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Berlin: A City in Film - Summer Studio Abroad

Instructor: Peter Sealy
Meeting Section: L0102
Summer 2020

Berlin’s reputation as a locus of modernity is inextricably linked with its history as a site for film production. Through films, Berlin has projected a multivalent series of urban images to global audiences, creating its own “analogous city” (to borrow Aldo Rossi’s phrase), no less real than the actual material artefact to which they are indexically linked. Through the 20th century and now in the 21st, the architectonic potential and spatial conflicts latent within this paradigmatic Großstadt (metropolis) have been laid bare in the massive number of films set and produced in Berlin. While offering valuable representations, these films also serve as generators of an urbanity which is then re-inscribed into the city through architectural and urban projects.

This inaugural iteration of the Daniels Faculty's Summer Studio Abroad will bring about a collision between Berlin and its filmic representations. This will be done through an intensive schedule of site visits, paired with a series of daily film screenings. To further their understanding of film as a medium for exploring and making architecture, and in the spirit of Berlin as a centre for filmmaking, students’ main assignment in this course will be the production of a short film.

The course will meet in Toronto in early May for 5-7 days of lectures, film-making tutorials, and film screenings (dates TBA). Students will then travel to Berlin from Monday, June 15 until Friday, July 3. This program is available for IE Awards+ funding. For more information, please review the information here, and apply here.


A Berlin-specific information session + film screening of Good Bye, Lenin! will take place on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020. Students wishing to apply for the course must attend this screening, or watch the film separately.

In one pdf, submit three postcards, using text and image to respond to the film Good Bye, Lenin! and to explain why you should be chosen for the course. Previous grades will also be considered. Files should follow the naming convention "SURNAME_GivenName_student#_ARC300Y0_LEC0102.pdf"

Applications should be sent by email to by Wednesday, March 11th, 2020.