Design Film Art: HSLU department gets a new name

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A green screen is available to HSLU film students.
A green screen is available to HSLU film students.

After 16 years, the Department of Design & Art at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is getting a new name: From January 1, 2024, the Department of Design will be called Film Art. The new name reflects the growing importance of film.

In its almost 150 years of existence, today’s Lucerne School of Art and Design has had no fewer than six names, from ’School of Arts and Crafts’ to ’School of Art and Design’. Each name reflected the respective educational policy and professional environment.

Another name will be added on January 1, 2024: Lucerne School of Art and Design. This also reflects current developments, as department director Jaqueline Holzer explains: ’The area of film has become much more important in education, research and continuing education,’ she says. The previous name, which has existed since 2007, no longer reflected this.

The moving image is booming

The popularity of the film department at HSLU is boosted by developments in society as a whole. ’The moving image medium is booming, and thanks to technological developments, we now consume it everywhere and at all times,’ explains Jacqueline Holzer - as advertising on public transport screens, in explanatory videos on YouTube or as streaming series. This boom demands not only new technical skills from filmmakers, but also narrative skills and a feel for social issues.

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts helps budding filmmakers to develop and hone these skills. It does this in four training courses in the field of film:

    focuses on the genres of documentary film and video essay. Students are encouraged to develop their own film language and a love of experimentation.

    In Bachelor Animation, students learn to design and realize animation projects - whether drawn by hand, narrated using stop-motion or animated on the computer.

    Graduates of the two Bachelor’s programs go on to deepen their skills in storytelling or animation in the Master’s in Film or Master’s in Animation.

Film as an important economic factor

Films from the HSLU are regularly crowned winners at major film festivals. This year, for example, the documentary ’Ours’ won the award for best graduation film at the Swiss Film Awards. Film education at the HSLU is also recognized beyond Switzerland’s borders. In October, the international film school association CILECT included the HSLU in its ranks.

From 2024, film education at the HSLU will be supplemented by two further education courses in the field of film: the CAS Green Consultant and the specialist course in production management for film and television. Both courses are aimed at professionals in the film industry and strengthen the Swiss film industry as a whole. Jacqueline Holzer: ’Film is an increasingly important economic factor. The industry generates an annual turnover of over 1.5 billion Swiss francs nationwide, and the trend is rising. Good education and training in this area is therefore not just a nice to have, but a must.

Best of the HSLU films: On January 11, 2024, the Department of Design Film Art will celebrate the new name with a party at the 745 Viscosistadt location in Lucerne-Emmenbrücke. In this context, a best-of of the HSLU’s filmmaking of recent years will be shown at the Rex cinema. Media representatives are welcome. Please register by January 8, 2024 at

  • Qualification for 2024 Oscar shortlist: The graduation film "Reprise" in the Bachelor of Animation has qualified for the 2024 Oscar shortlist. This means it could be nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. The shortlist of nominated films will be published on December 21, 2023. The Oscar ceremony itself is expected to take place on March 10, 2024.
  • Design Film Art 2024: The final exhibition of the Department of Design Film Art will take place from June 21 to 30, 2024. The graduates from the film department will show their final works at the Bourbaki cinema and Cinema Maxx Lucerne.
  • Cooperation with the European Film Awards: The European Film Awards 2024 will take place in December 2024 at the Culture and Convention Center Lucerne KKL. Close collaboration is planned with the HSLU’s Department of Design Film Art. "Nachts sind alle Katzen grau" (Bachelor Video) won the 2020 European Film Award in the Best Short Film category.
  • Media talks

    Department Director Jacqueline Holzer and those responsible for the four film study programs are happy to talk to media professionals about the following topics: Why is film important as a cultural technique? What is the economic impact of film education and training in (Central) Switzerland? How does AI influence the further development of the profession, especially animation?