Why here, why now? Producing in Berlin
By Elise Czyzowska
15 February 2023
From October 2024, MA Producing will be offered at MetFilm School Berlin. This one-year course, which previously ran exclusively at our London campus, joins the existing postgraduate degrees offered in Berlin – MA Cinematography, MA Directing, MA Documentary & Factual, and MA Screenwriting.
This is the second MA degree we have announced this year – you can read about the first, MA Documentary & Factual at MetFilm School Leeds, in last week’s blog.
MA Producing at MetFilm School
Our MA Producing degree is designed to be both skill-specific (covering topics including budgeting, raising finance, and pitching), and interdisciplinary (giving students the space to develop soft skills such as team-building, brainstorming, and group productions).
One of the biggest benefits to our bringing MA Producing to Berlin is the added collaboration that it will provide for our students, both in their personal and School projects. In one module across their degrees, for example, MA students from all courses come together to create and deliver screen content for an external client – and it is our budding producers who will be leading and managing each team, allowing them to gain first-hand experience in operating creative productions.
This year, we are bringing our MA Producing programme, so popular in London, to Berlin too. It is no coincidence that we are launching during the Berlinale, the home of so many incredible film premieres, and during the European Film Market, where producers from across the world descend on this fabulous city. Berlin is a creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial city – and one where our MA Producing will be very much at home
Learn more about the Craft of Producing in this video from MetFilm School London
The producing industry in Berlin
Each year in Berlin, over 300 films are produced, and on top of the city being a great place for creatives of all types, production in particular shines through. According to German Government data, Berlin is:
- Top of the ranks for Germany’s film locations, with over 1,900 production companies based here
- The headquarter location of choice for over 16% of all film companies in Germany
- Home to the second largest regional film funding agency in Germany: Medienboard Berlin
Medienboard Berlin provides funding across a wide range of categories – from project development, to distribution, to festival presentation, and have previously funded projects including V for Vendetta, A Hidden Life, and more recently, Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning Triangle of Sadness.
With MA Producing now coming to MetFilm School Berlin, it is worth noting the success that graduates of this degree have had at our London campus:
- Guy Horlock: Associate Producer on the 2023 Oscar-nominated documentary All that Breathes
- Aileen Flanagan: Production Coordinator on the 2022 BAFTA-winning feature film After Love
- Guy Trevellyan: 2023 will mark his second (and third!) time collaborating with Wes Anderson, as well as credits on Barbie, Wonka, Indiana Jones, and many more productions
- Ibrahim Kamel: After joining MetFilm Production for our Graduate Internship, Ibrahim has gone on to work as a Production Assistant on television shows including Vanity Fair and Strangers
Plus, highlighting again the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of MetFilm School degrees, many of our graduates from other degree paths have gone on to build strong production careers for themselves. From Leopold Hughes (BA Practical Filmmaking), who worked as a Co-Producer on both instalments of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out franchise, to Ruby Victor (MA Directing) as UK Production Assistant on the Oscar-nominated Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, and Storm Solomons (Former Short Course Student) as Production Assistant on The Woman King, the MetFilm community can be found throughout the world of producing.
Berlinale & Studio Airlift
Each February, the film world descends on Berlin for one of Europe’s largest film festivals: Berlinale. Besides the chance to see the latest and greatest in cinema, the festival also hosts panel discussions and workshops for filmmakers – a major segment in this year’s line-up being the World Cinema Fund’s ‘Focus on Iran’.
It was at one such event that BA Practical Filmmaking graduate, Tunde Aladese, introduced herself to Anna Winger, creator and showrunner of the Emmy-winning limited series Unorthodox. From this meeting, Tunde went on to join the Writer’s Room for Anna’s upcoming series, Transatlantic, also working as the Writer on Set, and even producing one of the episodes for the series.
In 2022, Tunde hosted a Masterclass with Anna Winger at our Berlin campus, where the pair discussed Anna’s career as a showrunner – ‘which is just a fancy word for a writer who produces their own work’, she explained. After the success of Unorthodox, Anna entered a multi-year partnership with Netflix (with Transatlantic set to be their first project), and spoke to our students about signing this overall deal not as an individual, but through her own Berlin-based production company, Studio Airlift.
I’m making work with collaborators I meet all around the world, and we’re interested in making all kinds of projects, [which makes] the overall deal with Netflix an amazing thing.
It really is the easiest, most accessible platform for people in many corners of the world. That was really important to me, when looking for the right partner for my work.
Studio Airlift has previously produced Anna’s three-part Deutschland series (the first of which was filmed next door to our BUFA Studios campus), and is one of many production companies based in Berlin. Alongside the likes of StoryHouse Productions, FeinFilm, and K Production, our MA Producing students will be surrounded by their future career path from their first day in Berlin.