Rules & Administration
General Rules of the School
The Icelandic Film School (KVÍ) is an educational institution responsible for education in the field of film making. The school’s policy is to contribute to the establishment of an Icelandic visual industry with meticulous teaching, research, educational and communication work in all fields of film making.
It is not common practice to write an introduction to Icelandic university organization and working procedures. But it behoves us to follow these first published IFS organization and working procedures with a handful of explanations.
The publication of the organization and working procedures is the last phase in the IFS transition to university level which commenced formally in the spring of 2020. In the fall of 2020 a thorough self-evaluation report was published and in 2021 there was on-going work on the entire body of rules and regulations and their introduction. Furthermore, vacancies were filled and appointments made to a council because of the impending transition to university level. In February of 2022 a thorough list of rules and regulations for all university community entities was published in addition to an evaluation of their introduction. Finally a report was published with an introduction to the approximately 100 individuals involved in the various position of responsibility within the IFS university community.
The whole time the school has officially, i.e. with published material on its homepage, operated in accordance with the rules of procedure for secondary schools with other legal references and a simplified framework. The reason being that the school's operating license issued by The Directorate of Education is in accordance with these published secondary-school rules and regulations. Any changes to the rules constitute a declarable decision which is not taken until a very clear process has been established.
Now the government has initiated a final review of the film school on the basis of presented documents and this process is scheduled to be completed this fall. This is a case of a costly but legally mandated operation performed for the government which will not be embarked upon unless the school has satisfied all the main prerequisites of a university operation beforehand. The review is meant to ensure that all quality standards are in order and that the review can serve as a future guideline. Now it is considered the right time to publish the university rules and regulations and implemente them within the school's organizational framework.
As the publication of these university rules and regulation coincides with an International review of the school, a special emphasis has been placed on the international criteria a university operation must fulfill and to adjust these to the systems of the 30-year-old Icelandic Film School.
The following material formed the basis and guidelines for the making of these university rules and regulations:
IFS operational rules as a 4th-step secondary school as agreed upon by The Directorate of Education and subsequently published on the school's homepage. The current accreditation dates from 2019 but the core of these operational rules is from 2007, when the current four-department system was established. These rules and regulations can in fact be traced back to 2003 when the first government accreditation was awarded for the school's two-year diploma. This rules and regulations have proven their worth and many clauses therein are predicated on experience. To observe consistency and maintain current standards, the school's former rules were used as a framework document.
2. IFS university rules from April 2020.
With the IFS' formal application for university accreditation in January 2020 the transition process was initiated and in April the first draft of the university rules and regulations were implemented as a work document. These were presented to the Ministry and used as an operational standard. Yet, these rules and regulations were not published and therefore we call the current rules and regulations the 1st edition. This draft dates from 2020 and is the primary edited document and serves as a standard.
3. Reykjavík University operational rules and regulations.
The Icelandic Film School operates within an Icelandic university community and naturally compares itself to other universities. Various factors favor using Reykjavík University as a standard of comparison, e.g. both schools are privately run and operate as private limited companies. It stands to reason, as may be the case, to compare these rules and regulations. This was in fact first done in 2010 when the IFS stipulated that a matriculation degree would be an admission prerequisite thus confirming the academic level of the program. Reykjavík University has in various ways served as a role model for IFS.
4. ESG_2015 The European Commission Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.
This is a basic working document for co-ordinated European university operations and has served as a guideline throughout the transition process to university level. The IFS has complied with European criteria in terms of the presentation of a syllabus. Yet the transition to university level demands a more intricate hiring, administerial and organizational system, in addition to establishing an active academic research program. The conclusion of the implementation of the ESG_2015 criterion has subsequently been presented in an organizational chart which has been given the informal name "The IFS university community clockwork" and is published as part of these operational rules and regulations.
A general conclusion is that the European framework serves well its purpose well indeed and that the goal of the IFS is to fulfill it to the very best of its abilities. The organization chart is introduced in the operational rules and regulations and drafted in accordance with ESG_2015 and IFS defines itself as a European university.
Various other documents were also reviewed concurrently but the above served as the basic working documents. It also bears mentioning that the University Laws number 63/2006 serves as a key framework.
This edition of the university operational rules and regulations has been reviewed by the IFS University Transition Committee and approved by the board of directors. The goal is to publish the next edition in January but the next months will be used for both promotion and further review inter al. by Kínema, the board of directors of the student association, and the university council.
The IFS is a European university institution responsible for teaching, research and the preservation of knowledge and artistic creative endeavors. The role of IFS is:
1. to convery to students and the community at large professional as well as academic knowledge, skills and competence in the field of filmmaking and drama.
2. to conduct robust research work in the field of audiovisual dissemination and drama.
3. to offer professional services for secondary school art departments and other academic levels, the professional sector and the government.
4. to offer students at the school excellent services at any point and an education under well-organized quality control.
5. to support to what extent possible graduates in their academic and professional endeavors and engage youths who want to acquaint themselves with filmmaking and drama programs.
6. To create a fertile and ambitious academic community based on the classical values of the Humboldt model of higher education, i.e. that studies are a collaborative process between the teachers and the student in the interest of the arts (the sciences) where academic staff enjoy freedom of research and peer management is implemented wherever possible.
7. to operate a film school where diversity is celebrated and the status of minorities is safeguarded. The guiding light of the operation is independence, morality, sustainability, equality, responsibility and quality.
8. to present Iceland as a country where high-quality schools and education are available.
9. To seek to let the times in which we live have an artistic impact both in terms of the past and the future.
The goal of IFS has always been the establishment of a film and television industry along with the robust development of a film culture. The school's motto is: "Let's establish a flourishing film industry."
IFS offers a diploma program at university level. There are four 120-credit diplomas on offer. The IFS university program is to be accredited by the education authorities according to laws nr. 63/2006.
The University council models its role on the 15th and 16th articles of the University Law nr. 63/2006 as an administrative unit consisting of student representatives and teachers.
The role of the University council is to:
serve as a venue for discussions about university policy-making concerning education, teaching and research
serve as a venue for the connection between the university and the economy
be responsible for the review of organizational and administrative procedures
supervise the school's internal quality rating.
The university office, in collaboration with the chairman of the university council, is responsible for formal communications with the university council representative and the processing and renewal of letters of appointment.
At the appointment of the professional association representatives it shall be requested that the board directors of the associations serve on the university council. In the event of a change as to their position within the association that need not necessarily mean that the representative quit the university council because emphasis is placed on continuity in council operations. This is of course up to the associations themselves. If the representative is not replaced he assumes his seat according to the earlier appointment.
The chairman of the university council should be experienced in various forms of administration and hold a master's degree in administration and preferably be a licensed teacher. Special knowledge of the film and TV industry is important. The appointment of a new chairman of the university council shall be announced to the Minister of Education and the boards of directors of those professional association who appoint a council representative and they are invited to voice an opinion or make comments.
A university council representative is appointed for four years at a time which covers the period when two consignments of students commence studies and graduate. The period of time is conceived so that an outside council representative can acquire knowledge of the systems and capabilities of the school to serve the industry in general and concurrently how the school can best serve the special interests which the representative represents. There is no extension at the completion of the period of appointment at which point the parties in question shall appoint a new representative. Yet the council chairman can extend his or her own period of appointment if the council representatives agree. A fee is paid for university council representation.
The university council plays an important role in regard to the school's quality-control system. Meetings shall be convened 2-4 times per annum and the school council is responsible for sending an assessment report to the chairman of the university council who distributes the report among the representatives. The opinions and consultations of the council will be requested. It is important that all council representatives are active so that the minutes reflect the views of all the council's constituent professional groups. The council is in other respects independent in terms of its program and can determine its operations within the legal framework introduced above. It is preferable that the university council and its member become officially active members in daily activities at the school.
