du Cinéma.

The courses are free of charge. No academic qualifications are necessary for admission. The purpose? Giving talents from all horizons a chance to express themselves to ensure the diversity of movie output tomorrow.

Why ?

« I wanted to found the Ecole de la Cité so that passionate would-be filmmakers, who haven’t found a place for themselves in the system, have an alternative. » - Luc Besson

Where ?

The Ecole de la Cité is located at the heart of the Cité du Cinéma, a unique facility in Europe, where film and TV professionals are in constant contact.

Who for ?

You're aged 18-25? You're passionate about movies and TV and you have a creative mind? Don't hesitate, enroll at the Ecole de la Cité.

  • Origins of the project
  • The École de la Cité
  • Discover the École


« When I was 17 and eager to make movies, the entry requirement of every film school was a high school graduate’s diploma and, often, at least two years in higher education. My desire and impatience meant there was no way I could wait. As a result, I started working in film way down the ladder as an unpaid intern on a short.

The learning process was long and difficult. I often regretted not being able to study in a school where I could share my passion with people my age. I poured liters of coffee, Xeroxed an incalculable number of documents and carried tons of gear. It was sometimes hard and not always rewarding, but I can never thank enough all the technicians who kindly and patiently taught me my trade. I wanted to found the Ecole de la Cité so that passionate would-be filmmakers like I once was, who haven’t found a place for themselves in the system, have an alternative. »

  • Origins of the project
  • The École de la Cité
  • Discover the École


Creativity comes first !

The biggest hit movies or TV shows prove that academic institutions regularly miss out on top talents. The Ecole de la Cité offers young people with passion the opportunity for free professional training as screenwriters or directors.

Its mission is to develop and structure the creativity of its students through teaching that emphasizes practical experience and on-the-job learning. Located at the heart of the Cité du Cinéma, the Ecole de la Cité guarantees that its students will study in close contact with film professionals.

It facilitates equality of opportunity, revolutionizes the codes of the industry and sets out to be an entirely new kind of film school.

  • Origins of the project
  • The École de la Cité
  • Discover the École


A unique learning place

The Cité du Cinéma opens in Saint-Denis in Summer 2012. One of a kind in Europe, this 62,000 sq. meter facility on the outskirts of Paris will serve a dual purpose:

- to bring together on one site everybody who makes a movie possible from screenwriters to post-production people and distributors, and, of course, set designers and on-set technicians;

- to provide state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to professionals.

The Cité du Cinéma consists of 9 sound sets designed to meet professionals’ every need, 12,000 sq. meters of dedicated technical units (dressing rooms, editing suites, paint and carpentry workshops, camera and lighting shops, etc.) and 2,200 sq. meters of screening and reception rooms. Vibrant and alive, the Cité du Cinéma will also have its own restaurant, gym and stores.

  • Teaching philosophy
  • Screenwriting
  • Directing
  • Admissions procedure

Teaching philosophy

A school open to all

The Ecole de la Cité currently offers two courses: screenwriting and directing, two of the most prestigious professions in the movies. Each year-group will be made up of thirty students.

Lasting two years, these courses will be open to anyone aged 18-25. They are entirely free, except for the registration fee* and social security.

* The registration fee is 200 euros per year and can be paid in four installments.

The focus on practical training

The Ecole de la Cité aims to deliver professional training. A large majority of the instructors will be film and TV professionals. Master-classes given by world-renowned talents will be another way of passing on experience, not just theoretical knowledge. Above all, thanks to their presence in the Cité du Cinéma, students will be in constant contact with industry professionals.

Practical work experience will also be an important part of the course. Students will do several internships on set, in editing suites or in workshops. They will also have to bring to fruition team projects with students from both courses: script writing, directing actors and shooting short films will enable them all to try their hand at every job on set (actor, director of photography, cameraman, sound, grip...).

Last but not least, the students will be taught the theoretical fundamentals of filmmaking and how the industry works. Great importance will also be given to learning and speaking English, which is more than ever a decisive factor in student’s employment prospects.

