Anyone who wants to become a director or producer dreams of a coveted place at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film. It has sprung to international acclaim and produced several Oscar winners.
Roland Emmerich, Marcus H Rosenmüller, Bernd Eichinger and Doris Dörrie all graduated here. And Max Färberböck, Dominik Graf, Wim Wenders, Uli Edel, Mika Kausrismäki and Sönke Wortmann also studied at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film (HFF) in Munich. Many graduates have won awards for the craft they studied here, and some have even won an Oscar, such as Katja von Garnier for her film “Making Up” (1994), Caroline Link for “Nowhere in Africa” (2003), and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck for “The Lives of Others” (2007).
It therefore comes as no surprise that the places on one of its five degree programmes are in such high demand. Those accepted after an extensive application process can learn everything a good director, editor or producer needs to know through the programmes “Feature Film and Television Feature”, “Film and Television Documentary”, “Production and Media Business”, “Screenplay” and “Cinematography”.
The university was founded in 1966 by Helmut Oeller, a television director at the Bavarian broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR). It was initially housed in an old villa on Kaulbachstrasse, but the rooms weren’t suitable for every subject, and so lessons were also taught at the BR Studios on Rundfunkplatz square and in the district of Freimann, at the Bavaria Film site in Geiselgasteig, and at ZDF in Unterföhring. In 1988, the university was then moved to a former bedspring factory in the district of Ramersdorf on the border to Giesing. It had more space there and finally got its own film and television studio.
It returned to the city centre in 1988, as a new building was designed to meet the needs of students directly opposite the Alte Pinakothek (art gallery) in Munich’s museum district. The building has a 150-metre-long stone wall along its base; its rough, rocky surface highlights the workshop-like character of the university. The architect Peter Böhm integrated seminar rooms, a post-production wing, two TV studios and two film studios, all of which are protected against sound and other disturbances. During the annual Munich Film Festival, visitors flock to the university’s three cinema halls.
The field next to the main entrance features the “Present Continuous”, a 3.6-metre-high aluminium sculpture created by Henk Visch. The figure depicts an armless person who is stooped and looking at the ground. A red beam emerges from its forehead, passing through the ground and into the Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst (State Museum of Egyptian Art) below. It represents the connection between the past and present.