From an administrative standpoint, the university council is an independent entity working side by side the board of directors and has great weight in its own resolutions which it conveys to the school's board of directors. The council is also authorized to inform Telemachus, the professional associations or the government about certain issues if deemed necessary or upon request.
The IFS board of directors consists of five main board members appointed at a general meeting for two years at a time by the school's shareholders. The school's operating company Telemachus is the biggest shareholder in IFS and there the following procedural rules concerning the appointment of board members are in force:
The chairman shall have extensive operational and administrative experience with a successful career. He shall hold an academic degree, at least a master's degree in the field of administration and/or pedagogy. Professional passion for school operations, filmmaking and the arts is a prerequisite. The responsibility for the appointment of the chairman of the board rests with the shareholders and the school's guarantors. Changes involving the appointment of the chairman of the board shall be reported to the Ministry. Other boards members shall have no connection to the owners and other key staff members of the school. They are appointed with the following general conditions in mind: One representative shall be appointed with the teaching of filmmaking and academic university operations as a field of specialty - another with commercial and operational experience, a third with administrative knowledge and the fourth with a knowledge of teaching facilities and real estate operations experience. All board members are subject to traditional board responsibilities according to laws governing private limited companies.
The boards establishes its code of ethics and presents it for approval.
The board hires the IFS principal and decides on his or her terms of employment. The boards confirms all hirings of key staff members at the school. The board serves in an advisory capacity in a relationship of equals with the university council and the school's research council.
The chairman of the board summons board members for meetings with at lest three days' notice, unless there is some pressing need to summon a meeting at shorter notice. A meeting has a quorum if the majority of board members attends. The balance of the votes determines the outcome of matters at board meetings but at least three board members have to vote for a proposal in order for it to go through. What takes places at board meetings is to be recorded in a journal. The company guarantees it commitments with its assets. The board shall constantly monitor university operations, accounts and financial allocations. The board processes the operation and investment plan for the university and its annual financial statement. Daily operations, including human resources, financial administration, planning and company accounts, are the responsibility of the principal and the school council.
There is an active research council at the university. The role of the research council is organization, consultation and proposals in relation to research work at the Icelandic Film School. The council consists of three members with PdDs related to the visual media. The fourth representative is from the school and is responsible for the registration of information. The council's purview is twofold. On the one hand it offers consultation to academic staff members for their research work and on the other it offers consultation and supervision of the school's lab operations. Further information concerning the scope of activities of the research council and the lab is to be found in the special rules. The film school respects the academic independence of its staff members. Academic independence entails their right to write about their field of teaching and research in the manner they deem sensible and in accordance with academic criteria. Academic independence does not diminish staff responsibility to abide by the school's general rules of procedure and code of ethics. The research and teaching subjects of the universities academic departments shall remain independent from the intervention of those who own the school or contribute funds to it.
a. The rules concerning the evaluation of the academic qualifications of IFS staff contain considerable and very decisive research requirements in relation to the qualification evaluations for professorships. Thus clear demands are made of university professors that they be active in the professional discourse and actually prepared for academic work. In this manner it can be ensured that those academic staff members who are hired to conduct academic research are highly ambitious and endowed with competence and ability.
b. There are strict conditions for the appraisal of artistic works for evaluation purposes. It is clear in general that research is governed by scientific methodology and artistic creation is the creation of a piece of art governed by the principles of the Muses. An overlap can occur but in actual fact there is a clear demarcation between the two. By these means there are demands made of academic staff members that they conduct research, if they are hired for such purposes. They realize that research work is governed by different criteria and in another venue than artistic endeavors.
c. The school as an art university must seek consultation, teaching, and support from various scientific academies. At the same time the school and its science staff must work on research projects based on their own knowledge, experience and expertise. A clear funding has to be in place for research work and a direct allocation to research parties shall be processed by transparent rules.
The administration of the film school with a mandate from the board of directors is in the hands of the school council on a daily basis and the school council is responsible for all facets of the operation being of the highest quality possible. The schools council consists of the principal, the A program director/personnel director and the quality/financial director.
The IFS administrative scope extends over the following operational facets:
1. Contracts, laws and regulations to which IFS is signatory.
2. Daily services and the processing of cases.
3. Staff organization and administration. The hiring of teachers and instructors.
4. The organization, administration and assistance of councils and committees.
5. Quality control.
6. Administrative affairs.
8. Sales and promotion.
The IFS student association is named Kínema. Its board is appointed according to rules written by the students themselves. The Kínema board is an important liaison between students and school administration. Kínema appoints a student representative to the University Council, the syllabus committee, examinations committee and the school's quality council. The kínema board is to convene with the school council at least once per semester where school operations are reviewed.
Kínema is funded with 50% of student confirmation fees being allocated to a fund for the student association. The film school is responsible for the fund and the fund's accounts.
The role of the quality council is the formal supervision of operation quality, data processing, the drafting of proposals, suggestions to the school council and following up on reforms. The quality council consists of the quality director who also serves as chairman, the office manager, director of studies, president of Core, the technical director and a student representative.
The IFS teaching and research quality goal is:
The IFS quality control system is defined in the IFS Quality Policy and Administration Report. These sources contain a definition of who has the role of implementing the quality policy, what key work processes are in place, how students and staff participation in the quality work is arranged. How a process of constant reform is implemented, how quality-improving systematic data gathering is administered and how reformed projects are administered.
The IFS quality system emphasizes a constant reform process where the internal functioning key process is reviewed on a regular basis and data gathered systematically to evaluate compliance with quality standards, inter al. with regular quality reviews and internal rating. The results are subsequently applied to establish reform projects which are placed in a prioritized reform plan to be processed by the pertinent party. IFS thus emphasizes a constant review process of internal functioning and monitors for that purpose processes which entail inter al;
a) an annual review of the syllabus,
b) following up on school operations and its commitments to syllabus criteria,
c) analysis of academic performance, teachers' evaluation methods and grades distribution,
d) an analysis of students' evaluation of teaching, esp. In cases of exemption from the prerequisite matriculation degree,
f) follow-up on carefully selected staff members, i.e. that staff is always hired on basis of strength, education, experience and professional success,
g) evaluation of working environment and the facilities provided for students and teachers,
h) a carefully orchestrated deployment system for teachers and instructors.
The principal is responsible for the professional implementation of the syllabus review, regular reviews of all facets of the school's quality system and conveying information to students, staff, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, the Ministry of Industry, as the case may be.
The IFS is responsible for the traditional supervision of teaching and research quality on the basis of an internal rating which is conducted with regular intervals with active staff and student participation. The internal rating revolves around policy and goals, the content of the education program, the teaching, teaching methods, course assessments, research, research results, facilities, administration and external networking. The results of the internal rating are adopted for reform projects and published on the IFS homepage. Staff and students take an active part in IFS quality work according to the IFS quality control system, including the internal rating, participation on the quality council and work on the development of courses and and study lines. The school's quality system is in a constant state of development and reshaping. All school staff are informed of quality emphases and trained to be engaged in constant reform work in the spirit of IFS values.
2.7 SPECIALISTS BOARDS AND COUNCILS
The syllabus committee is responsible for the design and annual updating of the syllabus for all school departments and Core. There are 5 representatives and regular bi-annual meetings. The syllabus is published 1 July every year. The director of studies is chairman of the syllabus committee. In addition to the president of Core, a representative of the program director appointed at the program directors meeting, the quality director and a student representative appointed by Kínema serve on the committee. The program director and student representatives are appointed for a year at a time and their appointment shall take place no later than 10 September every year. The school council directs the implementation of appointments to the committee in collaboration with the chairman and supervises its work.
The examinations committee is responsible for school qualification assessments being of a standard quality from one year to the next and that course assessments being just, professional and instructive. The examinations committee consists of the director of studies who also serves as chairman, the office manager of the university office, a student representative and the quality director who also records meeting minutes. The examination committee convenes formally every semester but also more frequently if needed.
