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Escuela Internacional de CIne y Television (EICTV), La Habana, Cuba

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<p> <strong>Attended</strong>: 1994-1996<br> <strong>Recommend</strong>: Yes <p> The EICTV is an Internation al film school originally created in 1987 as a free school for select students of the three Worlds: The Caribbean and Latin America, Asia, and Africa. <p> It's founder/President is Nobel Literature Laureate, Colombian, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The school is an experimental project by the Foundation for LatinAmerican film that is headquartered in Havana, Cuba. This school offers a two year regular course as well as workshops on a regular basis to filmakers and broadcasters around the world to upgrade their skills. The whole purpose of the school is to equip aspiring filmakers with the skills and contacts necessary to return to their countries and help build or create a film industry there. <p> This school, although internationally recognized as an accredited film school does not offer a BA or any such degree to the students, rather after two years you will recieve a Diploma and an invaluable number of contacts within the film industry (internat ionally) For more info, the eictv's web page is at: www.mac.com.mx/eictv/ <p> <p> <p> My experience: <p> I'm from Belize and I was in the last generation of free students at the EICTV. The school only accepted 25 students per year with not more than 3 per country. Since I already had a BA in Television, I felt that two years of my life studying film witho ut a degree at the end was OK, especially since I really wanted the hands on training the school espouses, plus a chance to meet filmakers like Redford and Coppola who had already taught there in the past. <p> <p> Three projects, I was told, were all I needed to complete in two years to pass. <p> 1st year: A 3 minute fiction film on 16mm &amp; a 10 min documentary on Hi-8 video. <p> 2nd year: A 10 minute thesis film on 16mm or 35mm (depended on resources). <p> Seemed easy enough but there was a lot more work. We divided into groups of five and each group of five were responsible for five projects, i.e, 15 total at the end of my two year tenure. eg. One project I'm director (mine), next camera, next sound, next edit, next producer. Object: to build up the resume and get a lot of experience. Kudos on that <p> <p> <p> Class time depended on professors time constraints,i.e., international school not only means, international students, international professors also. Our teachers weren't really teachers they were all professional filmakers in all five aspects of film plus script, that jetted in constantly, some for two weeks, some one, some three, if we were lucky a month. (They taught us on their free time between projects and Christmas time) Many famous photographers and sound specialists arrived from France, Producers and Directors from the US, independents and studio bigwigs, Acting coaches from New York, Directors, Photographers, Producers etc. from Cuba, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Canada. As a student in such a small school, my friends and I could easily persuade the faculty to invite a person we would like to teach us and the school would issue an invitation, including airfare etc. and most times we would have that person teaching us, because, and this is impor tant, TEACHING US MEANT A TRIP TO CUBA, and believe you me, the world, especially filmakers, is still fascinated with Cuba. <p> <p> <p> The classes were concentrated because of the short time the teachers could spare, i.e. class starts at 9:00 a.m. - 12noon and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Daily movie at 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. or classes would resume, depending on the teacher. Everything was flexible. <p> In the first year all 25 took classes together, 2nd year we split into specialties. <p> I choose to specialize in production because the Head of Production Department at the time was a very energetic young Italian woman named Paola Mercadini, who was determined to get her students invited to all the major film festivals as well as meet ever yone we could. She based her classes on the EAVE graduate model taught to European producers. It was fun. Three students and one professor. Classes were held by the pool, at the beach, in a bar (Latin america). At the film Festivals everywhere. The whole school attended the Havana Film Festival. While the rest partied, producers had to have a project and attend market sessions. <p> <p> <p> We invited professors who knew their way around film festivals and obliged them to introduce us young charges to everyone they knew. And so we networked. This is also a time when tons of filmakers and actors flocked to CUBA and also to our famous film school. We met and had dinner with Irish director, Jim Ireland who asked our opinions on cutting down a 3 hour version of "Some Mother's son". We met English Director, Danny Boyle when he and his producer Andrew were pushing "Shallow Grave" this is their p re- Trainspotting days. We collapsed with laughter watching them borrow money from Stephen Frears (Dir.- Dangerous Liasions) to pay for the dinner they had invited a couple of us to. The school was a fantastic excuse to meet people and exchange business cards as friends. I have a lot of fond memories. <p> <p> <p> Invitations to Rotterdam and Berlin and Cannes arrived and May '96 found us at the 49th Festival du Cine with our personal projects. (Invited of course) and by then we knew a lot of people. Ex- professors invited us out, New ones that were coming to the school after the Festival wined and dined us. And we were urged to frequent the bars of Le Petit Majestic and Carlton and meet people, meet meet meet, because everyone knows that business is done after hours. <p> <p> <p> Isincerely believe that those two years were well spent. Even if no "official" school accepts my diploma, I feel that my contacts that were made through the schoole will be more helpful when I really need to find a job or push a project.. The small nature of the school and the small size of the class forced us to all become friends and not just teacher- pupils. <p> Today the school keeps in touch with all past graduates informing us by e-mail what's new and what's not, The opportunites we should take advantage of in other countries etc. <p> I also keep in touch with my professors even if it's just a Christmas card. (I learnt that from classes) It has also broadened my understanding of the different cultures in the world and I know right now that if I'm every in trouble, I have at least one friend in almost every country in the world. <p> <p> <p> Today it costs a regular student US $7000 for the first year and US $5000 for the second. <p> Five scholarships are available to five first year students who have demonstrated great ability. This cost covers, food, board and all materials necessary for classes and projects, i.e. film, laboratory, videotape, etc. etc. ANd I think the classes are now open to the world. This became necessary because operating costs increased as CUBA opened up to the world. HEY. AND I LEARNT SPANISH TOO!!! <p> GOOD DEAL I think!! <p> <p> THE END <p> <strong>Reviewer's Location</strong>: Belize, Belize <p> <p> --------<br> <strong>Note</strong>: <em>This review was auto-imported from an older LOAFS database. A "Yes" recommendation has been translated into a rating of ten. A "No" has been translated into a rating of one</em>.<br> -------- <b>Review Submitted by:</b> <a href="mailto:zayden@btl.net">Suzette Zayden</a> (unverified)
Rating: 
10

Comments

Hi,

i am interested in the art of film making but have got no previous experience at all, whatsoever. The information provided above was very helpful but would they accept aplications from a newcomer like me! and YES, the question of how much Spanish am i supposed to know aswell?

Thanks a LOT,
Rinya