Best Film Schools In The World

Last Updated on December 1, 2021

Top 25 Film Schools in the World 2021 - Leverage Edu

Are you thinking about going to film school? If you are, this article might be able to help you. I have put together a list of what I think are the best film schools (or film programs) in the world. I have tried to include some lower-level schools and some schools that aren’t well known. I’ve also included some of the well known big name universities – but only their film program.

There is no shortage of the best film schools out there, but it seems like everyone has an opinion on where you should get your film production education.

So how do you choose the best film school for your career? Well, you can start by categorizing them by what they do best.

In today’s post, we’ll be narrowing the focus so that you can make an educated decision on the best film school for you.

Best Film Schools in the World: Country-wise

Here are some of the top Film Schools in different countries of the world:

University of Southern California School of Cinematic ArtsUSA
American Film InstituteUSA
Tisch School of the Arts, New York UniversityUSA
California Institute of the ArtsUSA
Kanbar Institute of Film & TelevisionUSA
University of Texas at Austin’s Moody College of CommunicationUSA
New York Film AcademyUSA
Australian Film, Television and Radio SchoolAustralia
Sydney Film SchoolAustralia
Toronto Film SchoolCanada
Vancouver Film SchoolCanada
University of British Columbia’s Department of Theatre and FilmCanada
National Film and Television SchoolUK
London Film SchoolUK
National Film and Television SchoolUK

Top 25 Film Schools in the World

From practical skill training to practice their knowledge to curate engaging films under the supervision of some of the best Directors in the world, film schools aim to impart learners with the technical intricacies of film making as well as a practical understanding of visual storytelling.

Here are some of the Best Film Schools in the world:

  • University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts
  • American Film Institute
  • National Film and Television School
  • La Femis
  • Beijing Film Academy
  • Lodz Film School
  • Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
  • Australian Film, Television and Radio School
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • London Film School
  • Kanbar Institute of Film & Television
  • University of Texas at Austin’s Moody College of Communication
  • New York Film Academy
  • Toronto Film School
  • Vancouver Film School
  • University of British Columbia’s Department of Theatre and Film
  • National Film and Television School
  • Academy of Performing Arts’ Film and TV School
  • National Film School
  • Screen Academy Scotland
  • Film and Television Institute of India
  • Australian Film, Television and Radio School
  • Sydney Film School
  • Korean Academy of Film Arts
  • Whistling Woods International Film school

USC School of Cinematic Arts

Affiliated with the celebrated University of Southern California, USC School of Cinematic Arts is a premier film school located in the heart of Hollywood. It is the oldest and most prestigious film school in the United States and offers various degree filmmaking courses such as,

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing for Screen and Television
  • BA in Cinema and Media
  • PhD in Cinema and Media Studies
  • BA in Animation
  • MA in Animation and Digital Arts
  • The John H. Mitchell Business of Cinematic Arts Program

Tuition Fees: $42,000

Their Alumni have been constantly nominated for Emmy and Academy awards over the years, winning a number of awards and accolades. Not just critically acclaimed, 17 top-grossing movies of all time have an SCA alumni among their creative or executive positions.

American Film Institute

American Film Institute aims to train young and budding filmmakers in various aspects of filmmaking, while also educating them about the rich past of Hollywood. AFI is specifically known for its Conservatory, which is a graduate-level film school headed by notable filmmakers who provide hands-on experience and training to students. It also features a notable Film School, specially designed to teach Filmmaking concepts exclusively to women. Alumni from AFI have been recognised with various awards throughout their career, be it Academy, Guild or Emmy awards. It is also one of the best film schools in the world and offers specialized Master of Fine Arts courses in six major specializations, i.e. Editing, Production, Cinematography, Direction, Screenwriting and Production Design.