The role of the council is to monitor academic progress among students, the teaching evaluations of teachers/instructors and course quality. The progress council convenes once every month and reviews the monthly records and decides whether to react to some developments. Likewise, it should be noted where success has been attained. In January and June there are debriefings reviewing the newly completed semester. Minutes of the meetings are to be recorded. The progress council consists of the principal who also acts as chairman, personnel manager and A program director, director of studies, quality director and president of Core.
The role of the production council is chief supervision of all school film production in respect to technology and technological equipment and work processes. The production council is also involved in assisting with festival film distribution and drawing up internship contracts with companies. The role of the production council is to make sure that the organization and framework of production are arranged in such a manner that the students have the best opportunity possible to attain a certain level of quality in their productions. The council is responsible for the drafting of the production plan which is available at the beginning of each semester. The council then makes sure that the plan is followed. The council consists of A program director, director of studies and head of technology, production and operations who serves as chairman.
The role of the art council is policy making, co-ordination and supervision of all of the school's production projects in addition to acting as a sponsor and supporter concerning artistic emphases. The principal directs the artistic council for production at the school and also serves as council chairman. Other council members are director of studies and A program director. The art council convenes with teachers who direct production at the school and reviews teaching emphases, inter. al. based on production from prior semesters.
The department head council is responsible for special supervision of supplementary courses and works with the syllabus committee towards their development. The department heads of each department agree on a department representative on the department head council. The council convenes once per annum in April and reviews the courses and data. The director of studies, who is also chairman of the syllabus committee, attends the meetings and reports on the status and results of supplementary subjects.
An outside selection committee evaluates the suitability of applicants for positions of assistant professors, associate professors and professors at IFS. Further information is to found in the special rules and administrative report.
The role of the IFS statistical advisory council is to advise administrators, councils and committees on numbers and the processing of statistical information in school operations. Two outside representatives serve on the statistical advisory council, statisticians, mathematicians or administrators who are very used to working with numbers. They are to be appointed by the board of directors for three years at a time.
A special decree committee is entrusted with the highest decision-making authority within the school in disciplinary cases and cases pertaining to students' rights. Committee appointments are made as a reaction to cases which may arise. The school council reaches a decision as to the activation of the decree committee at a given time but it shall always be done in major cases which concern students, e.g. if a student is to be expelled from the school because of disciplinary violations. The decree committee consists of three school council representatives, two administrative representatives and teachers appointed at a staff meeting in addition to two student representatives appointed by the board of Kínema. Every attempt shall to made to arrange teacher and student appointments in such a fashion that the parties in question are as neutral as possible in the matters at hand.
Students have the right to contest its decisions in accordance with sound administration practices. If a student does not accept the conclusions of the decree committee, the student can appeal to the school's board of directors. If the student does not accept the conclusion of the school's board of directors, the student can appeal to the appeals committee at the Ministry of Education.
A special ethics committee deals with alleged violations of the IFS code of ethics. Committee appointments are made as a reaction to cases which may arise. The school council reaches a decision as to the activation of the ethics committee. The ethics committee consists of two school council representatives, two staff representatives and a teacher appointed at a staff meeting in addition to one student representative appointed by the Kínema board. Every attempt shall to made to arrange teacher and student appointments in such a fashion that the parties in question are as neutral as possible in the matters at hand. The role of the ethics committee is to review indications of violations of the code of ethics and take a stand as to whether a violation of the code of ethics has been committed and the severity of the violation. The conclusions of the ethics committee shall serve as a guideline for the school council's handling of matters.
2.8 ADMINISTRATORS AND DEPARTMENTS
The IFS board of directors hires the school's principal on the basis of the position and goals of the school. The principal shall have a confirmed acknowledged artistic career in the field of filmmaking. The minimal educational qualification of a principal shall be a master's degree. The board shapes the hiring process of the principal which may vary according to what Is considered to suit best. The goal is always to find the most capable administrator at any given time to spearhead a common policy concerning the operation of an outstanding university. The board shall establish transparent procedures concerning the attributes it is seeking in a principal. A selection committee shall appraise the qualifications of a principal. A final qualification evaluation need not have been completed before the hiring of the principal or the beginning of his or her tenure. The hiring is made on basis of a written application and supplementary documents which contain confirmations of academic degrees and key information.
The administrative units of the university council, the research council and the board of Kínema shall have right to comment in the event of an hiring. The impending hiring shall also be announced to staff members, department heads, the selection committee and tenured teachers. The hiring process shall be supported by written documents and meeting briefs.
The principal is responsible for school operations being in keeping with the role of the school, goals, quality standards and contractual duties. The principal hires staff members who answer directly to the principal but the hiring of chief administrators is carried through in cooperation with the IFS board of directors and the selection committee on academic qualifications. Further information about the professional duties and obligations of the principal are to be found in the employment contract.
The principal shall be hired with the traditional terms of annulment but his term of employment is for five years and can be extended once. At which point the employment contract is to be renewed and introduced within the administrative units as if in the case of a new hiring.
The A program director/personnel director shall hold a fully valid teaching certificate in addition to teaching and academic administrative experience. The A program director/personnel director shall also have extensive professional filmmaking experience. A knowledge of the production process is important but also of the artistic facets of filmmaking. The role of the A program director/personnel director is to ensure the professional/academic operation of the school during all processes involving students, teachers, instructors and professional institutions. A program director/personnel director is responsible for the school's human resources, salaried staff, regular contractors, department heads as well as teachers and instructors in collaboration with the principal. The A program director/personnel director is also involved in daily communications with students in relation to the study program, organization and other affairs. The A program director/personnel director stands in for the principal in his or her absence. The A program director/personnel director is a member of the board of directors and the quality/financial director. A further job description is to be found in the employment contract.
The quality and financial director shall hold a university degree in the field and business and administration. The role of the quality and financial director is the supervision of and following through on the school's quality policy. The quality and financial director is the chairman of the quality council which establishes annual criteria for the school's quality policy. The quality director organizes internal control in collaboration with other school administrators and supervises the organization of regular meetings of the school's councils and committees. The financial director takes part in financial planning and administrative supervision. A further job description is to be found in the employment contract.
The role of the university office is fourfold:
a) Supervision of databases that accrue from school operations (reception/data collection, registration, preservation, access).
b. Account-keeping because of tuition fees and supervision of the collection of school fees along with payment of bills and wages, and delivery of book-keeping records.
c) Registration of academic performance and diploma-making. The updating and annual running of the student register. Information processing.
d) Dissemination of information and services.
The head of the university office is titled office manager. The office manager should have extensive experience in office organization and administration. A further description of university office operations is to be found in the administrative report.
Core represents 25% of the study program or 30 interdepartmental credits. The role of the department is the supervision of and responsibility for the organization of teaching, drawing up of schedules and the hirings of both teachers and instructors for Core studies. The department is also responsible for syllabus development and the future organization of the school.
At Core there are two titled positions. The head of Core is called president and the president shall fulfill at least the academic qualifications of an associate professor. The role of the president is to oversee that Core goals are attained. The goal of Core is to ensure that the student has attained confirmed minimum knowledge of all fields of filmmaking as well as ensuring the constant recording of the school's history.
The president has teaching duties and teaches the school's cinema studies courses. The president of Core records the school's internal history, supervises the publication of the school's graduation pamphlet, writes about the achievements of IFS alumni and other publications related to school operations. The president of Core also conducts formal communications with the research council in matters related to publications.
At the school there is also an assistant professorship with concomitant teaching and faculty obligations as well as supervision of Core production courses. An assistant professor supervises all digital registration and the registration of grades, the Core assistant professor supervises the organization and registration of films produced in Core. Furthermore, the assistant professor works with the director of studies on the organization of the school's SAM credits. In addition, the Core assistant professor participates in the selection of the Cilect film of the year. The Core assistant professor is also responsible for other projects allocated to the assistant professor. The academic prerequisites are at minimum a master's in filmmaking or the arts and there is an additional demand of extensive filmmaking experiences.
