The world of storytelling is at your fingertips and the industry demands talented and skilled professionals.


Digital Film Production Diploma

Next Start Date: 23 September
Registrations are open. Limited spots available!

OPEN DAY | Saturday 24 March. Sign-up ►
Or book a personal tour on campus with the Study Advisor:  020-4350655

This course explores the creative and technical aspects of film making within a wide variety of settings. With an emphasis on hands-on training, you will have access to our industry standard digital cameras and film production equipment, enabling you to learn the processes and techniques to ensure that the projects you work on and the visions you imagine, can become realities for multiple platforms.

Designed to develop the next generation of filmmakers, you will gain the essential skills and knowledge working independently and collaboratively on factual and fictional productions allowing you to graduate with a high technical skill set to hit the ground running on any film set around the world.

All of your progress is carefully guided and expanded by individual tutorial support, ensuring that you create pieces of work to be showcased in your all-important portfolio. 

Your Instructors

Patrick Thompson
Patrick Thompson, currently residing in Rotterdam, has been working in the audiovisual and entertainment industry for the past 15 years. He has extensive experience as a producer on award winning shorts, and documentaries. His most recent production, an experimental film titled MIST, directed by Parisa Yousef Doust, had its world premier at the 2013 International Film Festival Rotterdam. Since 2012, Patrick Thompson has been focusing on the the creative side of filmmaking as a writer, director, editor and has been commissioned to do a short film slated to go into production during the last half of 2013. Patrick Thompson has also worked on game development, organized photo exhibitions, presided over an art installation, and has been an avid photographer: for which he was requested to be part of a collective and make photos for the multi-discipline art project Milk Drops by visual artist Nelson Gonzalez.
Joao Costa
Joao Mb Costa moved to Amsterdam in 2002, what was initially planned as a 6 months stay to help out a friend with a new IT project became a 15 year life changing project. In 2006 he was told by a friend about an open day at a very cool media school called SAE Institute, despite never hearing of it before he decided to check it out and was right away amazed by the friendly atmosphere and having the movie bug in him since young ages he decided to give a go at the film production course, at the time "as a weekend hobby", little did he know that SAE would change his professional and personal life in unexpected levels. Ever since his graduation in 2007 Joao has been gathering experience and working with clients as varied as Netflix, Heineken, Google, Guess Jeans, L'Oreal, Paradiso,or Volkshotel but still finds time to share his passion and experience at the film department of SAE Institute Amsterdam, a perfect balance for a busy life.
Ruurd M. Fenenga
Ruurd M. Fenenga was “born into” and raised in the film industry in The Netherlands. His father, Ruurd M. Fenenga, Sr. , a cinematographer, producer and director, was his first mentor. By an opportune chance at the age of twenty-one, Ruurd went to Los Angeles and began working as a 1st assistant-cameraman. Worked on features like “The Hidden” and the tv-series of “Twin Peaks” (1990). He was able to work with such well-known cinematographers as Stuart Dryburgh, A.S.C., N.Z.C.S., ("Boardwalk Empire", "The Piano"), Jim Weisiger, V.F., ("Titanic"), and gained vast experience assisting on more than thirty-five feature films. Ruurd also worked on music videos with Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and MC Hammer ("U Can't Touch This"). As a cinematographer, Ruurd worked on a short film, "Pennyweight", which won a total of six prizes at various film festivals across the United States, and was also listed to be nominated for an Academy Award. He also worked on a feature film, "Paradise", with film stars Dee Wallace Stone ("E.T."), Barbara Carrera ("Never Say Never Again") and Timothy Bottoms ("The Last Picture Show"). Besides films, Ruurd’s experience has included commercials, corporate videos and current affairs programs in The Netherlands. Commercials include the "Nike" commercials: "Nike Federation", "Nike PO 3", and "Nike PO 3" trailer, all shot in various locations in Barcelona, Madrid and Blackburn (UK). These commercials featured soccer stars Ronaldinho, Rooney, Ronaldo and van Nistelrooij. Ruurd loves to share his rich experience as a filmmaker, and teaches at various institutes and schools. He also instructs one-on-one workshops in composition, lighting, and with still photographers. A former (21 year old) student of Ruurd, asked him if he wanted to shoot his first feature film, "Schaduwspel". Ruurd shot the film, did the color grading for this project, and used his own camera, lighting, grip and audio equipment. As a reflection of this enthusiasm and dedication, cinematography encompasses much more than Ruurd’s passion, art and vocation; it is his way of seeing, moving through the world -- his entire way of being.
Mark Limburg
Mark Limburg graduated from the Royal Academy in the Hague in 1994. After that he went on to direct music video’s, commercials, short films, corporate films and documentaries. Mark directed several award-winning short films and his documentaries where shown on television and on festival worldwide.
Kevin Augello
Kevin Augello is the founder of New Earth Films, were he operates as an executive producer and director. Although after training at the National Film and TV School in the UK he first started his career as a cameraman. A passion that first started at the age of 12, and is something that he still enjoys and practises today. He has worked closely with many international broadcasters including the BBC, Discovery, RedBull Media and National Geographic to produce and film numerous shorts and long form content. As well as photojournalism assignments for National Geographic Magazine. His portfolio also includes many NGO's especially those nurturing children's rights and conservation. This combination has merged well where Kevin has produced collaborations with major channels such as National Geographic and Unicef. As well as developmental projects with BBC's Panorama, concerning children displaced by war. His work has taken him to over a 130 countries from Palestine to Somalia and other politically sensitive areas around the world. He is more at home however in wilderness and has worked with a camera-in-hand from the North Face of Mt Everest to the frozen landscapes of Antartica. Kevin is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) which reflects a deep understanding of the physical world, and a member of the Guild of Television Cameramen, which nurtures the craft of cinematography.
Miron Bilski
Miron is a prize-winning commercials director and producer. He made over 150 commercials worldwide. Classically educated at the film-school of Lodz, Poland he started by writing scripts and producing news items for public television. Currently he is directing and producing commercials and a feature-length documentary.
Cintia Taylor
Cíntia Taylor is a writer, journalist, and filmmaker, who joined SAE as a freelancer in 2011. Her passion for storytelling has led her to work with international media such as BBC, The Daily Beast, Monocle, France24 and with filmmakers such as Gouden Kalf winner Rudolf van Berg. She is currently working on several projects ranging from documentaries to fiction films and theatre plays. Her directing debut is the French short When Waves Break, which is due to premiere in 2017.
David Mitnik
David Mitnik has been working in the french film industry for more than 30 years first as a unit-location manager, then as a line producer. My field of expertise is setting up the best conditions in which making the shooting possible. I have worked on every continents and still do so. I live in Amsterdam and Paris and have recently taken a lot of pleasure teaching to film students and sharing my experience with young future filmmakers.
Giulia Principe
Born in Naples, Italy, comes from a Photography and Editing background. After graduating LFA in Filmmaking and SAE in Interactive Animation, is now working with post-production, VFX and 3D graphics. Recent projects include animations for Holofil, holographic platform, VR and 3D printing.