Tuition Fees $38,416 for first year

National Film and Television School

NFTS is a Film, TV and gaming school established in the UK in 1971. Affiliated by CILCET, this school offers a number of academic programs to its students. These courses include Bachelors and Masters degrees, as well as Vocational programs and certificate courses. There are more than 20 full-time MA specialisations a student can choose between, like film direction, film editing courses, amongst others as per their career orientation. Here are some of the prominent courses offered by NFTS:

  • MA in Cinematography
  • MA in Directing Science and Natural History
  • MA in Directing Documentary
  • Diploma in Directing Commercials
  • Diploma in Sports Production
  • Diploma in Script Development
  • Certificate in Screenwriting
  • Certificate in Filmmaking
  • Certificate in Character Animation

Tuition Fees $14,300 for residents; $32,000 for overseas

The student films made by members of NFTS have been nominated for Oscar awards thrice within the last few years. The school has also had technological upgrades in the past few years, adding a 4k theatre to its fold. Alumni from this Film School are especially known for their contributions in Directing, Editing and Production. 

La Femis

La Femis was founded in 1943 as IDHEC, before being restructured and renamed to its present name. It is a celebrated film school in Paris, known for its professional approach in integrating professional growth, technical training and artistic expression, leading to all-round growth of students. All students are inducted into the courses with a common curriculum for the first year, teaching them the basics of filmmaking and fine arts. The second and third year are designed as per student’s choice of departments, teaching them the nuances of the subject while applying it in practical training at the same time The fourth year is where students indulge in independent projects, learning how to work with a team to create their own work. This unique curriculum makes it stand apart among the best Film Schools in the world. There are numerous celebrities in the French film and TV industry who are alumni of La Femis. Here are some of the popular filmmaking courses offered by La Femis:

  • Initial Training courses like Distribution/Cinema Management course, TV Series Development course, SACRe PhD programme (PSL), etc.
  • Workshops in Documentary Filmmaking, Production, Theatrical Film Exhibition, etc.

Tuition Fees $517 for French citizens; $15,334 for foreigners

Beijing Film Academy

Established in 1950, Beijing Film Academy is the most prominent Film School in China, and one of the best Film Schools in the World. Comprising 9 schools which provide courses divided into 8 departments, it is one of the most diverse academies in terms of education and training. It offers courses at high school, undergraduate and graduate level as well as vocational and associate certificates in some of these areas:

  • Sound Art
  • Animation
  • Cinematography
  • Script Writing
  • Film Directing
  • Film Actor

Tuition Program fees range from $1,240 to $1,550 for local students; international students pay $6,665 to $7,905 per year

It is a more academic centric institution when compared to other mentions in this list, while still providing students with adequate training and real-world exposure.

Best Film Schools in the World: Hollywood Reporter

As we are familiar with the popular film schools across the globe, let us go through some of the renonwend film schools in America as per the Hollywood Reporter 2020 rankings-

Read In:
  • ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ)
Rankings 2020Name of the Film School
1American Film Institute
2University of Southern California
3New York University
4Columbia University
5University of California, Los Angeles
6Chapman University
7Loyola Marymount University
8California Institute of the Arts
9Emerson College
10University of North Carolina School of the Arts
11University of Texas
12Wesleyan University
13Stanford University
14Columbia College
15Boston University
Credits – A little bit of Monika

Thus, we hope that this blog helped you explore the best Film Schools in the world. If you are confused about which course to choose to learn film making, or unsure about the admission process of your chosen university, we are here to help. Our Leverage Edu experts can guide you in selecting a suitable course and university as well as sorting out the admission process and submitting your application within the deadline to ensure that you get successfully shortlisted! So, book a free E-meeting with us today to begin your professional journey.

Although not currently covered in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018, whifamuch is being released soon, film studies is a hugely popular area at universities and colleges around the world.

Course options range from undergraduate film studies programs at large universities, to more specialized postgraduate programs at specialized arts institutes or academies. Film studies qualifications include the BA (Bachelor of Arts), BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), MFA (Master of Fine Arts) and, in some cases, an MPhil/PhD. It’s also possible to complete a one- or two-year diploma instead of a full degree.

Here are some of the top film schools around the world, divided by region, along with current tuition fee information (correct at time of publishing).

Top film schools in the US & Canada

Top film schools in the US

American Film Institute (AFI)

American Film Institute

The school which David Lynch said he would give up everything “in a heartbeat” to attend, the American Film Institute (AFI)  is perhaps the most famous of all film schools in Los Angeles, if not the whole of the US, thanks to the fact it hosts festivals and star-studded events throughout the year.

