“We need to fill the void when it comes to professional training in the field of series”
Industry Report: Series
Cinzia Masòtina • Lecturer, Scientific Committee of Milan's Alta Scuola di Serialità Cinetelevisiva
We spoke with the Italian screenwriter-story editor about the Milanese school’s training initiative aimed at professionals looking to specialise in the various areas involved in the making of series
An innovative, high-level training initiative for professionals looking to specialise in the world of series, covering film, TV and streaming products, and promoted and devised by Milan and Lombardy’s National Film and Audiovisual Confederation, the Alta Scuola di Serialità Cinetelevisiva [Postgraduate Film and TV Series School] is kicking off in Milan once again, after a first edition which unfolded last year.
The first of its kind in Italy, the school aims, on a national level, to promote new creative professions, to support Italian talent and to satisfy the growing demand for qualified candidates across an ever-expanding and international market, whilst also making continuous ongoing learning available to sector professionals. The school’s “laboratories” will begin on 19 November, with registration open until 30 September. We spoke about the initiative with Cinzia Masòtina, a screenwriter-story editor and a writing teacher who sits on the scientific committee alongside producer Franco Bocca Gelsi and screenwriter-producer Giovanni Robbiano.
Cineuropa: The world of Italian series is clearly experiencing a growth phase thanks to investment from platforms. Why did you feel it necessary to create a series school when there are already a number of film schools offering courses on series?
Cinzia Masòtina: Our school was born out of a need to fill a specifically Italian gap: continuous, ongoing training for professionals. Our courses, as opposed to other training options which are available, are aimed at established professionals and young professionals looking to broaden their knowledge and access wider professional opportunities in the field of series. That’s also why we’re funded by European Social Funds (ESFs), and course participants residing in Lombardy can use regional vouchers to access the training for free. Our courses can also be attended remotely from all over the country.
Which professions are you focusing on?
Series screenwriters, showrunners and creative producers: closely connected roles which often overlap or are interchangeable in the series sector.
Who are your teachers and how are they chosen?
Our teachers are industry professionals, because there’s not much room for theory here, and because we’re teaching people who already have experience in the film or audiovisual world. Our teachers include series producers such as Nicola De Angelis (the showrunner for the second season of the Italian Netflix Original series Baby) and Stefano Voltaggio; series screenwriters such as Salvatore De Mola and Marcello Olivieri, and audiovisual market experts such as Alessandra Pastore (Meeting Point – Vilnius), Graziella Bildesheim (founder of the MAIA training programme) and other more international names. We like to have a “fluid” body of teaching staff whom we rotate in order to continually vary and enrich the training experience.
How are your courses structured?
The courses rolled out in our three main locations are 56 hours long, and from this year’s edition we will also have 3 Focus Workshops held over three weekends, aimed at developing the creative and productive aspects of our participants’ projects, and also featuring laboratories and international case studies. The training offered by Alta Scuola will also offer participants two new facilities: the Alumni Network - a community which will offer convenience and advantages when it comes to networking and taking part in international markets - and the Informal Lab – ASSC Factory, which is an informal networking and mentoring space for teachers, professionals and alumni.
(Translated from Italian)
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