Bandea header Anglais ENS Louis Lumière

About Ecole nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière

The National Cinema, Photography & Sound Engineering School : dedicated to providing pre-professional training for the audiovisual industries

ENS Louis-Lumière offers theoretical, practical, technical and artistic education and training for those wishing to go into the various branches of the audiovisual industry. Run under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, it offers a state-funded course at postgraduate level leading to a nationally-recognised Masters degree in one of three subject areas: Film (Cinematography), Photography and Sound Engineering. Admission is gained via a competitive entrance exam; there are 150 students. Tuition is free.

The school also participates in applied research projects and offers continuing education (short courses).

Founded in 1926, inspired by figures such as Louis Lumière and Léon Gaumont, the school was a pioneer in film and photography education. It moved to the Cité du Cinéma in July 2012. In 2013 it opened an 'Equal Opportunities Class' providing support to local candidates wishing to sit the competitive entrance exam. Since 2014, it is an associate member of the University Paris Lumières (UPL).


Enrolment at the school

For foreign candidates, there are two ways of gaining access to the school.

  • The common entrance (more informations) exam is open to all nationalities. Courses run over three academic years. Enrolment fees amount to 300€ per year. Candidates should choose an area of study: Cinema, Photography or Sound Engineering. The exam is held yearly in France.
  • Exchange programmes allow students to study at ENS Louis-Lumière for one or two semesters. Once an agreement between the two schools/institutions has been signed, candidates should apply in writing by the beginning of April for entry in September/October of the same year. Fees amount to 3 000€ per year (1 500€ per semester). All tuition is in French.



Our Programm

The 1st year consists of a foundation course to enable students to acquire basic theoretical, artistic, scientific and technical knowledge and skills. It also allows students to gain practice in areas such as camera work, sound recording, photography,post-production and image processing through practical exercises.

During the 2nd year, students build on their theoretical and practical knowledge through a mix of courses and projects from conception to post-production: documentaries and fiction films (35mm, digital video - HD and SD), photography reportage, studio and laboratory work, radio plays, radio documentaries and musical recording.

In the 3rd year, students do a research project in which the written dissertation is complemented by a practical component part. This may consist of: a short film, a documentary, a photography reportage, materials or software test results, sound or image editing, a multimedia product…
The objective of this research project is twofold: it can be used as a springboard towards a first job or enable the student to go on to do further research.

Throughout their three years at the school, students attend conferences given by specialists and may also be involved in practical projects under the supervision of industry professionals.



Career Prospects

The School aims to provide high-end technicians with a strong academic bent for the audio, visual and audiovisual industries. The future professionals will possess the necessary technical resources and know-how to enable them to adapt and perform within these ever-changing fields.

The Cinema Department: students will gain access to cinematography-related professions (cinematographer, camera assistant or operator); they may also go on to directing or scriptwriting. Additionally, the School prepares students to work in the fields of production (producer, executive producer...) and post-production (post-production director, visual effects supervisor, colourist, editor...) within the film and audiovisual industries.

The Sound Department: students will gain access to professions such as sound recordist, sound editor, sound engineer, technical director, stage manager, audio systems manager within the image industries and the worlds of music, radio and the performing arts. Students have access to diverse areas of these professions, including production, post-production, industry and research.

The Photography Department covers a significant number of professional practices. Students will be provided with access to photographic careers within the press, fashion or advertising industries. They will also be able to apply for image-system management positions (quality control, work-flow organisation...) as well as post-production and commercial or technical support systems. Employment opportunities may be found in industry, cultural institutions, research, the Internet, transmedia, publishing, production end pre-press.