The role of the special departments is the supervision of and responsibility for the organization of the study program and the drawing up of schedules in all of the school's four departments.. The head of the special departments is titled director of studies. The minimum academic prerequisites are a master's degree filmmaking or the arts and extensive filmmaking experience. The director of studies hires the department heads of the specialized departments and directs their activities in consultation with the principal. In collaboration with the department heads the director of studies hires teachers and instructors and supervises their activities. The director of studies also participates in the drafting of the teaching assessment, supervises the making of teaching materials and directs the annual syllabus review. The director of studies is also responsible for sales and promotion and directs student admissions.
Heading every specialized discipline within a department are department heads: Two presiding over department 1, over directing and production. Four over department 2, over cinematography, over sound production, over editing and visual f/x. Three over department 3, over directing, over feature screenwriting and over genre screenwriting. Three over department 4, over acting, over acting and motion and over acting & voice. The same department head heads directing in departments 1 and 3 which are taught in tandem in the 1st and 2nd semester. The department heads are altogether 11. The role of department heads is to participate in the shaping of the program in specialized departments, the overall teaching organization, supervision and quality assessment, co-ordination of the educational program with other department heads and school administrators. They are approachable for students in regard to the professional aspects of the study program. The department heads teach at least one course in a specialized department but never more than three. The principal hires the department heads in consultation with the director of studies. One department head from each department appoints a representative on the department head council (see description of department head council). The academic prerequisites are a university degree and extensive experience in a specialized field. In addition the department heads shall have teaching experience at the school before they are hired, at minimum three courses.
The whole framework of the school operations, housing facilities, technical equipment and production processes of all filmmakimg within the school are the responsibility of this department. The department is also involved in employment affairs, promotional work and various event organization. The department also supervises the school's curatorial activities in consultation with the university office. The head of the department is titled technical, administerial and production director. The academic prerequisites are a technical education in the field of filmmaking and extensive professional experience. The role of the technical, administerial and production director is the supervision of and responsibility for all technical equipment for production teaching and the operation of a equipment rental house. The director is also responsible for the making of production plans alongside the drawing up of schedules and directs the production council. The technical, administerial and production director supervises technical innovations and makes purchase suggestions in consultation with the principal and the school council. The director supervises the teaching facilities and teaching equipment. At the department there are currently 2 to 6 technicians working under the direction of the technical, administerial and production director.
Educational support is divided into the following entities:
a) School counseling and personal support interviews.
b) Accessibility issues and educational facilities.
c) Free arts, academic and research work.
d) Support for alumni because of studies or employment.
e) General support of all staff members in the form of consultation and support.
The school counselor shall have a university degree in the field of pedagogy and counseling experience. The reception manager is responsible for all general services for students, teachers and staff.
3. ACADEMIC STAFF
IFS staff responsible for teaching or research are titled academic staff.
The following titles and rank are used for academic staff members:
Professor: Responsible for research and selected teaching. A leading artist in his or her field for years and active on the international scene.
Associate professor: Responsible for administration, research and selected teaching. An acknowledged artist in his or her field of expertise and internationally acknowledged as such.
Assistant professor: Responsible for teaching, basic research and administration. With extensive knowledge in his or her field of expertise and considerable promotion of his or her works.
Adjunct: A regular employee in a part-time or full position who is mainly responsible for teaching and administrative assistance. A specialist in a given field of expertise and with extensive experience in the discipline.
Part-time teacher: Staff member hired on a temporary basis in a part-time teaching job. A specialist in a given field of expertise and with professional experience.
Most IFS teachers are engaged on a temporary basis, indeed it is the main school policy that teachers and instructors be active and working filmmakers and actors. The principal hires teachers on a permanent basis once the selection committee has completed its evaluation and temporary teachers according to the suggestions of the department heads and Core directors. Those instructors who do not hold a teaching certification work under special supervision of the director of studies who introduces them to the job and counsels them.
Academic staff members other than adjuncts and temporary teachers should be hired on the basis of the evaluation of the selection committee whose members are appointed according to article 18 number 63/2006 of the law on universities. The selection committee should be composed of 3 representatives, at least one of whom should be employed outside of the school.
In order to be hired as an assistant professor, associate professor or professor a qualification assessment of the person in question must be completed. The topic of criteria, qualification assessment and new promotion is addressed in Rules about Hirings and Preferment (see special rules).
The main IFS rule is to hire on an independent basis for teaching, administrative or teaching positions. The same party can thus have three contracts with the school, respectively as a salaried staff member or a contractor. Research hirings are always conducted on basis of contacts of salaried employment. All title hirings, also those of adjuncts, shall be conducted on basis of vacancy advertisements (internally and officially) and they shall turn in application papers and a selection committee shall evaluate their qualifications. An exception can be made in cases of temporary hirings of up to six months.
The school's goal is that the ratio of academic staff members vis-a-vis the number of students in a given semester does not fall below ⅕ in every school semester overall. The goal is that research positions at the school be 16 (25% positions) and academic staff members with titles around 30 in a fully occupied IFS.
4. EDUCATION AND TEACHING ORGANIZATION
The school's departments are defined in accordance with the instructions stipulated in the laws on universities nr. 63/2006 and advertisement nr. 530/2011 about the publication of higher education and degree criteria.
Teaching at IFS takes place at defined departments which consist of courses that are evaluated for credits and organized in accordance with advertisement nr. 530/2011 about the publication of higher education and degree criteria.
A full program is evaluated at 60 credits (ECTS) in an academic year all things being equal and includes all academic work by the student.
At IFS there are four departments which offer the following degrees:
Department 1. Directing and production. Diploma degree. 120 ECTS credits.
Department 2. Creative technology. Diploma degree. 120 ECTS credits.
Department. Screenwriting and directing. Diploma degree. 120 ECTS credits.
Department. Acting. Diploma degree. 120 ECTS credits.
Rules governing admissions are in accordance with the 19th Article of laws nr. 63/2006 on universities. On evaluation of student admissions to the school, the background of the student is inspected in relation to education, professional experience and life experience in general. Applicants for all IFS departments shall have completed a matriculation degree or an equivalent degree. Still the school is authorized to admit applicants with knowledge and experience which is considered adequate preparation for studies at the school. The principal decides according to the review of the admissions committee which students should be admitted to the school on these premises. Applicants for department 4 (acting) should take a practical entrance exam along with interviews. The school's admissions committees consist of the director of studies alongside selected teachers. New students are admitted both in the fall and spring semester and consistency and equality shall be observed when processing applications. The maximum number per class is 12 students. The school is always open for applications and admission interviews and entrance tests are conducted on a regular basis.
The term is divided into two semesters, fall and spring semester. Each semester should consist of no fewer than 17 weeks of classes. Tests and vacations are not included so the term for each semester is 18 to 19 weeks. No teaching takes place on mandated holidays. The results of the academic evaluation are to be presented no later than one week following the semester graduation. All grades and reports should be ready on graduation day. Graduation takes place twice a year, at the end of fall semester around the 20th of December and at the end of spring semester around the 25th of May. In order to be eligible for graduation, students must have completed all courses according to the curriculum at the beginning of their studies. All financial debts to the school should also be settled.
The school’s credit system is based on the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) system. The estimated number of student work hours is 25 to 30 hours for each credit. The standard school week is evaluated at two credits. As a rule, a student must complete 30 credits to transfer from one semester to the next. In case of sickness or acceptable absences, an exception from this rule may be in order, although no more than 6 credits can be lacking in overall student performance over a single semester. In order to graduate, a student must have comprehensively completed 120 credits. A student who has not completed the sufficient number of credits to graduate has the right to attend the lacking courses over the following three years without paying tuition, if he or she has paid fully for four semesters. Yet he or she not does have precedence for a place in full courses and must wait for a vacancy in those courses.
