sylvia schwarz
28 July 2021

Meet Sylvia Schwarz: MetFilm School Berlin’s new BA Screen Acting tutor

By Danny Kelly | Categorised in Industry Interviews, News, Met Tutor New, Met Tutor News, Guest Speakers

Following an exciting couple of years at our London campus, MetFilm School’s BA Screen Acting is coming to Berlin! This intensive, practical, industry-focused degree course launches in October 2021 and we’re pleased to introduce its new course leader; the highly experienced actress and tutor, Sylvia Schwarz.

Sylvia joins MetFilm School after 30 years in the business. She began her acting career at Hamburg’s renowned Thalia Theatre and has since worked on stages in Paris, Amsterdam, New York and Budapest. The German actress later moved to Berlin to continue her career in front of the camera. She has appeared in a long list of TV and film productions, including a lead role in The Other Day in Eden – an Official Selection at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Beyond her work on stage and screen, Sylvia has much experience of working with aspiring actors. She is a trained teacher of the Meisner Technique, has worked with influential coaches such as Jack Waltzer and Ivana Chubbuck, and over recent years delivered screen acting classes at various drama schools and the acting department at Mozarteum University in Salzburg.

Before cameras start rolling on our BA Screen Acting in two months’ time, we spoke with Sylvia about what makes our course unique and why Berlin is the perfect place to launch a career in the film industry…

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Sylvia Schwarz appearing in Erika’s Madness (2019)

Hi Sylvia! What do you think makes our BA Screen Acting so unique?

The first thing that makes this course so extraordinary is that the students work closely with the BA Practical Filmmaking students from the start. The course begins with a joint four-week module where you will get to know each other.

In addition to acting in the productions of their filmmaking colleagues, students will also make their own films and thus have an insight into all aspects of film production. They will learn about casting, creating plots and scripts, camera, and post production.

This enables them to shoot their own films, but more importantly, it helps you get to know all areas of filmmaking. They learn to meet the requirements of the film industry from the very start and will be able to cooperate easily with directors, producers, cinematographers, and sound designers.

What excites you most about leading the course at MetFilm School Berlin?

First of all, MetFilm School has a great reputation – both in Berlin and around the world. I love working with people from different countries and I am very excited to lead an international group of students. I usually teach groups for shorter periods of time and I’m happy that, with MetFilm School, I will have the opportunity to accompany and support the students so intensively for a full two years.

The course mainly follows the same structure as in London. It has been extremely well thought through and is a highly practical programme where you can get a lot out of a short time. I am also very much looking forward to working with the tutors from the other departments. It’s a great team that MetFilm School Berlin’s Principal, Silvia Beck, has gathered over the years. People whose film work I admire and who are all very professional and passionate about sharing their skills and knowledge.

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Sylvia Schwarz appearing in Du Bist Doch Kein Kind Mehr (2021)

Why do you think Berlin is a good place to learn filmmaking?

Berlin is definitely one of the most important film cities in the world. It has an amazing film history, beautiful old and new cinemas, the famous Berlinale film festival, and a film-loving audience. It’s is a great place for production too; an excellent studio landscape, fantastic locations in and around the city, and a film funding system that attracts filmmakers from Hollywood and other places. Something that perhaps surprises some students is that a lot of US productions are shot here. The city provides a lot of acting work for English-speaking actors.

What do you most like about Berlin and why is it an exciting place to be a young creative?

I have loved Berlin since I came here for the first time in the 80s. Back then it was not as international as today, but it has always had a free spirit and open mindset. The city is in a permanent state of change and becoming more interesting every year. It continuously attracts young people and artists from all over the world who contribute to the culture as it is today. It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to worry about the language; everybody speaks English now!

Here’s a few other things that I think make Berlin special…

  • History – Berlin was at the center of one of the biggest conflicts of the 20th century and you can breathe and touch the different layers and aspects of it wherever you go.
  • Culture – The city has a rich cultural life, with a huge range of museums, galleries, theatres, operas, dance and concert halls. And in summer a lot of things are taking place outside in the parks and open places.
  • Community – Artists from all over the world come here: painters, musicians, dancers, writers. Here they find the freedom to explore their art, meet other creatives and cooperate easily.
  • Space – Berlin is the greenest capital in Europe. If you need a few hours to clear your mind or think through your next project, just walk through one of our beautiful big parks. Or rest for a few minutes next to one of the city’s many lakes.
  • Affordability – Compared to New York, London or Tokyo, Berlin has a very fair price-performance ratio which allows students to participate in everything the city has to offer.

Sylvia Schwarz is the Course Leader on MetFilm School Berlin’s BA Screen Acting – launching Autumn 2021. 

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