Programme of Study

THE YANGON FILM SCHOOL CURRICULUM comprises a three-year programme of study. During this time, participants are required to complete five coursed and submit a graduation film in order to graduate.

There are three stages to the study programme: Stage One comprises the YFS training programs, Stage Two the production of a graduation film, and in Stage Three YFS graduates may join the teach-to-train programme and apply to become a YFS Trainer.

YFS COURSES are intensive, often residential courses, lasting from one to six weeks. During this time, participants are given the opportunity to grapple with the technical, artistic and ethical aspects of documentary and fictional filmmaking by producing their own short films and/or film scripts. Teaching comprises a mixture of classroom instruction, practical exercises, tutorials, screenings and discussions with the aim of helping participants to develop a compassionate yet critical eye for the world around them.

Typical courses on offer include:

The Art of Documentary Filmmaking – Beginners

This seven-week beginners’ course in documentary filmmaking is the point of entry and compulsory course for all YFS students. There are 12 places for six male and six female participants aged between 22 and 40, preferably with some prior experience in the media. The course includes an introduction to the genre, specialised sessions and practical exercises in cinematography, sound recording, interview technique, research and treatment writing, culminating in the production, in three-person crews, of four films on a given topic.

Introduction to Editing – Beginners

Four-week workshop for 12 participants aged between 22 and 40 who have completed a YFS beginners’ course in documentary filmmaking. Participants receive an introduction to digital editing suites and are given an opportunity to shape their own short film exercises using material filmed prior to the workshop.

(In editing workshops for more experienced participants, students are asked to shape longer, more complex films from more challenging material).

Cinematography and Lighting Workshop – the Authentic and the Poetic Camera

Four-day workshop for cinematographers with prior experience only.

Sound Design

Four-week workshop for participants specialising in sound engineering. Includes an introduction to the use of sound design software such as ProTools, as well as screenings and practical exercises that help participants to understand the contribution of a nuanced soundtrack to a film.

Ways of Seeing: The History of Film Form

Compulsory for all YFS students, this three-week course uses excerpts from a wide range of world cinema, both past and present, to analyse movements, theories and genres and help participants to understand the way in which cinematic language has developed.

How Films Work: Film Analysis

Compulsory for all YFS students, this three-week course is designed to give emerging filmmakers the ability to distinguish between different editing methods in documentary and/or fiction and to understand how editing can be used to build a film’s intensity. The course includes classroom teaching and independent analysis in teams.

The Art of Screenwriting – Part I

Two-week workshop for 8-10 new writers of drama and animation. No age limit. In Part II, screenwriters continue to develop more complex screenplays and ideas. Participants of screenwriting courses need not have attended the beginners’ workshop in documentary filmmaking.

True Fictions

An introduction to creating drama with a documentary sensibility during which participants are put into two crews to prepare, produce and edit two versions of a 15-minute screenplay.


Four-week training geared towards 6-8 participants with prior experience in post-production including subtitling, colour-grading, OMF files export, and preparation of master tapes for clients and broadcasters.


Eight-week training will cover crucial aspects of research, identifying protagonists and sensitive interviewing as well as innovative and emotive animation techniques, resulting in animated documentaries that effectively communicate key messages issues in ethnic and conflict affected areas of Myanmar.


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