A diploma recognized by the industry

Thanks to the focus on practical experience and knowledge, students will graduate with a diploma that is recognized by film and TV professionals. They can aim to work in movies, TV or the internet. Or (plutôt And) the production of short films, fictions, series, documentaries or commercials.

  • Teaching philosophy
  • Screenwriting
  • Directing
  • Admissions procedure



Often the source of the original idea, the writer maps out a film’s structure, develops its themes, nuances and atmosphere, and establishes the soul of every character while preserving the overall balance with the precision of a silversmith.

The Ecole de la Cité will set out to develop each student’s imagination, means of expression and editorial qualities.

  • > Film history
  • > Script analysis
  • > Narrative techniques
  • > Writing synopses and screenplays
  • > Scripts
  • > Film law
  • > Dialogue
  • > Storyboards
  • > Script breakdowns
  • > English
  • Teaching philosophy
  • Screenwriting
  • Directing
  • Admissions procedure


Understanding the script; establishing shooting dates; choosing locations, costumes and music; directing actors; participating in editing, sound recording, etc… Artistically and technically, a director is to a movie as a conductor is to an orchestra. This role requires in-depth knowledge of the various professions that participate in making a movie.

The Ecole de la Cité will develop its students’ capacity to adapt and anticipate, hone their organizational skills, and teach them to manage time and budgets.

  • > Film history
  • > Script analysis
  • > Casting
  • > Technical preparation
  • > Shot breakdown
  • > Camera technology
  • > Techniques de prise de vue
  • > Sound technology
  • > Lighting technology
  • > Directing actors
  • > Crew management
  • > Directing exercises on set
  • > Color grading
  • > Picture editing
  • > Sound editing
  • > Film music
  • > Special effects
  • > Finance plans
  • > Film law
  • > Marketing and distribution
  • > English
  • Teaching philosophy
  • Screenwriting
  • Directing
  • Admissions procedure

Admissions procedure

Selection by talent

The courses offered by the Ecole de la Cité are exclusively available to people aged 18-25 in 2012. Candidates are judged on two criteria alone: their talent and motivation.

The two steps to admission

1. Application

The completed application must be sent by email by Thursday July 5, 2012 at the latest. After this date, no application will be accepted. Selected applicants will be invited by email to participate in the first test of the next stage of the admissions procedure.

2. Competitive entrance examination

The examination for admission to the Ecole de la Cité involves three separate tests, each of which will eliminate a certain number of candidates. Applicants will be informed of the results of each test by email only.

Test 1 :

Applicants have 48 hours to produce a creative, innovative piece of work on a given theme in the format of their choice (written, photographic, graphic, film, etc.).

Schedule of the test:

> July 8, 2012, at midnight: the theme will be announced on the Ecole de la Cité’s website.

> July 9-10, 2012: duration of the test

> July 11, 2012: applicants must deliver their work, either in person before 6 p.m., or by mail (postmarked July 11) at the following address: Ecole de la Cité - Cité du cinéma - 20 rue Ampère 93200 Saint-Denis

> The results will be announced by email from July 13 onward. Successful candidates will receive an invitation to participate in the next test.

Test 2 :

This consists of a series of written and oral tests to assess candidates’ creativity and motivation. The test will last a whole day.

Schedule of the test:

> The final test will be a one-on-one interview.

Test 3 :

Cette dernière épreuve consiste en un entretien individuel.

Schedule of the test:

> test 3 will be held between the end of July and early August.

Our partners


juillet 2015

A voir la vidéo ENFULTE de Louis Farge pour Studio Bagel

Ne manquez pas la vidéo réalisée par Louis Farge, étudiant issu de la Promotion Dominique Farrugia, pour le Studio Bagel !


juillet 2015

"Perrault, La Fontaine, mon cul" en replay sur ARTE

Le film de Hugo P. Thomas, Zoran Boukherma et Ludovic Boukherma, Perrault, La Fontaine, mon cul, était en replay sur ARTE.

Hugo, Zoran et Ludovic se sont connus à l'Ecole de la Cité et sont issus de la Promotion Luc Besson.




How can you help?

You can support the school by providing financial backing for one or several students. A donation of 25,000 euros will fund the two years of training of a single student.

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