What people say about us

Tommy Simmons
ESoDoc 2015 Participant - NGO worker, Amref Italia (IT)

"Working for an African NGO, bringing across to as broad an audience as possible the reality we face on the ground, and the central reasons why we do our work, has always been essential. Through ESoDoc I have come to understand that there are broader channels of communications, possible partnerships and very real interest in the themes we deal with than I had envisaged. ESoDoc has shown me that NGOs have very real opportunities to ensure that the stories which are at the core of their work can be widely shared on a great number of mutually supporting platforms."

Agnieszka Pokrywka
ESoDoc 2015 Participant - Pixelache filmmaker and cultural organizer (PL/FI)

"Participation in ESoDoc made me realize even stronger that working on transmedia documentary project is not about the idea in my head but more about how do I communicate it to the world and how do I want to create an impact. This conclusion was backed by wonderful ESoDoc community: organizers, tutors and participants which was enriching as professional and deeply human experience."

ESoDoc 2014 Participant - Director/Producer (GB) 

"I found a great community at ESoDoc of people who share my passion and concern for the world around us. The multiple sessions gave us a chance to develop over time our strategies for how to tell our stories. I have also profited a lot from the ongoing ESoDoc network after our workshop concluded."

Caterina Carone
Diplomata ZeLIG 2007 - Sceneggiatrice, Regista, (IT)

"Alla ZeLIG ho avuto l’opportunità di acquisire competenze tecniche e “di pensiero”, di alimentare una mia idea di cinema, di incontrare compagni di classe preziosi, personalità affascinanti e profonde, prima di tutto amici, con alcuni dei quali abbiamo stretto un sodalizio professionale e artistico che dura ormai da lungo tempo."

Evi Reich
Diplomata ZeLIG 2007 - Script/Continuity - Brixen (IT)

"Trovo che la ZeLIG sia come una porta, si entra e ci si ritrova in un mondo circondato da tuoi simili, che amano il cinema quanto se stessi e apprendono le competenze che servono per realizzare film di grande qualità. "

Irene Ammaturo

"La ZeLIG è una palestra di vita che mette a disposizione gli attrezzi del fare documentario e fornisce le lenti attraverso le quali guardare e analizzare il mondo. Un’officina speciale di reciproco apprendimento. Frequentare la scuola di documentario ha rappresentato far coincidere la formazione con il lavoro che amo. Il privilegio e l’occasione di incontrare i maestri e i professionisti del settore, di intessere relazioni lavorative, in uno spazio e in un tempo progettato per noi allievi, attraverso un percorso quotidiano di formazione tecnica, professionale e umana; con il supporto di un team disponibile e competente. Rifrequenterei cento e mille volte ancora la scuola ZeLIG!"

ZeLIG Graduate 2010 - Cinematographer (DE)

"I won the opportunity to study for three years at the ZeLIG School for Documentary Film in Northern Italy. The program was an eye-opener and I learned to translate my visions into a strong cinematographic language.
Graduated from ZeLIG Film School (South Tyrol, Italy 2007-2010) with distinctions and the diploma film - ‘Guanape Sur’ a documentary about workers that harvest guano on a barren island off the coast of Peru – was invited to over 50 film festivals including Plus Camerimage and IDFA. It also won prices in San Sebastian, the IDA Award, Silver Docs, i. a., including a few prices for best cinematography.
Since then I have worked in the field of feature-length creative documentary and fiction for cinema release and television world wide."

Sabine Bubeck-Paaz
Commissioning Editor ZDF/ARTE, Head of Studies ESoDoc

“ZeLIG filmschool is unique – sure, because it is placed in the mountains of South Tyrol – but first of all because here the students are developing a deep idea of what the quality of documentary is. Is there a secret? It’s the ZeLIG philosophy itself: The young people are coming from different European countries, bringing their different cultures with them. They are challenged by international teachers and taken care by the local team. So they are sharpening their senses in order to communicate through a high quality cinematographic documentary language.”

