Overview of the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris

La Fémis and the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg have created in 2001 Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris, a continuous training programme dedicated to European production and distribution, with the support of the French and German states, the MEDIA sub-programme scheme of Creative Europe, and OFAJ (the French-German Youth Office). A session in London was launched in 2007 in partnership with the National Film and Television School, and with the support of the French Institute.

An overview of the programme

This full time continuous training programme takes place over one year from the beginning of October to the end of August. Its objective is to offer a new generation of future producers and distributors a realistic and concrete view of current strategies in screenwriting, financing, producing, distributing, marketing and selling films in Europe, and more specifically in France, Germany and the UK.
At the end of the course, participants will be able to work with the different financing and production systems, communicate in another language and understand the culture and mentality of another country. The objective of the course is also to teach participants the development of a common project and a network of future European partners.

Christine Ghazarian runs the programme in France.

The training is based on three main activities:

Professional meetings, seminars and workshops aim to encourage dialogue between the participants and the professionals from the European film industry on specific topics and build their contacts for their future projects.
Case studies of recent films allow to work on the concrete aspects of a given topic: the work of a producer, the screenplay and screenwriting, the financing partners of a producer, the European film contracts, co-productions in Europe, distribution and marketing, international sales, and TV networks and their subsidiaries.

—  Practical exercises are designed to explore the situation in different European countries based on case studies related to the entire filmmaking process, from screenwriting to distribution, and include regular meetings with the directors, producers and distributors of the feature films studied over the year.

—  The study entitled “A film and its national and international distribution” consolidates this direction. Each group of students pick a recent feature film and carry out an inquiry based on interviews conducted with the producer, distributor and sales agent of the chosen film. Working in conjunction with the school’s students of the distribution and exhibition departments, the aim is to investigate the relationship the producer establishes with the distributor of his or her film, at the national and international level. In June, the groups are required to submit a written presentation of their work and present the result of their respective studies to a jury composed of producers and distributors, with the heads of the Atelier and the two departments of the school.

The production project:

Since 2001, the German branch of the TV channel Arte has supported the activities of Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris for the production of a collection of 9 short films, which are broadcast on the channel.

For the 2018-2019 edition, the theme proposed by Arte and the heads of the programme is “L’important c’est d’aimer”. The 18 participants, two by two, produce nine short films of 8.30 minutes each (five in Paris, four in Ludwigsburg).

The Atelier participants handle the production of these films, written and directed by students of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and of La Fémis.

The programme is completed with an active presence at three major film festivals: Clermont-Ferrand, Berlin and Cannes.

During the course, the participants have the chance to meet a number of directors, producers and distributors with whom they can discuss the films selected for the different case studies.

During the year, the participants are tutored by the heads of the programme who monitor their progress and supervise their Arte projects.

Calendar of the 2018-2019 programme

Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris is a continuous training programme over one year from the beginning of October to the end of August. Teaching is given through a series of six sessions: two sessions in Ludwigsburg, two sessions in Paris, one session in Berlin and one session in London.

First session in Ludwigsburg: October, November and December 2018
Second session in Paris/Clermont-Ferrand : January, February 2019
Third session in Berlin: February 2019
Fourth session in London: February 2019
Fifth session in Ludwigsburg : March 2019
Distribution internship: April 2019
Sixth session in Paris/Cannes: May, June 2019

Pre-production, production and post-production of the Arte films, Paris and Ludwigsburg: June, July, August 2019.

Admission criteria

To be admitted into Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris, candidates must:
—  Be a national of a member state of the wider European Union or a candidate country of the MEDIA sub-programme of Creative Europe [1],
—  Hold a postgraduate degree (minimum three years of higher education),
—  Have professional experience in film and media and be strongly motivated to work in this sector,
—  Be no older than 30,
—  Have excellent knowledge of French OR German AND English.

For the 2019-2020 edition, Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris will continue to offer the programme to candidates from non European countries (maximum 20% of its participants) with a view to provide knowledge and expertise to non European professionnels who are interested to work in the European film industry.

Candidates must be prepared during the year to attend intensive courses to study the second language of the programme (all students must be fluent in English). If participants do not have the required proficiency in the second language, a 4-6 week intensive language course is compulsory. Language classes must be taken in advance of the training (in August/September) at the Goethe Institut or the French Institute, but preferably in the country of the language they need to learn. These costs are covered by the participant.
However, during the first two sessions, interpreters are hired by the programme to provide simultaneous translation of all the seminars and meetings. As of Berlin, the participants are meant to have sufficient proficiency of both languages to be able to follow classes without the need for interpreters. The learning of a second language, and above all the specific terminology of the film industry, is one of the objectives of Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris.

Status of participants

Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris is a continuous training programme, which means that its participants do not hold the student status.
Each participant receives a certificate on completion of the training, at the end of August, on presentation of the accounts and delivery of the films to Arte.

Financial terms and conditions

Registration fee for the year us €1,500.
The accommodation contribution for the French sessions comes to €1,300, i.e. €1,100 for the sessions in Paris and €200 for the session in London. Most of the international and local travel and the accommodation for the French sessions in Paris (except for Paris residents), Clermont-Ferrand and Cannes, and for the London session are arranged and financed by the programme.
The Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg covers part of the accommodation for the three sessions held in Germany and asks for a contribution, the conditions of which can be requested by contacting the Filmakademie.

Written applications

Candidates are preselected based on their written applications.
Applications must include the following items:
—  A detailed CV presenting the projects they have worked on,
—  A cover letter explaining their motivations for Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris and their expectations after the programme,
—  An analysis of a recent film of their choice (maximum three pages),
—  A written profile of a producer whose production choices would match their own production criteria (maximum three pages),
—  Employment/internship/education certificates, and when available a LIST (no showreels) of the films they have produced or worked on.

Preselected candidates are invited to attend an interview.
At La Fémis in Paris :
—  For French applicants and French speaking applicants of other nationalities. At the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg :
—  For German applicants and German speaking applicants of other nationalities.
—  English speaking candidates with no French nor German are to apply at the Filmakademie Baden-Wüttemberg.

The following topics will be discussed at the interview:

  • The candidates’ personal interest to join Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris,
  • Their international culture
  • A presentation of their motivation
  • Their language proficiency,
  • Their educational/professional experience,
  • Their aptitude to get the most out of the programme.

Candidates are required to cover the cost of travelling to the interview.

The final list of candidates will be sent out in writing after the interviews in France and in Germany.

Candidates are permitted to apply many times. However the final interview is permitted no more than twice.

For the 2019-2020 programme, applications from French speaking candidates must be submitted no later than 31 May 2019 to La Fémis, addressed to Mélodie Cholmé.

Preselected candidates will attend an interview, to take place in Paris on June 26th and 27th.

To be noted: a fixed contribution of 200€ will be required from the participants for attending the Cannes Film Festival


Christine Ghazarian
Head of the French Office
Tel: 33 1 53 41 22 13
Fax: 33 1 53 41 02 80

[1Albania / Austria / Belgium / Bosnia - Herzegovina / Bulgaria / Croatia / Cyprus / Czech Republic / Denmark / Estonia / Finland / France / Germany / Georgia / Greece / Hungary / Iceland / Ireland / Italy / Latvia / Lithuania / Luxembourg / Malta / Montenegro / Moldavia / Netherlands / Norway / Poland / Portugal / Romania / Republic of Macedonia / Republic of Serbia / Slovakia / Slovenia / Spain / Sweden / Tunisia / United Kingdom/ Ukraine