The school publishes a revised syllabus annually and the syllabus is to be completed no later than 1 July every year and is valid for two semesters. Syllabus committee (See 2.6.1). The syllabus should include the syllabus structure, a roster of courses according to semester and course descriptions. The course descriptions should include the title and characteristics of the course, a content summary in addition to learning outcomes. Emphasis shall be placed on making the course description as thorough as possible and that the description conform to the actual teaching in practice. The valid syllabus at the time the student commences his or her studies applies for the duration of his or her studies in spite of changes made during the term. In case of a deviation from this rule, it should be done in consultation with the students. The syllabus should be published on the school’s web page.
The majority of teachers and instructors at the school are part-time teachers but their main line of work is in some field of filmmaking, singing or acting. The prerequisites for part-time teachers and instructors is that they have an education and/or vast experience in the field they are teaching and that they be active within the industry. They must display undisputed teaching talents and be ready to adapt to the teaching methods which the school follows and be fully committed to the course's competencies. The parties with teaching certificates have precedence when it comes to vacancies all things being equal. Teachers shall present the director of studies or the department head in question or president of Core with a syllabus for approval no later 1 week prior to the commencement of teaching. The syllabus should contain the following:
1. A course description in accordance with the curriculum. A direct description of the curriculum should be included.
2. Information about instructors, lecturers and guests.
3. Information about the time-table in accordance with the schedule, along with a description of what will be taught in each class.
4. A description the teaching materials and aids of which the teacher will avail himself or herself.
5. Books, films and supplementary material of which the teacher will avail himself or herself or use as reference material.
6. A definite time-table of deadlines for tests/projects.
7. A description of student performance evaluation.
Teaching methods shall in principle be varied and in accordance with course and study line competencies.
The Icelandic Film School demands full attendance for all classes and that all projects be delivered in a satisfactory manner. In case of absences, including those due to sickness, over and beyond 20% of overall class hours, the student is considered to have failed the course. In case of special circumstances or those beyond the student’s control, he or she can apply to the director of studies or the president of Core for an exemption from this rule. In the exemption petition there should be a tangible explanation for the student’s absences and suggestions as to how the student intends to comply with the prerequisites of the course. In case of a specific make-up assignments or some sort of individual compensation for the missed classes the student must pay for those services specifically.
A performance evaluation, where the status and progress of the student are evaluated, is included in each course at the school. The results of the academic evaluation are composed from grades and written reports about the student’s projects and work. Grades are given in whole and half numbers from 0 to 10 and based on the following criteria:
10: for a perfect grasp of the material and outstanding solutions.
9 - 9,5: for outstanding understanding and skills.
8 - 8,5: for good knowledge and understanding.
7 - 7,5: for competent knowledge.
5,5 - 6,5: for acceptable knowledge of the basics.
5 for minimum knowledge of the fundamentals.
0 - 4,5: for unsatisfactory performance.
Written reports should be no shorter than five paragraphs and they should be directed towards the assignments in question and the student personally. Emphasis shall be placed on reports addressing both weaknesses and strengths and that they be constructive where the student is concerned. For specific courses where there are no actual projects to be turned in or tests to be taken as such, it is permissible for the course evaluation to be indicated in letters rather than numbers: “P” for “passed” and “F” for “failed”. The academic evaluation is at the teacher’s discretion and the teacher gives grades unless an evaluation committee is involved. In the syllabus handed out at the beginning of the course it should be clearly stated how the academic evaluation is conducted and the weight of various factors forming the premise of the evaluation.
The following factors should be kept in mind when evaluating student productions/films:
• The passion of the student towards the project and the student’s application.
• Organization and delivery.
• Technical aspect of production.
• Points the student wishes to emphasize as his or her field of speciality.
When evaluating the artistic quality of a production project it should count for 20% of the overall grade in the 1st semester, 30% of the overall grade in the 2nd semester, 40% of the overall grade in the 3rd semester and 50% of the overall grade in the 4th semester.
All students have the right to explanations as to the premises on which the evaluation is based within 15 days of the evaluation’s publication. If the student is dissatisfied with the teacher’s evaluation he or she can appeal to president of Core or the director of studies, as the case may be. If the student is dissatisfied with the conclusion of the case the party in question can request that the school council activate a decree committee. Students with special needs have the right to receive additional services because of their studies and course assessment. Special solutions on their behalf are organized by the student adviser in cooperation with the student in question and school administrators.
A student who fails a test/assignment can apply for permission to repeat the test/assignment once with a request to the director of studies or the president of Core within a month from failing. A student who fails a course because of insufficient attendance can receive authorization to attend the course once again. In which case the student must wait until the course is offered again but does not have precedence in the event of the course being full.
A student who does not hand in an assignment before the stipulated deadline and has not received an extension or does not show up for an exam and fails to inform the school beforehand is considered to have completed a project or an exam with a failing grade.
A student who fails to show up for an examination or does not turn in assignments because of illness or other approved reasons shall announce that he or she is unable to attend before the examination begins or the assignment deadline runs out. A medical certificate should be presented at the school office at first convenience and no later than five days after the test was given or the deadline expired. Failing that, the student is considered to have completed an exam or finished an assignment with a failing grade. The same applies when the child of a student falls ill.
A student applies for the school online and gives information about his/her background and competence. When the student turns in an application he or she is thanked for the participation and given information about when the admission interviews or entrance examinations are to be conducted. Once the admission interviews and entrance examinations are completed all applicants receive a reply as to whether they will be offered a place at the school. As a part of the school’s opening ceremony a special presentation is given of the facilities, teaching conditions and rules of conduct. Group dynamics of various kinds are incorporated into the first weeks of freshman teaching The goal is that students assimilate quickly and make use of the school’s facilities. The reception of a teacher/instructor is conducted in such a fashion that the hiring process goes through director of studies or the president of Core with the consent of the principal.
5. GENERAL OPERATIONS
All new students should be informed of the general school rules of conduct at the very beginning of their studies. These rules as follows:
1. Mutual respect, courtesy and honesty should be the standard procedure in relations between students and staff and wherever one represents the school. The objectives of the school should be respected, as well as its policies and regulations and care should be taken in all respects so that the reputation of the school remains untarnished.
2. Students attend all classes and show up punctually for class and other school activities. In courses with compulsory attendance, students must attend at least 80% of all classes to earn the right to complete a given course.
3. The students should keep the school and school grounds tidy.
4. Smoking is prohibited in school facilities and on school grounds except in reserved areas. All possession and consumption of alcohol and other drugs is strictly prohibited in school buildings
5. The students themselves are responsible for their valuables.
6. Any damage which the students may cause on school grounds or to school property shall be compensated by them fully. Also damages which they may cause during the making of projects outside of the school.
7. A violation of these rules can result in expulsion from the school.
Staff and students strive to form a community where relations and work methods are characterized by mutual respect, honesty, justice and responsibility. The goal with the code of ethics is that the behavior of those who work and study at the school fulfill the highest moral standards within the school community. The code of ethics is set out in 13 sections. The sections should not be viewed as an exhaustive summary of becoming conduct. Violations of the code of ethics should be reported to a teacher or a regular school staff member who will forward the report to the school council. The school council evaluates whether there is reason to activate the ethics committee in accordance with procedural rules.
Code of ethics
1. Staff and students show respect to those who work and study at the school as individuals, treat them with consideration and observe confidentiality in their dealings with them
2. Staff and students shall prevent any sort of injustice taking place at the school, such as bullying, sexual harassment and other form of discrimination, for example on account of gender, age, faith, nationality, race, disability, sexual orientation or views.
3. Staff and students respect the university community’s freedom of expression and conduct exchanges of opinion in a professional, objective and responsible manner.
4. The staff are cognizant of their position of power in their dealings with students and make certain to not abuse their position of authority.
5. Staff and students safeguard the school's reputation and do nothing that may tarnish the school’s community standing.
6. Staff and students seek knowledge with integrity and objectivity and stress professional and artistic practices, critical and creative thinking and objective reasoning.