The institute enables students to produce as many as four personal films during their studies and to get advice from visiting industry experts including the likes of 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen. Boasting 27 Emmy nominations among their alumni in 2017 alone, the American Film Institute also counts South Park producer Anne Garefino and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky among its past fellows.

Tuition fees including production materials: US$57,340 (The AFI Conservatory Program, 1st year students); $59,348 (2nd year students)



The CalArts School of Film and Video, dreamt up by Walt Disney shortly before he died in 1966, is another of the most prestigious film schools in Los Angeles (CalArts is located in the suburb of Valencia) and is a stomping ground for many of the best animators and filmmakers in Hollywood.

Tim Burton, one of CalArts’ earlier graduates, has since been followed by a series of notable Disney animators including Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo), Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (Frozen). Film studies degrees offered at CalArts include the BA, MA, MFA and DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts).

2018/19 tuition fees: US$48,660 (all students excluding M.A. in Aesthetics and Politics students)

Los Angeles Film School

Los Angeles Film School

Located slap-bang in the middle of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, it’s easy to see how the Los Angeles Film School got its name as one of the most notable schools for budding Hollywood filmmakers. Offering bachelor and associate degrees in all areas of the entertainment industry, the Los Angeles Film School also encompasses the Los Angeles Recording School, home of the famous RCA building where Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones once recorded their music. The Los Angeles Film School also offers online programs in digital filmmaking, graphic design and the entertainment business.

2017 tuition fees: US$40,270 (A.S film, domestic students program total); US$53,220 (international students)

Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, NYU

Kanbar Institute of Film & Television

Outside of Los Angeles, leading film schools in the US include New York’s Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, which is a part of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Located in the center of one of the world’s most culturally vibrant and renowned metropolises, Kanbar Institute of Film & Television boasts world-class alumni such as respected filmmaker Martin Scorsese and the much-praised creator of US TV series Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan.

In 2017, six members of the Tisch School of Arts’ alumni community were nominated for an Oscar. In addition to the film school’s main NYC campus, the school also has a campus in Singapore. As well as a number of undergraduate film studies degrees, the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television offers a postgraduate-level MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Filmmaking.

2017/18 tuition fees: US$26,451 (all students). Students should also expect to pay an additional US$1,261 for registration per term and US$1,655 per additional unit.

USC School of Cinematic Arts

USC School of Cinematic Arts

The University of Southern California’s USC School of Cinematic Arts is a place where many of Hollywood’s most famed filmmakers started out. Receiving millions of dollars of support every year from the likes of George Lucas, the USC School of Cinematic Arts offers world-class media facilities such as an IMAX theatre and research lab, making it one of the most state-of-the-art film schools in Los Angeles.

Alumni of the USC School of Cinematic Arts include comedy writer and producer Judd Apatow and Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios. Film degrees offered by the USC school of Cinematic Arts include the BA, BFA and the MFA.

2017/18 tuition fees: US$53,448 (undergraduate level); US$32,927-48,247 (graduate level). Additional fees for equipment may also apply.

Other top film schools in the US:

  • Boston University’s College of Communication 
  • Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts 
  • Colorado Film School 
  • Columbia University’s School of the Arts 
  • Emerson College’s Department of Visual & Media Arts 
  • Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television 
  • New York Film Academy 
  • Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts 
  • UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television
  • University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts 
  • University of Texas at Austin’s Moody College of Communication 

Top film schools in Canada

Toronto Film School

Dundas Square Toronto

The Toronto Film School is well established as one of the best film schools in Canada. With a wide curriculum covering everything from film and TV production to interior decorating, the Toronto Film School is a career-focused school with a strong commitment to providing practical industry knowledge. Programs at the Toronto Film School take between one and two years to complete and all students graduate with a diploma.

2019 tuition fees:

  • For 18 month programs: CA$35,158 (~US$26,450). International students pay an additional fee of CA$18,458 (~US$13,900).
  • For 12 month programs: $22,980 (~US$17,300). International students pay an additional CA$12,064 (~US$9,080). 