Stefano Tealdi
Director, Producer, Head of Development - Stefilm

"Thanks to the digital world much has changed since I started tutoring at ESoDoc, over 10 years ago. Today filmmakers have a direct relation with their audience and can rapidly understand the effect of their work. What hasn’t changed is their need and urge to change the world with their stories, films and media works. This makes ESoDoc unique and every year I learn something new from them."

Kurt Moser

"Il programma di formazione di tre anni offre condizioni ideali per ottenere un know-how professionale approfondito nella propria specializzazione - senza però perdere di vista la fondamentale importanza del lavoro di squadra. Un film nasce da un team, e alla ZeLIG avviene proprio questo, grazie a educazione trilingue, a docenti internazionali, a studenti provenienti da paesi e culture diversi e a un metodo particolare di formazione interattiva tipica del più alto livello creativo e professionale."

Tue Steen Müller
Film Consultant, Film Critic

"The focus at ZeLIG is clear: You need to learn the craft to be able to develop your creativity. You need to learn team-work and to test yourself as a coming documentarian. The school is small with a big heart, a generous staff and committed teachers. The students watch loads of films and make several themselves before they enter the jungle. 3 years. A gift!"

Fernanda Rossi
Writer, Speaker, Documentary Doctor

“As an international lecturer and co-writer of multiple films, I find ZeLIG’s methodology a great match for real-life filmmaking and business. The full immersion weeks focusing on one topic at a time allow participants to delve deeply into the subjects. The mentorship at the end is the final proof to me that ZeLIG and its staff know what matters when it comes to training for the real world.”

Susan Gray

"After teaching at the ZeLIG film school for ten years now, I can honestly say that I adore this place and everyone in it and I look forward eagerly to the next time I will be at ZeLIG to teach.  It is quite a miracle that such a dedicated group of people have come together in such a special part of the world with the sole mission of turning out high quality, committed social documentary filmmakers.  Over decades of refining their teaching, the school has assembled the best teachers in the field, made a conscious decision to do away with Fiction Film studies to concentrates solely on the craft of documentary filmmaking, and has figured out how to make students the best at what they do. I have thoroughly enjoyed the students who have passed through my class, many of whom I still keep in touch with today.  Just when I think it is impossible for the program or the students to get any better, I am delighted to learn that I am wrong. Professionally, I run into ZeLIG students and the films they produce all the time at festivals and markets.  It is truly a positive, active learning program in a family environment that has a profoundly positive impact on those who go through it.  And I firmly believe the world is a better place because ZeLIG and the students it turns out, are in it."

Christine Loriol
Coach, Trainer

“ESoDoc is an inspiring experience with wonderful people and wonderful projects. Participants are beautifully encourageing each other, teachers and trainers are dedicated to bring them and their projects really further on. People and projects mature and improve. And both of them reach enormous clarity by hard work and great support.”

Sarah Mosses
CEO Together Films

“EsoDoc is a documentary training programme that takes place in some of the most beautiful places across Europe. A chance to come together with your peers to deeply explore your project, it's narrative potential and social impact strategy. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching on the course and it's been a pleasure watching the recent graduates move forward with their careers.”

Mark Atkin

“Making creative work that changes hearts and minds is not easy. At ESoDoc you get to test your ideas on industry insiders and your peers, allowing you to take risks and broaden your horizons while being supported by a community who will challenge you to do your best work. It’s run by passionate people who believe in the transformative power of media. The connections you make there, and the lessons learnt, will last your entire career.”

Stefano Tealdi
Director, Producer, Head of Development - Stefilm

"More than a school, ZeLIG seems a factory, in the sense Andy Warhol gave the word. With youngsters coming from very different parts of Europe and the planet, digital film-work (be it shooting, directing or editing) is constantly challenged as a tool to define and express the world they are living in. Nothing here is just theory: the place smells of practical work and daring storytelling missions.”

