Currently in its 24th year, DSS is hosted by the Institute of Media and Journalism (IMeG) at the University of Lugano (Università della Svizzera Italiana), along with the Locarno Film Festival and the Semaine de la Critique. As always, DSS will bring together experts from academia and the film industry to collaborate, exchange valuable insights, explore fresh concepts, and collectively contemplate the future of documentary filmmaking.
Registration for the Documentary Summer School 2023 is now open, and we encourage you to submit your application by June 16, 2023.
With 30 available spots, we recommend that you carefully review all the necessary information provided on this page before completing and submitting your application to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will help streamline the process and ensure that you don't miss any important details.
What is the Documentary Summer School?
- Established 24 years ago, the DSS offers an exceptional opportunity to meet and learn from globally renowned scholars and filmmakers while soaking up the atmosphere of one of the world's most prestigious film festivals.
- The DSS program offers a one-of-a-kind experience that includes five half days of engaging lectures and carefully selected films from the prestigious Semaine de la Critique and the Festival's International Competition. By participating in this program, you will have the opportunity to engage in a stimulating exchange between the academic and film communities, immersing yourself in a dynamic dialogue that spans a wide range of topics - from theoretical reflection to creative practice.
- At DSS, we are dedicated to showcasing the immense potential that hybrid projects - which bring together academia and film practices - can offer to both communities. Our program achieves this by drawing on the insights of renowned film scholars and filmmakers, whose contributions help to bridge the gap between these two domains and generate meaningful benefits for all involved.
- The DSS strives to emphasize the advantages of hybrid projects that benefit both communities by tapping into the knowledge of world-renowned film scholars and filmmakers.
- Over the years, we have been honored to host a diverse array of distinguished speakers, inlcuding Andrea Segre (award-winning director who has directed more than 20 films in the documentary and fiction genre), Nevina Satta (managing director of the Sardegna Film Commission and secretary general of the European Film Commission), Till Brockmann (head of the Semaine de la Critique, the independent section of the Locarno Film Festival, organized by the Swiss Association of Film Journalists), Rula Jebreal (journalist, novelist and award-winning screenwriter), Alessandro Comodin (director, screenwriter and editor of the documentary "Gigi the Law"), Arthur Jafa (American cinematographer), Brian Winston (Emmy winner for documentary screenplay) and many others!
Do I fit the bill for the Documentary Summer School?
If the following criteria resonate with you, then the DSS would be an excellent opportunity for you to explore:
- I am a university or film school student.
- I am an emerging filmmaker.
- I possess a proficient command of the English language, which is vital for interacting with fellow project participants and the various guests at DSS.
- I have a profound interest in documentary filmmaking.
- I am eager to engage proactively with experts and colleagues from around the world.
Which documents are required in the application process?
To apply for the DSS, we require the following documents:
- Your resume in English
- A brief motivational letter (max 600 words) outlining your enthusiasm for documentary filmmaking and the reasons behind your decision to apply to DSS. It is critical for us to understand your interest in this opportunity.
- A passport-sized digital photograph of yourself, which is necessary for your festival accreditation in the event of selection.
Please ensure that you submit all required documents, as incomplete applications will not be considered during the selection process for DSS participants.
Which dates should I remember?
Here are the key dates to keep in mind:
- The deadline to submit your application is June 16, 2023.
- By June 25, 2023, you will receive a response regarding your application to the program. This response will inform you of whether you have been accepted into the program, placed on a waiting list, or unfortunately not selected for participation.
- The Documentary Summer School will take place from August 7-11, 2023, during which you will participate in various events and activities.
What does the Documentary Summer School in Locarno offer if I get selected?
Participating in the DSS in Locarno will be a unique and rewarding experience.
The participation fee of CHF 600 includes:
- Overnight accommodation, including breakfast, at the Locarno Youth Hostel from August 6-12, in a shared room with another participant (shared unisex bathroom).
- An accreditation that grants access to all Locarno Film Festival screenings.
- Five days of lectures with a diverse international faculty of film scholars and professionals. *
- Exclusive Q&A sessions with filmmakers from the festival as well as those selected for the Semaine de la Critique.
- Networking events and opportunities to connect with individuals from around the world.
- A certificate of participation.
- Undergraduate students can earn 3 ECTS credits through their participation in the program.
The only additional expenses are travel to and from Locarno and meals (apart from breakfast, which is included in the participation fee).
If this meets your requirements, please send your application to email@example.com.
Dr. Eleonora Benecchi is a lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Media and Journalism at the University of Lugano, Switzerland. She specializes in Audiovisual Theory and Production, Digital Cultures, and Social Media Management. Her research and publications focus on fandom and audiovisual culture.
Dr. Stefano Guerini Rocco is is a research fellow at the University of Bologna and also lectures at the Catholic University of Milan and the SAE Institute of Milan. He has been selected as a curator for the ORLANDO festival programming, and his work as an author of documentary projects has been recognized through selection for the Biennale College in 2018 and the IDS Academy Series in 2021.