7. Staff and students observe data protection and protect the interests of those who collaborate and conduct research with them.
8. Staff and students respect academic freedom, conduct their work at all times in accordance with their own convictions and do not allow themselves to be swayed by personal interests. The variety and complexity of the motion picture art form, professionalism, academic independence and independence in research and teaching are respected.
9. Staff and students respect intellectual property rights, do not plagiarize the ideas of others and always take pains to cite the sources they use, in accordance with the traditions of the arts and knowledge society.
10. School staff strives to create a fertile and encouraging educational environment for their students, in an atmosphere of trust and respect.
11. School students are responsible for their studies and are honest and considerate in their dealings with others.
12. Staff and students show responsibility towards the community at large, the environment and nature when teaching, conducting research or engaged in artistic endeavors.
13. Staff and students are active participants in the work and development of the school and consider it their duty to disseminate information and knowledge with a view to improving school practices.
A violation of the code of ethics can lead to expulsion from the school.
A student can be expelled from the school if he or she is guilty of a serious violation of school regulations or fails on attendance or exams. The responsibility for a permanent expulsion rests with the principal and the principal shall seek the recommendations of the decree committee in this instance, (see article 2.69., before the expulsion takes effect. A student receives a written admonition before school authorities resort to expulsion and the student is granted a period of grace of five days to appeal.
The IFS advocates a healthy lifestyle throughout its activities.
In its operations the IFS emphasizes leveling the lot of men and women in the industry. In order to attain this goal we strive to retain an equal gender ratio among both students and teachers.
Emphasis is placed on energy saving and electronic teaching methods as well as energy saving in film production. The school also advocates waste recycling and separating waste.
The school's prevention and contingency plan against bullying, gender-based harassment, sexual harassment and violence is in effect.
The school council and school counselor are responsible for taking measures when students or staff suffer mishaps during school activities, such as accidents, illness, disease or death. Professional assistance shall be sought when necessary.
An evacuation plan is introduced at the beginning of term and exits are indicated on school maps and signs.
If the Public Disaster Protection issues evacuation orders because of an epidemic, natural disasters or other emergencies, evacuation plans are followed but in other respects public disaster protection protocols are observed. The school follows general instructions from public disaster protection and the fire brigade, for example closing the school because of impending inclement weather or other disasters.
IFS makes every effort to maintain close relations with all academic levels within the Icelandic educational system. The school has collaborated closely with all educational levels, from nursery schools up to university level. The IFS goal is to encourage film studies at as many levels as possible within the Icelandic school system. IFS is a member of CILECT – The Inter- national Association of Film and Television Schools – and takes part in international activities, student and teacher exchange programs, educational conferences, film festivals, among other things.
Teaching is conducted in classrooms, lecture halls, a sound studio, a studio and technical facilities. Project screenings and film history lectures take place at a movie theater. All departments have access to IFS equipment rental service which offers a vast variety of lights, movie cameras, audio recording equipment and technical gear. The school also collaborates closely with all of the country’s main rental houses.
The university office is responsible for the registration and preservation of all data and grants data access to those who are so authorized. The academic records of all students are preserved, both on paper in closed storage and on a digitally sealed webpage. All visual material is preserved in a digital format and parts of it on service providers. Access to such material can be closed to the public if the students so wish. Emphasis is on the proper handling of personal information. Further information on preservation, registration and access can be found in the administration report.
All audio/visual material produced at the school is IFS property and the school reserves the right to publish and present the material under the school banner in all media. In the event of a screening or third-party sale of material, the students or others who have a copyright-protected participation in the production should grant a formal consent for the screening/ publication. Students who wish to screen their film in a public medium must obtain formal authorization from the IFS. Film festival distribution is not considered formal distribution and students are permitted to send their films to festivals without a special consent from the school.
These rules were approved by the school's board of directors and the university transition committee 2.9. 2022.
The school board consists of five individuals nominated by the school’s owners. The goal is to have board members with various backgrounds and connections in the Icelandic work market and cultural life. The term of office of board members is two years and each term commences 1 August of every year. Two observing representatives attend board meetings; one being a representative of the teachers nominated by the teachers’ assembly; the other a student representative nominated by student council. The observing representatives are nominated for a one-year term at a time and the selection should be announced before 1 October of each year. The dean attends meeting with the right to speak and be heard and to propose a motion. The board of directors of the Icelandic Film School has the ultimate power of discretion within the school, makes the future policy, is responsible for its operations, accounts and financial decisions. The board validates the university’s operational schedule and operational budget and its annual financial statement. The board of directors hires the school’s dean and relieves the dean of his or her duties.
The dean as an agent of the board of directors is responsible for the running of the school. He or she is responsible for the school’s operations being in accordance with the school’s role, goals and standards. He or she works at forming a general school policy and takes the initiative when reviewing the curriculum and the constant state of reform within the school. The dean hires the department heads and other employees who fall under his direct supervision and governs their daily activities. Yet the hiring of key staff, such as financial manager, teaching or technical director, shall take place in collaboration with the board of directors. The dean presents the annual operational budget and schedule to the board of directors at the beginning of every fiscal year and is responsible for the school’s operational report at the end of every academic year. The dean represents the school and acts as the school’s spokesman.
The school board assists the dean and advises him or her on the running of the school. In addition to the principal, all department heads, the teaching director and two student representatives nominated by the student council are members of the board. The board discusses the operational plan and its implementation, school regulations, school conduct and other issues. See further regulation number 140/1997. The board convenes weekly during the academic semester.
A school meeting is held once every academic year. All school employees have a right to attend, both regular employees and temporary workers. Furthermore, the student council nominates two students from every department to represent them at board meetings. Matters concerning the school operations suggested by the dean, staff or students are discussed at school meetings. The dean presents the program and chairs the school meeting.
Teachers’ meetings are held at least once every semester. There policy-making in school operations, the structure of the curriculum, teaching methods, the drafting of the curriculum, the organization of tests and the curriculum evaluation are discussed. All teachers and instructors employed at the school have the right to attend and bring up issues. It is compulsory for temporary teachers in a 25% position or more to attend teachers’ meetings. The teachers’ meeting nominates a representative observer to the school board.
At the Icelandic Film School the following subsidiary departments answer to the principal and the board of directors in the following fields of school operations: The school office supervises student registration, schedules and the organization of the facilities, curriculum evaluation and quality control, student counseling and overall employee and student support. The office also supervises supply purchases and communications with the school’s associates concerning facilities and general school operations. The head of the university office is titled educational manager. He or she supervises all office staff and the building caretakers. The technical department supervises all technical issues at the school. The head of the technical department is titled technical manager and supervises all technicians. The technical department makes equipment purchase suggestions and supervises equipment setup and maintenance. The technicians assist students and teachers as required. The technical department is also responsible for all production within the school and the process of production projects. The dean is the head of the subsidiary departments.
The department head is responsible for the professional supervision of the department and answers to the dean on operational and financial issues. The department head shows initiative in terms of forming department policy. The department head hires teachers and other department staff. The department head draws up a financial plan for the department in question and presents it to the dean. The department head has a final say within the department in matters concerning the academic career and process of students. Students can refer the decisions of the department head to a special arbitration committee, see article 10.
The Icelandic Film School employs both regular teachers and temps. The majority of teachers are temps; indeed it is the school’s main policy that teachers be active and working filmmakers and actors. The dean hires regular teachers once a jury board and temps have made their evaluation according to the suggestions of the department head. Those instructors who do not have a teacher’s certificate work under special supervision of the teaching director who initiates them into the job and counsels them.
