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The department »Film« is based on the traditition of the artistic film d'auteur. In addition to this, it follows the HFBK's interdisciplinary approach to study by addressing related disciplines and consequently locating the students' own artistic efforts specifically within this extended context of art and image production. The aim is not to stick to classic professions such as directing, screen-play writing or camera, but to develop artistic work whose strength lies in independent creative innovation.

Film in the Bachelor study programme

The aim of this area of study is not to stick to classic professions such as directing, screen-play writing or camera, but to develop artistic work whose strength lies in independent creative innovation and not only in applying established knowledge and techniques conventionally. With technical competence in film as a basis, a wide range of inspiration will be made available through this area of study, enabling the language of film to be questioned and experiments in film to be carried out, but also enabling discussion of the artistic, economic and political role of film in the present media landscape.

Within the department »Film« students will gain the knowledge and skills needed for film production, while at the same time value is placed on the development of artistic work which explores free-form and experimental approaches to both documentary and feature films and to digital cinema. The starting point is the artistic intentions of the individual student, the development of which will be supported from conception to realisation by tutors, in individual and group tutorials. In this way students will learn how to apply analogue and digital methods of film production in a way appropriate to their project, as well as how to develop concepts for films and to realise them in the context of an individual project.

Within the HFBK, students will gain experience in mediating and presenting their artistic work with regard to different institutional and social contexts through the annual exhibition and the university´s own gallery as well as through publicly presenting their films in cinemas, at film festivals and on television.

Film in the Master study programme

The Master study program for the department »Film« is focused on artistic film-making, and not primarily on careers in cinema. In this course of study, technical, theoretical and artistic abilities gained in the previous Bachelor course of study will be extended and refined through creating film projects.

Alongside the creation of projects and their direct supervision, students’ activities will centre on a comprehensive training in film as a medium, ranging from traditional cinematic techniques to modern digital film-making techniques, and including their aesthetic significance. Students will analyse methods of filmic representation, and how they vary between fiction, documentation and animation (“creating a world, discovering a world, giving a soul to a world“).

The projects are accompanied by seminars on film theory. In the best tradition of the film d'auteur, a high priority is given to students being able to present their projects in a university context, in the community cinema and at specialised festivals.

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

Art defies Corona: Graduate Show 2020

With a two-month delay, the Graduate Show took place this year on the 19 and 20 September. More than 140 students showed their artistic graduation projects, from painting to sound installation.

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

New articles at is the social network of the HFBK. It opens a digital forum for exchange and discussion in which students, teachers, guest authors, art critics and the interested public provide a wide range of content and perspectives.

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?

Annual Exhibition 2020 at the HFBK

The HFBK’s traditional annual exhibition („Jahresausstellung“) opens in February every year. For three days the students – from first-years to post-graduates – present a broad spectrum of their current work and projects from all the different departments. All classrooms, studios and halls in the building are used. Interested visitors are cordially invited to gain an impression of the art currently being created at the HFBK.