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School Program

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Screenwriters Program

First Year – Screenwriting

Program of Study

The Writing Program is a two-year track, consisting of four twelve-week semesters taking place twice weekly from morning until evening. Each academic year is broken into two semesters, with a four-week vacation separating them. Conferences, film marathons, and lectures are held for all of the school’s students with the beginning of each semester.

Class Schedule
First year: Sunday and Wednesdays, 21 hours per week

In addition to the weekly classes, each student participates in a mentoring program. Furthermore, the students participate in four writing marathons over the two years, consisting of four hours annually, two yearly hours of master classes with teachers from overseas, and elective courses.

The Writing Program curriculum involves both theoretical classes and writing workshops led by prominent professionals. The coursework is varied and incorporates directing and acting workshops for screenwriters, individual mentoring, theoretical classes held with the Filmmaking Program, and master classes with international teachers. The curriculum is comprised of mandatory courses – most are intended solely for the program’s students, while some integrate both the screenwriting students and students from other programs – and elective courses taken with students in the Filmmaking Program.

In their first year, students learn about the school’s method, gain the professional tools and foundations in screenwriting language and in screenwriting for the short-film genre, and expand their theoretical knowledge of film, television, and writing.

Annual Projects and Mentorships
First year: a five-minute script with no words (first semester) and fifteen-minute script (second semester)

During the school year each student is personally mentored to advance his or her annual project.

First-year Courses:
• Creative Writing – The Short Story
• Introduction to Scriptwriting
• Foundations of the Script – Tutorial
• Visual Syntax – Object Exercise
• The Fifteen-minute-film Script
• Foundations in Feature Scripts
• Turning Documentary Raw Materials into a Story
• Breaking into the Original Productions Market
• Research
• Directing for Scriptwriters
• Script-director-actor
• Microsoft Word

Theoretical classes:
• History of Cinema
• Cinematic Expression – Hitchcock and Others
• Analyzing Israelis Scripts
• Israeli Short Cinema

Additional Master Classes
Ruthie Shatz will lead a preparatory workshop on pitching prior to the students’ event on exposure to the film and television industry.

Open Script Committees
Alongside the work with teachers and mentors on annual projects, students submit their scripts to a committee comprised of a special forum of teachers from the school and creators from outside of the school.

La Tasriterie Pitching Event
A colorful pitching event in which students from the writing program present a selection of short scripts written as their final projects to students from the Filmmaking Program and the Entrepreneurial Producing Program. The event is intended to further synergy between the three tracks and to allow students from the Entrepreneurial Producing Program and the Filmmaking Program to select scripts that can serve as a basis for filming on location and final film projects. In honor of the event, the students produce and stage selections from their scripts, some of which are presented live on the stage and some of which are screened.

Exposure to the Industry
With the end of the second academic year, a festive event is held in the Tel Aviv Cinematheque to expose the new graduates to leading figures in the film and television industries: producers, directors, fund managers, franchisee representatives, and more. The students present select projects from their portfolios developed over their second academic year before the professional forum.

Graduate Certification
The school’s graduate certificate in the Writing Program is granted to each student upon completion of their studies. The certificate is under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture and Sport.

At the writing program’s festive graduation ceremony held in Jerusalem’s Cinematheque, awards are given out to outstanding graduates in the following categories:

• The Johanna Frener Award for Outstanding Graduate
• The Israel Film Fund’s Award for Development of a Full-Length Feature Script
• The HOT Award for Development of a Television Series
View complete news list >>
Tribeca Film Festival will screen two films by JSFS alumna
Dana Blankstein Cohen has taken over as the new director of the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School
Fourth annual Bloom/Spiegel Seminar was a great success
Listening In, by Omer Sternberg, was highly praised at the 2020 Berlinale
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