At the school a special arbitration committee has the final say in disciplinary issues within the school and in cases pertaining to students’ rights. The students have a right of objection in accordance with good administration practices. On the arbitration committee are, in addition to the dean who serves as the board’s chairman, two department heads, two teachers’ representatives and two student representatives. The teachers’ and students representatives are nominated for a year at a time and they have deputy members who serve for an equal length of time. The department heads vote amongst themselves for their representatives and deputies. The teachers’ representatives are selected at the first teachers’ meeting in the fall. The student council board selects the students representatives. Their term of office is from 1 October to 1 October. If a student does not wish to abide by the decision of the arbitration committee, he or she can refer his case to the school’s board of directors. If the student does not accept the decision of the board of directors, he or she can refer his or her case to the Arbitration Committee of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
Study and Teaching Arrangement
The Icelandic Film School is accredited by The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. The school uses FEIN-credits according to the junior college academic level but the time criterion is based on ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credit system, i.e, each credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of student work. This applies to all of the school’s courses. The Icelandic Film School operates according to the Icelandic National Curriculum Guide published by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
There are four departments at the Icelandic Film School : I. The Directing and Producing Department. II. The Department of Creative Technology. III. The Screenwriting and Directing Department. VI. The Acting Department. Each department is an independent academic unit and the department head is responsible for its supervision in accordance with article 8. All departments offer a two-year program, 120 units towards a diploma degree. Students need to fulfill the exact criteria set by each department and do not have the option of transferring between departments once their studies have commenced, barring exceptional circumstances.
During evaluation of applicants a review is conducted into the student’s background in regard to education, professional experience and general life experience. An attempt is made to evaluate how suitable the Icelandic Film School program is for the student in question and how likely the student is to succeed upon completing his or her studies. The applicants for all school departments should have completed a junior college degree or the equivalent. Still, the school reserves the discretion to admit applicants with knowledge and experience considered sufficient preparation for school studies. The principal decides, according to the recommendations of the admissions committee, which students should be admitted on those premises. Applicants must attend admission interviews. Applicants to Department IV, the Acting Department, must undergo a practical admission test as well as attending interviews. New applicants are admitted both in the fall and spring semesters. Fall applications are advertised no later than April 1st and the admission process should be completed by May 10th. Spring applications are advertised no later than October 1st and the admission process should be completed by November 25th. The maximum number of students admitted to each class is twelve. Every attempt is made to ensure gender parity in classes.
The term is divided into two semesters, fall and spring semester. Each semester should consist of no fewer than 15 weeks of classes. Tests and vacations are not included so the term for each semester is seventeen weeks. No teaching takes place on mandated holidays. The results of the academic evaluation is to be presented no later two weeks following the semester graduation. All grades and reports should be ready on graduation day. Graduation takes place twice a year, at the end of fall semester around 20 December and at the end of spring semester around 15 May. To be eligible for graduation students must have completed all courses according to the curriculum at the beginning of their studies. All financial debts to the school should be settled.
The school’s credit system is based on the FEIN credit system (junior college credits) but also takes into account the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) system, the criteria under which Icelandic universities operate. The estimated number of student work hours is 25 to 30 hours for each credit. The standard school week is estimated at two credits. As a rule a student must complete 30 credits to transfer from one semester to the next. In case of sickness or acceptable absences, an exception from this rule may be in order, although no more than eight credits can be lacking in overall student performance over a single semester. In order to graduate, a student must have comprehensively completed 120 credits. A student who has not completed the sufficient number of credits for graduation has the right to complete the lacking courses over the following three semesters but he or she pays pro rata fees corresponding to his or her course participation. Yet he or she does not have precedence for a place in the full courses and must wait for a vacancy in those courses.
The school publishes a revised curriculum annually and the curriculum is to be completed no later than 20 August of every year and is valid for two semesters. The review and revision process takes place from 1 June to 20 August. Beyond that the curriculum remains unaltered. The curriculum includes the curriculum structure, a roster of courses according to semester and course descriptions. The course description includes the title and characteristics of the course, a content summary in addition to learning outcomes. Emphasis is be placed on making the course description as thorough as possible and that the description conform to the actual teaching in practice. The valid curriculum at the time the student commences his or her studies applies for the duration of his or her studies in spite of changes made during the term. Deviations from this rule shall take place with full consent of the students and the educational authorities. The curriculum is published on the school’s web page.
The majority of teachers and instructors at the school are part-time teachers and their main occupation is in some field of filmmaking, music or drama. The prerequisites that part-time teachers and instructors must fulfill are that they be educated or have a vast experience in their chosen field and are professionally active. They must be endowed with indubitable teaching skills and be ready to adapt to the school’s teaching methods. Certified teachers have all things being equal precedence with vacancies. The regulations stipulated in article 10 apply to tenured instructors. The teachers present the curriculum to the department head for validation at least two weeks prior to the beginning of semester. The curriculum shall contain the following information:
- A course description in accordance with the curriculum. A direct description of the curriculum should be included.
- Information about instructors, lecturers and guests.
- Information about the time-table in accordance with the schedule, along with a syllabus description at any given time.
- A description of teaching materials and aids.
- Books, films and supplementary material of which the teacher will avail him- or herself or use as reference material.
- A definite time-table for tests/project deadlines.
- A description of student performance evaluation.
The Icelandic Film School’s quality control system is in a state of regular development but the goal is to contribute to a constant process of improvement at the school. Efforts have been made to update the system for this publication of the curriculum and fix the points of emphasis more firmly in the internal rating. The Icelandic Film School emphasizes a constant revision of the internal rating and for that purpose pursues a process which entails inter alia:
a) an annual revision of the curriculum.
b) follow-up observations of school operations and a commitment to the learning outcomes in the curriculum.
c) an analysis of academic performance, teachers’ evaluation methods and grade distribution.
d) an analysis of student’s evaluation of the quality of teaching and school operations.
e) a meticulous evaluation of the students’ background, especially in the granting of exemptions from having completed a matriculation examination.
f) follow-up observation of a selective choice of staff, that the staff be only chosen on basis of strengths – education, experience and professional success.
g) an evaluation of the school’s working environment and the equipment of students and teachers.
h) a meticulous adjustment system for teachers and instructors.
The principal is the school’s quality manager and is responsible for the practical implementation of curriculum revisions, regular audits of all aspects of the school’s quality system and information disclosure to students, staff and officials at the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, as deemed appropriate.
Factors that concern academic progression, the well-being of students (e.g. in cases of bullying) and problems that may arise during daily activities are the subject of the weekly meetings of department heads where the status of all of the schools’ classes is reviewed. Efforts are made to solve all problems as expeditiously as possible. The school’s quality system is in a state of constant development and modulation. All school staff is informed of quality emphases and trained to work in a spirit of constant improvement in keeping with the principles of the Icelandic Film School.
The Icelandic Film School expects full attendance in all classes and that all projects be delivered in a satisfactory manner. If absences, including those due to sickness, are over and beyond 20% of overall class hours, the student is considered to have failed the course. In case of special circumstances or those beyond the student’s control, he or she can apply to the department head for an exemption from this rule. In the exemption petition there should be a tangible explanation for the student’s absences and suggestions how the student intends to comply with the demands of the course. In case of a specific make-up assignments or some sort of individual compensation for the missed classes the student must pay for those services especially.
A performance evaluation, where the status and progress of the student are evaluated, follows each course at the school. The results of the academic evaluation are composed from grades and written reports about the student’s projects and work. Grades are given in whole and half numbers from 0 to 10 and predicated on the following criteria:
- 10 for a perfect grasp of the material and outstanding solutions.
- 9 – 9,5 for outstanding understanding and skills.
- 8 – 9,5 for good knowledge and understanding.
- 7 – 7,5 for competent knowledge.
- 5,5 – 6,5 for acceptable knowledge of the basics.
- 5 for minimum knowledge of the fundamentals.
- 0 – 4,5 for unsatisfactory performance.
