Master of Film

The Master of Film lecture series

Every other Wednesday night the Master’s department of the Film Academy invites guests to come and give a lecture. Speakers can be film makers, visual artists, composers but also philosophers, scientists or film theoreticians. The aim is simple: to broaden our horizon and to get inspired by a diversity of approaches and perspectives.

The lectures are free and open to all who are interested. For most lectures a reservation won't be necessary, but if you want to be sure to have a seat: please use the online RSVP form.

Join our lectures mailinglist and we'll keep you informed!

Programme winter/spring 2015

1 April 2015

The Story Ark | Keith Cunningham

How innovative and daring would you like to be as a cinematic storyteller? What does it mean today to be innovative and daring in a relevant way?

In the cinema, innovation has traditionally meant technical innovation and experimentation with narrative forms. Since 1960, daring has primarily referred to transgressions of traditional social values and customs, such as escalating nudity and violence. But by 1975, this transgressiveness had itself become an embedded aspect of consumerism. Since then it has experienced ‘transgression inflation’, and has lost its edge.

Right now, the real cutting edge is the intersection of society, media, and the nexus of crises we loosely refer to as ‘climate change’. Right now, we are on the cutting edge of survival or extinction. To ask the question: "What is the function of storytelling in a time when the entire human society must engage in decisions that will in turn transform the nature of society?" gets to the heart of our potential for survival.

The widest framing on these crises is that we are in trouble because we are thinking in a wrong way, according to values that ultimately do not support life, and thus we make wrong decisions. It is a problem of worldview much more than of technology. This is another way of saying that we have been following a wrong storyline, a storyline that is making us sick. In this case, it is the cinematic storytellers who, on the whole, still represent a ‘flat-Earth’ worldview. There is a clash, still underappreciated, between the dominant economic model (to which the mass media also adhere) and the ecological/living systems understanding to which humanity will be forced to conform itself if it will survive.

Today, innovation means coming to the act of storytelling from a different conceptual base, one in line with the ecological/living systems perspective. What will that look like, what might it look like? Perhaps filmmakers like Alejandro Iñarritu are edging their way in that direction, though still not yet embracing a new and sustainable worldview.

There is much much more to be discovered on the way to stories that can support a sustainable society and culture. That is the dare today.

Keith Cunningham is one of the most respected screenwriting lecturers and story development consultants in Europe. A direct student of the influential mythographer Joseph Campbell, Keith began his lecturing/consulting career while a professor of film at Columbia College in Chicago. After seminars at the AFI, the Director’s Guild and the Writer’s Guild in Los Angeles, he began working in Germany in 1989. In 2009, he created the Story Arks Institute to encourage media professionals to take a more proactive stance toward climate change. Currently, the Story Arks Institute is proposing a pan-European project through the German Bundes Kultur Stiftung that will have filmmakers and scientists collaborating together, to model a new relationship and social contract between media and society.

15 April 2015, 19:00 hrs.

Performing Life | Ulay

Photo by Lena Pislak

We will screen 'Project Cancer' (2013), a documentary, directed by Damjan Kozole, following Ulay dealing with 'the biggest and most important project of his life', his illness. After the screening, which starts at 19.00h!, there will be ample time and space to talk about what matters... work, art, cinema, culture, politics, life....

Uwe Frank Laysiepen (1943), better known as Ulay, has been a pioneer of Polaroid photography and one of the central figures of performance art since the 1970s. A singular presence among the artists of his generation, his radically innovative work, partly known for his twelve-year partnership with Marina Abramovic, has received critical acclaim worldwide. 'I have produced a very bizarre body of work', Ulsay says of his artistic career; 'I have experimented a lot. You have to if you are aiming at something that does not yet exist.' 
See also: and the trailer of the film

-- SOLD OUT --
If you have made a reservation through the online RSVP form, please come to the cinema 30 minutes before the start of the programme. At 18:30h we will allocate the remaining seats on a first come first serve basis.

10 June 2015

Guerilla filmmaking in South-East Asian cinema | Lorna Tee

Lorna Tee will speak about guerilla filmmaking in South-East Asian cinema (and the lessons we westerners could learn from that).

About Lorna Tee:
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Expected in 2015 (exact dates to be confirmed)

The self-licking ice cream syndrome | Johan Grimonprez

More information on the programme will follow soon

About Johan Grimonprez:

Time & place

Date & time:
Every other Wednesday night,
19:30-21:30 hrs.

Film Academy cinema

Please use the RSVP form

Programme winter/spring 2015

Wednesday 1 April 2015
The Story Ark
Keith Cunningham

Wednesday 15 April 2015
Time: 19:00 hrs
Performing Life

Wednesday 10 June 2015
Guerilla filmmaking in South-East Asian cinema
Lorna Tee

Expected in 2015:
The self-licking ice cream syndrome
Johan Grimonprez

See past events

Wednesday Night Film Screenings

On the other Wednesday nights (when there is no Master Film lecture) our Master of Film students are organizing film screenings and talks at the Film Academy cinema.

Feel free to join! All events will be announced on Facebook