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  • Locations: Fiesole, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • When applications open, you will see an "Apply Now" button. Please check back at a later date.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.7 Language Prerequisite: No
Language(s): English Type of Program: Area Studies, GU Faculty-Led, GU Villas
Non-GU Students May Apply: Yes Housing Options: Onsite, Student Residence
Level of Support: High (Comprehensive onsite support) Application Deadlines: December, February
OGE Advisor: Mia Pezzanite
Program Description:

Georgetown at Villa Le Balze

Italian Realisms - Documentary Filmmaking

Georgetown at Villa Le Balze

At a Glance

Location: Fiesole, Italy

Program Length: 3 weeks
Arrive on: June 5, 2018
Depart on: June 27, 2018

Georgetown welcomes participation in this course from all qualified university students (non-Georgetown students are welcome), teachers, and professionals.
  • Minimum 2.7 GPA
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing
Number of credits: 3 credits

Program Description

Immerse yourself in the artistic, technical, and human elements of documentary filmmaking in a unique and highly experiential summer course offering at Georgetown’s Villa Le Balze. On this program, you’ll explore the foundations of documentary film and its roots in Italian cinematic traditions, and apply critical concepts and techniques to create your own short film project on a subject of your choice. Through the acts of observing, engaging, recording, and editing, you’ll learn to use the power and perspective of documentary film to capture human stories amid the small, daily realities of life in Florence and Fiesole. Along the way, you’ll receive guidance and feedback from professional filmmakers and film scholars from the US and Italy, as well as from your peers. The program will culminate with a public premiere screening of student documentaries, in partnership with the city of Fiesole.

Georgetown Faculty Director(s): Prof. Bernard Cook (Georgetown College), Tessa Moran (co-founder Eidolon Films), and Ben Crosbie (co-founder Eidolon Films)


Italian Realisms - Documentary Filmmaking (FMST-225-62) is designed to expose students to the techniques and challenges of documentary filmmaking in a real-world setting. Working in teams, students will be required to produce an original short documentary film that develops and explores small stories of everyday life as a way to magnify larger issues within contemporary Italian society. Students’ final film projects will be evaluated for their creativity, storytelling risks, and general argument.

Students will take classes and participate in workshops over the course of the program, but a large percentage of their time will be dedicated to working in the field on the production of their projects. As a project-based course, much of the intended learning will take place outside the walls of Villa Le Balze, through interactions with peers and engagement with the surrounding community. This kind of team-oriented and semi-structured learning requires students to be collaborative and engaged, remaining motivated as well as flexible and open to change. In addition to their film projects, students will be asked to submit a final written assignment reflecting on the process of filmmaking, as well as on their own learning and development over the course of the program.

Upon successful completion of the program, Georgetown students receive three GU undergraduate credits for the following course: FMST-225-62: Italian Realisms - Documentary Filmmaking. The course can count for Film and Media Studies minor and the College HALC core requirement.

Non-Georgetown participants will receive an official transcript from Georgetown for their completion of academic coursework and should discuss transfer of credit with a dean or academic adviser at their home university.


The program includes several organized excursions designed to engage students with major course topics as well as to explore the culture and history of their host country in a direct, hands-on manner. Past excursions have included:
  • Walking tour of Florence
  • Weekend trip to Bologna


You will live on-site at Georgetown’s historic Villa Le Balze where you will be placed in double, triple or quadruple rooms with private bathrooms. Visit the Villa’s website for more information on housing.


All meals are provided and included in the program cost, with the exception of Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch. The majority of these meals will be provided at the Villa and prepared by our on-site cooks. We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and students are encouraged to speak with an advisor if they have any concerns.

Program Cost

The program cost for Summer 2018 is $5,175. This amount, billable to your GU student account, includes: tuition, academic fees, room and board in Italy (18 meals per week), filming equipment, program excursions, local public transportation, and supplemental insurance.

The cost listed above does not include: airfare to/from Italy, passport fees, visa fees (if applicable), and other individual expenses.


The Office of Global Education awards need-based scholarships on a competitive basis to participants on summer study abroad programs. OGE Summer Scholarship awards range from $500 to $2,000 and are scaled in proportion to program price and demonstrated financial need. Students who are currently receiving financial aid are automatically considered for this scholarship; there is no application process.

OGE advises students to research and pursue a wide range of available funding opportunities. To find scholarships applicable to your program, browse the scholarships section of OGE’s website.

Withdrawals and Refunds

Your acceptance form and program deposit are considered a good-faith commitment to participate on your Georgetown University summer program. Withdrawal from a summer program must be made in writing to the summer program coordinator. Please note that application fees and program deposits are non-refundable. Georgetown University will refund recoverable tuition and costs as determined by our partner institutions. Refunds will be calculated from the date the Office of Global Education is notified in writing of your intent to withdraw. Georgetown University is not responsible for indirect costs paid directly by the student, including but not limited to passport fees, vaccinations, and transportation costs. Georgetown University reserves the right to adjust program fees or cancel any program without prior notification; however, every effort will be made to provide information on cancellations in a timely manner. In the event of cancellation, Georgetown University will refund program deposits and 100% of recoverable program fees.

The Office of Global Education is committed to making study abroad accessible to all interested and eligible students. OGE hopes that students with accessibility needs will pursue study abroad opportunities and use the available support services on campus for assistance and advice when necessary.

With over 200 approved-programs, OGE is confident that you will find a program that fits your interests and goals. Programs offer varying degrees of academic and lifestyle support. Please make an appointment with the OGE advisor specializing in your geographic area of interest to discuss how to best support any special needs you might have on programs that may interest you.

To learn more about the resources for students on campus and also for advice on how to request accommodations overseas, please visit the Georgetown Academic Resource Center’s website. Additional support can be found on the Mobility International website.

Contact Information

Office of Global Education
Car Barn, Suite 210
Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-5687
Prof. Bernard Cook
Program Director
Georgetown Univ, White Gravenor
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-7102
Ms. Tessa Moran
Program Director
Eidolon Films
Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
(202) 742-6847
Mr. Ben Crosbie
Program Director
Eidolon Films
Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
(202) 742-6847

Useful Links

Villa Le Balze website

Student Voices

Watch Georgetown student Kosi Ndukwe’s #SummerSnaps Snapchat video from the 2017 Documentary Filmmaking program!

View the documentary films produced by students on the 2017 Documentary Filmmaking program:

Dates & Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

When applications open, you will see an "Apply Now" button. Please check back at a later date.