Written reports should be no shorter than five paragraphs and they should be directed towards the assignments in question and the student personally. Emphasis is placed on reports dealing with both weaknesses and strengths and that the reports be constructive for the student. In special courses where there are no actual projects to be turned in or tests to be taken as such, it is permissible for the course evaluation to be indicated in letters rather than numbers: “P” for “passed” and “F” for “failed”. The academic evaluation is at the teacher’s discretion and the teacher gives grades unless an evaluation committee is involved. In the curriculum handed out at the beginning of the course it should be clearly stated how the academic evaluation is conducted and the weight of various factors which form the premise of the evaluation.
The following factors should be kept in mind when evaluating student productions/films:
- The passion of the student for the project and the student’s application.
- Organization and delivery.
- Technical aspect of production.
- Artistic factors of production.
- Factors the student wishes to emphasize as his or her field of speciality.
The results of the academic evaluation should be available within two weeks from the time the evaluation took place, as per article 16. All students have the right to explanations for the premises on which the evaluation is based within two weeks of the evaluation’s publication. If the student is dissatisfied with the teacher’s evaluation he or she can appeal to the department head. If the department head sees just cause he or she can appoint an outside examiner. In which case his or her verdict is final.
A student who does pass a test or fails an assignment but has adequate attendance in a course is allowed to repeat the exam or project. An application to this effect must be made to the department head within ten days after the publication of the grade. The student cannot attempt a final test/project more than three times in the same course. A make-up exam/project should be conducted as soon as possible and never later than four weeks after publication of the failing grade. The school charges a special examination fee for make-up/sick tests as well as projects that need to be repeated. The fee should be commensurate with the real costs incurred by the school because of the make-up exam/project. A student failing a course because of inadequate attendance can obtain permission to repeat the course, in which case the student must wait until the course is offered but does not have precedence in the event of the course being full.
A student who does not hand in an assignment before the stipulated deadline and has not received an extension or does not show up for an exam and fails to inform the school beforehand is considered to have completed a project or exam with a failing grade. A student who fails to show up for an examination or does not turn in assignments because of illness or other approved reasons shall announce that he or she is unable to attend before the examination begins or the assignment deadline runs out. A medical certificate should be presented at the school office at first convenience and no later than five days after the test was given or the deadline expired. Failing that, the student is considered to have completed an exam or finished an assignment with a failing grade. The same applies when the child of a student falls ill. If a student does not complete the program at the end of the normal term of his or her studies, each individual grade of the student’s remains valid over a period of five years from the time normal completion of studies should have taken place. After that time the student must retake the same or comparable courses.
A student applies for the school online and gives information about background and competence. When the student turns in an application he or she is thanked for the participation and given information about when the admission interviews or entrance examinations are to take place. Once the admission interviews and entrance examinations are completed all applicants receive a reply as to whether they will be offered a place at the school. As a part of the school’s opening ceremony a special presentation is given of the facilities, teaching conditions and rules of conduct. Group dynamics of various kinds are incorporated into the first week of freshman teaching. The goal is that students assimilate quickly and make use of the school’s facilities. The assimilation process for teachers/instructors is through the department head with the consent of the dean. Before the start of term he or she meets with the teaching director who evaluates his or her plans and gives him or her introductory documents.
General School Operations
All new students should be thoroughly informed of the general school rules of conduct at the very beginning of their studies. These rules are the following:
- Mutual respect, courtesy and honesty set the standard in communication between students and staff and wherever one represents the school. The objectives of the school should be respected, as well as its policies and regulations and care should be taken in all respects so that the reputation of the school remains untarnished.
- The students attend all classes and show up punctually for class and other school activities. In courses with compulsory attendance, students must attend at least 80% of all classes to attain the right to complete a given course.
- The students should keep the school and school grounds tidy.
- Smoking is prohibited in school facilities and on school grounds. All possession and consumption of alcohol and other drugs is strictly prohibited throughout the school.
- Consumption of food and drink in classrooms and work rooms is prohibited.
- The students themselves are responsible for their valuables.
- Any damage which the students may cause on school grounds or to school property shall be compensated by them fully.
A violation of these rules can result in expulsion from the school.
A student can be expelled from the school if the student is guilty of a serious violation of school regulations or fails attendance or exams. The responsibility for a permanent expulsion rests with the principal and the principal shall seek the recommendations of the disciplinary committee in this instance, see article 10, before the expulsion takes effect. A student receives a written admonition before school authorities resort to expulsion and the student is granted a period of grace to appeal.
The Film School advocates a healthy lifestyle throughout its activities.
The Film School advocates equal industry opportunities for both men and women throughout its activities. In order to attain this goal all departments strive to retain an equal gender ratio among students as well as teachers. Teachers/instructors are directed to offer special encouragement to female students, in addition to honoring women’s filmmaking.
A strong emphasis is placed on energy saving and electronic teaching methods as well as in film production. The school also advocates waste recycling and categorizing.
The dean, the teaching director and the department head in question run the school’s anti-bullying team. The resolution of cases of bullying must be conducted to the satisfaction of both victim and perpetrator but in such a manner that risk of recidivism is reduced. Full confidentiality should be observed at all times when dealing with instances of bullying. In such instances it is important that the staff member or student who discovers the case bring it to the attention of the department head or the school’s teaching director/student counselor. If they see fit to activate an anti-bullying team these measures should be taken immediately. The principal then takes control of the case and runs the team. The teaching director/student counselor is a special representative of the victim in cases of bullying.
The following plan of action is set in motion:
- An thorough investigation is conducted immediately and the seriousness of the case evaluated. A meeting is convened with all parties present. The process is recorded meticulously.
- The team then decides on the next step according to the nature of each case. This can entail a class meeting, a special meeting with the perpetrators and victims, organized group work with the bullying perpetrators and assertiveness training for the bullying victims.
- The anti-bullying team monitors the progress of the case and conducts a revaluation if need be. If the bullying cannot be curbed within school walls professional assistance will be sought.
The principal and teaching director are responsible for taking measures when students or staff suffer mishaps during school activities, such as accidents, illness, disease or deaths. Professional assistance shall be sought when necessary.
An evacuation plan is introduced at the beginning of term and exits are indicated on maps and school signs.
Mutual respect, courtesy and honesty shall set the standard in all school communications, both between students and staff and among all groups. The goals of the school, its policies and rules, should be honored, and pains taken in all respects not to tarnish its reputation. Teachers/instructors should respect the rights of their students and be guided by their interests. Teachers/instructors should take care not to discriminate against their students because of, e.g. gender, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability or views. Teachers/instructors should be conscious of their position of authority in their dealings with students and be careful not to abuse their standing. Students should show their teachers courtesy and consideration and be honest in their dealings with them. Teachers/instructors and staff should maintain confidentiality in their dealings with students. They should observe full discretion whenever student issues arise and take pains that confidential data concerning students doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
The Icelandic Film School seeks to maintain close relations with all academic levels within the Icelandic educational system. The school has collaborated closely with all educational levels, from nursery schools up to university level. The goal of the school is to encourage film studies at as many levels as possible within the Icelandic school system. The Icelandic Film School is a member of the CILECT – The International Association of Film and Television Schools – and takes part in international activities, student and teacher exchange programs, educational conferences, film festivals, etc.
Kínema is the student association at the Icelandic Film School. The association’s board appoints one student representative to attend a weekly meeting with department heads. A part of the confirmation fees paid by new students is allocated to Kínema.
Teaching is conducted in classrooms, lecture halls, sound studios, a studio and technical facilities. Project screenings and film history lectures take place at the Bíó Paradís movie theater. All departments have access to the Icelandic Film School’s equipment rental service. The service offers a vast variety of lights, movie cameras, audio recording equipment and technical gear. The school also collaborates closely with all the main rental houses in the country.
All audio/visual material produced at the school is the property of the Icelandic Film School and the school reserves the right to publish and present the material under the school banner in all media. In the event of a screening or third-party sale of the material, the students or others who have a copyright-protected participation in the production should grant a formal consent for the screening/publication. Students who wish to screen their film with a third party must receive formal authorization from the Icelandic Film School.