Master in Animation

General

Program Description

Application deadline is 1st March 2021

The Department of Animation was established at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2006 and since 2007 it has offered a two-year MA in Animation (taught in English). The main goal of the programme is to successfully educate creators of animated films, providing them with theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The further aim is to contribute to the global development of animation as an art form.

Animation is a thriving medium and developing at a greater pace than ever before. It has become part of mass culture, as well as one of its principal forms. Animation can be seen in digital screen graphics, computer games, music videos, films, etc.

As our master students come from very different parts of the world and have different educational backgrounds we try to encourage their individual approach to filmmaking. The films vary from narrative to more experimental. Most of the works are executed in traditional 2D or stop motion techniques. Recently we have started to offer more thorough CGI courses as well. We invite several well-known animation artists to give workshops where they offer their inspiration and different approaches to animation.

Upon completion of the MA in Animation programme, students have acquired in-depth theoretical and practical animation skills. The students can specialise in specific animation techniques and create individual projects in the appropriate technique. After graduation, the students are qualified to realise themselves as animated film creators, professionals in creative industries or teachers in their field. Students who have completed the Master's programme are also qualified to continue their studies and pursue a doctoral degree.

“The classes were amazing. I learned how to tell stories, how to analyse films (not only animation), write scripts. I was fascinated by the teachers. They were professionals, not pedagogues. The programme made me an animation film director. My life has been tied to animation ever since. I also gained a huge circle of contacts, wonderful people I met during the course and after. I always tell people they should study animation in the Master's programme at EAA if they want to be animation directors.”

– Urte Oettinger, MA Animation ‘10, Co-founder of WIRED FLY

Student films have won over 50 awards in international festivals. Former students of our MA programme include the internationally recognised filmmakers Kristjan Holm, Martinus Daane Klemet, Anu Laura Tuttelberg (Estonia), Edmunds Jansons, Zane Oborenko (Latvia), Michael Frey (Switzerland), Lucija Mrzljak (Croatia), Teemu Hotti and Heta Jäälinoja (Finland). The Animation department is the perfect melting pot for students from different countries. Our current students are from 15 countries.

Studies

Estonia has a rich tradition in animation – studios like Eesti Joonisfilm, Nukufilm and several smaller ones operate here, giving Tallinn a thriving animation scene.

The animation program at EKA is established by the most outstanding Estonian author, Priit Pärn and currently run by Priit Tender. A wide variety of courses are taught by experienced working filmmakers. Classes on storyboarding, film history, animation techniques, plus a variety of workshops are some of what is offered in the curriculum. Guest animators are often brought in to give lectures, lead workshops, and consult with students. The primary aim of the program is to educate directors of animated films.

There is a vibrant international community in the animation department at EKA – its students come from all over the globe. Students from countries as far as Thailand, USA, Australia, Brazil and Hong Kong have studied inn the program.

Curriculum Structure

This is an international programme and instruction is conducted in English. The studies are conducted as lectures, seminars and master classes, as well as individual and tutorial classes. Generally, tutorial classes make up 60% to 70% of the curriculum. Other classes are divided between practical and independent work. Studies are conducted in cooperation with almost all the schools of higher education in Tallinn, Estonia. The students actively participate in lectures at the Baltic Film and Media School (BFM) and Tallinn University. Cooperation also takes place with the Estonian Animation Union and Estonia’s larger studios. The programme’s instructors and lecturers are active artists and specialists whose work is regularly presented at international events.

Courses taught

  • Philosophy
  • Ethics and aesthetics
  • Film theory
  • Film history
  • Animation history
  • Animation technique
  • Creativity
  • Film production
  • Film industry
  • Animation projects 1 and 2

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Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

The Estonian Academy of Arts, founded in 1914, is the only public university in Estonia offering higher education in fine arts, design, architecture, media, visual studies, art culture, cultural herit ... Read More

The Estonian Academy of Arts, founded in 1914, is the only public university in Estonia offering higher education in fine arts, design, architecture, media, visual studies, art culture, cultural heritage and conservation. Located in the capital city, Tallinn, it is an active study and research institution and the leading national centre of innovation in visual culture. Read less