Vancouver Film School

Vancouver Film School

Offering 13 programs covering all elements of the entertainment arts industry, Vancouver Film School is another of the leading film schools in Canada. From 3D animation to sound design, Vancouver Film School offers its students a condensed one-year program focused on gaining practical skills alongside industry knowledge. Students of Vancouver Film School graduate with a diploma.

2017/18 tuition fees, Film Production:  CA$35,250 (domestic students); CA$53,250 for international students (approximately US$43,430)

Other top film schools in Canada:

  • Carleton University’s School for Studies in Art and Culture 
  • Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema 
  • Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts 
  • University of British Columbia’s Department of Theatre and Film 
  • York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts 

Top film schools in Europe

Top film schools in the UK

London Film School


Open only to postgraduate students looking to gain a master’s degree or a PhD, the London Film School is one of the most highly reputed film schools in Europe, located in the heart of central London. Established for more than 60 years, the London Film School focuses on building craft and production skills in a practical environment, and has been named as one of just three Film Academies in the country by Creative Skillset, a UK governmental agency. Although the London Film School has only 220 students, the student base is a truly international one, with current students hailing from over 30 countries worldwide.

2018/19 tuition fees for MA Filmmaking: US$78,0620 (in total, for all students on the two-year program) plus £200/$280 for international students’ Visa Administration Fee.

National Film and Television School (NFTS)

National Film and Television School

Often lauded as the UK’s top film school, the National Film and Television School (NFTS)  is hidden away on the outskirts of northwest London, near Slough. The only film school in the UK with its own film and television studios, the National Film and Television School offers a wide range of specialized postgraduate degrees, including 17 master’s programs, 14 diplomas, five certificate awards and a number of short courses. 

Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park and Harry Potter director David Yates are among notable alumni of the National Film and Television School.

2018 tuition fees: £10,000-13,800 (€11,400-15,750) per year (MA programs, domestic students); £16,000-29,000 (~US$22,750-41,230) per year (MA programs, international students)

Top film schools in continental Europe

Academy of Performing Arts’ Film and TV School (FAMU)

Academy of Performing Arts’ Film and TV School (FAMU)

Established in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, in 1946, the Academy of Performing Arts’ Film and TV School (FAMU) is one of the oldest and most prestigious film academies in the world. Responsible for nurturing filmmakers such as Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and offering programs in both Czech and English, FAMU attracts an exceptional international cohort every year.

Tuition fees: Free for Czech students and students studying in Czech; US$21,120 for an English-taught Directing degree (international students)

La Fémis

La Fémis

Located in Paris on the site of the old Pathé studios where the infamous Lumiere brothers are said to have invented filmmaking in 1894, La Fémis is now considered to be one of the best film schools in Paris. La Fémis offers programs taught only in French, but also provides exchange programs with US institutions such as CalArts and Columbia University. The school has around 200 students, of whom 8 percent are international.

Tuition fees: €433 (domestic students); US$13,280 (international students)

Lodz Film School

Lodz Film School

Another of the best film academies in Europe, Lodz Film School, otherwise known as the Polish National Film, Television and Theater School, is the institution that produced a large number of Poland’s top filmmakers, helping to shape the Polish cinema industry. With new departments and modern equipment being added continually, Lodz Film School is one of Europe’s leading film institutes. By way of programs, Lodz Film School offers a full spectrum of full-time, part-time, postgraduate and PhD courses, ranging from two to five years of study.

Tuition fees: US$9,940-14,920 per year (all students)

Other top film schools in Europe:

  • London Metropolitan University’s Sir John CASS Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design 
  • University of Television and Film Munich
  • National Film School, Italy 
  • National Film School of Denmark
  • Norwegian Film School 
  • Screen Academy Scotland 
  • University of the Arts London’s College of Communication
  • Russian State University of Cinematography

About the author

The Editorial Team at is dedicated to providing the best information on learning. From attaining a certificate in marketing to earning an MBA, we have all you need. If you feel lost, reach out to an admission officer.
Study on Scholarship Today -- Check your eligibility for up to 100% scholarship.

Leave a Comment