Do I need film experience to take a course at the IFI? No prior filmmaking experience necessary to take any of our classes.  All we ask is that you come prepared to completely immerse yourself in the program from start to finish.  There is a lot of work that goes into making a project.  Attention to detail is critical to getting your idea on the screen. Come on time to classes, do your homework, and help each other get it done.

Who attends the IFI? We have a wide range of students from all over the world.  From High school students looking to prepare a portfolio for college applications to Doctors looking to explore other talents. Once we get a class together we structure the groups accordingly to make sure everyone works together.

What is the schedule like? The program is intensive. The first couple of weeks focus on classroom instruction, followed by pre-production, production, and editing.  Days begin at 10AM and, on average, end by 5PM.  This is for the five  week program.  There is also the occasional evening seminars that end at 9:00 PM.  Once you roll into production you will be on call for the entire week to produce your own film and your fellow crew member projects. It is absolutely critical that everyone is available to support each other throughout this portion of the class. We also have evening and week long and weekend projects in the works. All with their own specific schedules.

How many students are in a class? We have no more than 16 students per Program Session in our five week program.  We keep the workshops small so we can provide the individualized attention necessary to ensure you get the support you need to get your final film completed on time.  

What makes the IFI different? We believe our curriculum and the amount of individualized attention built into the course separate the IFI from other similar programs. Our focus on the individual helps in avoiding many of the pitfalls more established programs have to deal with.  Our only red tape is making sure we complete our films on time. This, along with great staff and faculty, make us stand out amongst the film schools offering short-term programs.

Who teaches at the IFI? We have experienced professionals from the film business and academic institutions. Check out some of the Faculty who have taught at our program on the Faculty page.  That’s just a sampling.

What kind of film can I make? You can make any kind of movie. Narrative, Experimental, Documentary, etc.  The only thing we ask is that you keep it doable.  On average films produced within the course are between 3-5 minutes in length.  Anything longer is just impossible to make within the time frame allotted in the program.  This is very important.  We want to make sure every student gets through the process successfully.  For this reason our instructors will work with you to make sure all the elements you need are available. Star Wars, The Matrix, and Harry Potter are a bit out of the scope of what we can do in a five week program. That said, be creative and tell a good short story.  Use the time with us to learn the basics of putting images together.  In time, with more experience and financial resources, you too will have the potential for bigger films. Check out our Vimeo page to see some of the work produced in the program.

Can I see some of the films made at the IFI? Of Course you can !  We have quite a selection posted on our VIMEO PAGE. Check them out then come back after you’re done watching.

What equipment will I have access to? You will have access to High-Definition cameras, lighting, and sound equipment.  Please note that we are not a technical school.  We focus on the story and the execution of that story onto the screen.  We absolutely cover production and will provide all necessary equipment resources to make your film.

Will I make my own film? Our program is designed and scheduled to allow each student to make their own short film.  On the very rare occasion students can work together on one film. But, we encourage students to produce their own films.

Will I be working with other students? It is absolutely critical that all students work together throughout the film program. From story development through editing, feedback is key to your growth as an artist.

Do I need to buy anything before I take a course at the IFI? The only item we ask students to purchase is an external storage drive for all of your video files.  Once you are in the program the only additional expense you will have, related directly to the course, is the materials you will need to produce your film.  Props, wardrobe, feeding your cast and crew, and transportation during your shoot.

Can I use my film to apply to film school? Absolutely.  One of our program goals is to provide guidance for individuals looking to apply to undergraduate and graduate film programs.  Some of the instructors in our program are probably teaching at one of the schools you are looking to apply to.

Will I be able to get a job after I take this course? Any school that guarantees employment after taking a class is not being honest.  Our program is a stepping stone on your quest for a job in the film industry. We offer you tools, guidance, and support as you continue to work towards getting that dream job. But, seriously, hard work and determination will keep you going.  We provide a taste of what’s to come.

What is the age range of students in the program? Our students range from 14 – 60. Depending on the location the age range changes. Our Sarah Lawrence College Five Week Intensive caters to both young adults and Adults.

What is the tuition for the courses? Please review our website for details regarding tuition.

What is included in the tuition? All instruction, faculty, access to facilities and equipment, and final Screening.

Is housing available? Housing is available at Sarah Lawrence College during the Summer program. For more information about housing and meal plans please visit the Five Week Intensive page.

Do you offer financial aid? At this time we do not offer financial aid.

Do you offer College Credit? At the present time Sarah Lawrence College does not offer college credit.

How do I apply? Easy! Go to our REGISTER page, find the program you would like to enroll in and follow the simple instructions.  Or just callus!  718-796-4104 and we will guide you through the process.

Is there a deadline for registration? We want to make sure we have minimal enrollment in order to run the class.  Like all institutions if we do not have the students the session is cancelled. In order to provide adequate time to allow students to prepare for the class we have a deadline of 1 month before the start of class.  If, for any reason, the session is cancelled after you have made a deposit or paid the tuition, we will refund 100% of your funds.

What is the relationship between the IFI and Sarah Lawrence College? The International Film Institute of New York and Sarah Lawrence College are partner institutions working on providing the Summer Filmmaking Intensive on the College campus. 

What if I have more questions? That’s what we are here for!  Send us an e.mail:  programs@nyfilmschool.com or you can call us directly at 718-796-4104. We want to make sure the program fits what you are looking for.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS