La Fémis

École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son
Type Grande école
Established 1943 (IDHEC), 1986 (La Fémis)
President Raoul Peck
Director Marc Nicolas
Administrative staff
Postgraduates 200
Other students
Address 6 rue Francoeur, 75018 Paris, France, Paris, Île-de-France, France
48°53′25″N 2°20′33″E / 48.8904°N 2.3426°E / 48.8904; 2.3426Coordinates: 48°53′25″N 2°20′33″E / 48.8904°N 2.3426°E / 48.8904; 2.3426
Campus Urban
Pathé Studios
Nickname La Fémis
Affiliations PSL Research University
Minister of Culture of France

La Fémis (French: École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son, formerly known as the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques, IDHEC), is the French state film school. It is part of PSL Research University, a Paris area-based world-class federal research university formed from highly selective art-, science- and humanities-focused higher education institutions among the most prominent in France. FEMIS is an acronym for Fondation Européenne pour les Métiers de l’Image et du Son. Based in Paris, it offers courses balanced between artistic research, professional development and technical training.

In 2012, The Hollywood Reporter rated La fémis no.6 in its best international film school rankings (it included U.S.-based film schools) and no.3 in its 2014 best international film school rankings (it excluded U.S.-based film schools).[1][2] Its alumni have won three of the world's most prestigious film prizes - Cannes Film Festival's Golden Palm, Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion and Berlin International Film Festival's Golden Bear - ten times, making it the most rewarded film school in the world, preceding the Beijing Film Academy and the Tisch School of the Arts of New York City, in winning those three prizes.


La Fémis

From 1944 to 1985, the IDHEC (Institut des hautes études cinématographiques) was the main French film school — training 1,439 French and foreign film professionals.

In 1985, the school was restructured under the supervision of the then Minister of Culture Jack Lang and La Fémis was created in 1986. Originally, scriptwriter Jean-Claude Carrière was its president and Jack Gajos was its director.

When La Fémis was created, the school had seven teaching departments: direction, screenwriting, picture, sound, editing, production, and set design. A script continuity course was added in 1992 and a distribution/exploitation course in 2003. Lastly the master-class workshop, a European production training program, was co-created with the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg, Germany in 2002.

The school is now a public establishment under the responsibility of the Ministry of culture and communication. The school first opened in the Palais de Tokyo (Paris 16e), moving on February 15, 1999 to the old Pathé Studios at 6, rue Francoeur (18e).


La Femis (film set 1)

The main curriculum students follow a four-year training course. During the first year, they all follow the same general course: initiation into the various jobs involved in filmmaking, experimenting in every technical position within a film crew.

During the second and third year, they follow a specific curriculum depending on the department they have chosen, including theoretical classes, exercises, days devoted to film analysis, analytical seminars and collective exercises making films. They spend their fourth year fulfilling an individual end-of-studies project (known as "travail de fin d'études" or TFE) and taking part in their classmates' projects.

In sum, the school is designed to foster an applied cinephilia, in which the study of films past and present underwrites advanced skills in the practicalities of filmmaking; returning alumni, like Jean Paul Civeyrac, who come back to themselves lead seminars, carry on this tradition of encouraging advanced auteurist ambitions among the new students.[3]

The school is the subject of a 2016 French film called The Graduation by Clair Simon about the exhaustive application process to be accepted as a student.


La Fémis has trained over 700 students in all filmmaking trades: directors, screenwriters, producers, editors, cameramen, sound engineers, decorators, script supervisors, distributors and exhibition managers/executives.

Among them: (in alphabetical order)


  3. Palmer, Tim (2011). Brutal Intimacy: Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema, Wesleyan University Press, Middleton CT. ISBN 0-8195-6827-9.
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