Full Time

The full-time version of the course consists of 4 lessons per week. Each lesson has a duration of 2,5 hours. Total duration of the course is 12 months.

Besides theory oriented lessons, each student has to complete a series of practical excerises and assignments as part of the course. No maximum limit is set when it comes to how much hands-on time a student can book in our industry standard studio's and practical workstations for their training.

During school hours, there is always a tutor available for advice and practical help. The school facilities are open 7 days per week.

Part Time

The part-time version of the course consists of 2 lessons per week. Each lesson has a duration of 2,5 hours. Total duration of the course is 24 months.

Besides theory oriented lessons, each student has to complete a series of practical excerises and assignments as part of the course. No maximum limit is set when it comes to how much hands-on time a student can book in our professional studio's and practical workstations for their training.

During school hours, there is always a tutor available for advice and practical help. The school facilities are open 7 days a week. 






  • MAY




Filmmaking Fundamentals 1

To appreciate the fundamental differences of the individual and collaborative processes, you will experiment with all aspects of the technical and creative elements to gain a thorough theoretical understandning of your craft. From pre-production, through production and post-production these are key components that will transform you into a conscientious and complete filmmaker, capable of collaborating within all areas of the production of a film. 

Introduction to Academic and Professional Practice 

In this module, we introduce you to proven concepts and routiness of academic research, sritique and writing, and nurture these skills to ensure that you apply good study practice and management throughout your studies. We aim to familiarise you with the theories of culture and communication and develop a basic understandning of the creative media practitioner. Together, all of these skills will help you develop transferable career skills to aid your job search upon graduation. 

The Art of Storytelling

Writing for the screen is a very specific creative writing skill and one that requires a thorough understanding of how visuals storytelling operates. This module asks you to explore a number of established and experimental processes used in script development to further boost your understanding of narrative and cinmeatic construction. Working with the completed script, you will learn the skills to develop your own personal development portfolio and bring your visual styles to life on the page, ready for the screen.

Filmmaking Fundamentals 2

Building upon your knowledge base so far, you will now put your imagination and skills to good use in the creation of a self-directed short film, facilitating your script writing and developing your individual style. Through a comprehensive application of theories and techniques you will explore further the fundmental processes of filmmaking, specifically in production and post-production techniques.

Non-Fiction Filmmaking

Producing non-fictional works requires a critical understanding of the complex historic and contemporary societal, economic and political influences affecting the genre to fully appreciate the power of the medium. You will learn the importance of employing sound ethical working practices to strike a power balance between the contributor, filmmaker and audience, in order to plan the produce your own, short non-fiction film. 

Elective Module 

You are given the opportunity to choose an elective from a bank of modules. Each campus can advise which of the electives may be available to you and provide further advice to assist you in selecting an option that is reflective of your specialisation interest. The detail of each module can be found on our website.

  • Creative Production
  • Short Promotional Film
Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • A valid VISA for entire duration of the selected course is required prior to enrolment (for non-EU students)
  • Applicants have achieved an intermediate education level
  • English language skills: minimum TOEFL score of 80, or, minimum IELTS score of 6,5 (or equivalent)


* Our courses require that our students are in possession of a laptop (Mac/PC) in order to make notes in class, complete written homework and/or do research. For questions regarding specifications please consult the Study Advisors.

Fees & Funding

Payment Plans

Plan A: Upfront Payment - one full payment in advance
Plan B: Two payments in advance per stage (Diploma & Degree)
Plan C: Monthly instalments per stage (Diploma & Degree)

* Course Fees and Registration Form can be requested from the Study Advisors: or

* Please Note: Students are not eligible for funding through DUO.



Career Options

  • Video director
  • Camera Operator
  • Producer
  • Production Assistant
  • Cinematographer
  • Editor
  • Documentary Film Maker
  • Film Maker
  • Colorist
  • Camera Assistant
  • Grip Operator
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Lighting
  • Director of Photography
  • Set Supervisor
  • TV Producer
  • Content Producer
  • Motion graphics designer
  • Entrepreneur

Industry Sectors

  • Television
  • Movie Production
  • Post-production
  • Independent Film Production
  • TV Show Production
  • Scriptwriting
  • Advertising
  • Moving image Content for Web
  • Corporate Film
SAE Institute reserves the right to make revisions and changes to the information presented, in line with continuous improvement actions and stakeholder feedback.