Tarek Ben Abdallah

“ZeLIG is an open space where people create, analyze and reflect deeply on all the aspects of documentary filmmaking. ZeLIG’s camera courses, for instance, don’t provide merely a technical foundation, but also focus storytelling through imagery. We seriously explore the role of the camera, how to work with the camera, and photography in terms of their relationship to storytelling. All this happens while we’re filming reality live, as it unfolds. I like teaching camera at ZeLIG because it provides students with lots of opportunities to experiment – experimentation is mandatory. They’ve got to discover their aptitudes and hone their skills. We help them do that not through the classic student-teacher relationship – I’d say it’s more like seasoned professionals counseling young filmmakers."

Marzia Mete
Editor, Director

"Attending ZeLIG means living in an extended family, where students and teachers alike share their different experiences and backgrounds. It’s a small community that brings together different languages, cultures, ways of thinking. For me, teaching at ZeLIG year after year has been a chance to be able to contribute to the formation of people who have decided to dedicate themselves to an area of study that’s so beautiful and complex. It’s a way to help them find the means of expression that’s right for them. And it’s give and take, because I really get so much out of my teaching experience. I am grateful to ZeLIG and to my students for such a pleasant and fruitful exchange.”

Gesa Marten
Editor, Script Consultant

“The high point of ZeLIG’s activities is its focus on radically subjective documentaries. ZeLIG gives students the chance to discover their own way of expressing themselves artistically.”

Angelo Loy

“ESoDoc is one of those rare occasions where I have been feeling part of a trans cultural community, worried about the responsibility of images and projects in the fight for the endorsement of social values and a better world.”

Sibylle Kurz
Coach, Trainer

“Life is bigger than fiction! Documentary films help us to understand the 'beyond' of life, not being helplessly forced to only see the surface. Brave filmmakers dare to look there. For those young people we need engaged schools and training programs to educate, motivate and support – to make the world a better place, a tiny bit very day - so does ESoDoc and the ZeLIG School for Documentary - go there!”

Britta Hartmann
Professor of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture

“I’ve been a regular guest teacher at ZeLIG since 1996. I’ve worked with so many different groups of students and teachers. ZeLIG has grown and changed, but one thing remains the same: returning to ZeLIG means coming back to old friends! You get the feeling that you’re part of one big family. Everyone involved gives it their all. People here are curious and passionate about what they’re doing. It’s a pleasure to teach here!”

Katerina Cizek
Independent Filmmaker

“Where else can you access 3 weeks of world-class lectures as well as one-on-one mentoring with leading professionals in documentary film, NGOs, cross-media? Perhaps most important of all, you join a dedicated and generous peer group of participants who make up the growing ESoDoc family, and that network becomes essential for many productive years to come.”

Frank Behnke
Editor, Sound Designer

“A home. The name on the doorbell is ZeLIG. As a guest, I’m welcomed into this filmmaking family. There’s everything we need here: work room, kid’s room, closets full of equipment. Brothers and sisters learn to work and play together – they amaze their parents and themselves! Responsibility and love bubbling up in the same cauldron. There are lots of kids here. Lots of films, too. It’s a first step, an unforgettable one. We must take it in order to learn and move on.”

Lars Barthel

"ZeLIG is special. The coherence of its training program in documentary filmmaking and the quality of the films the school produces make it unique in Europe. ZeLIG has earned an excellent reputation for its intensive approach, team spirit and a family-style atmosphere. I’ve been teaching at ZeLIG for many years, and it’s always been a great pleasure. The students are open-minded and talented. I’ve also enjoyed working with some of them after they launched their careers in documentary filmmaking. My deepest respect for the good folks behind the success: Heidi, Lotte, Emanuele, and all the people that have worked so hard for more than 25 years to make ZeLIG a classic!"

Sabine Bubeck-Paaz

"ESoDoc is a creative system, deeply rooted in human values and taking in the freshest air of digital media innovation. It is fascinating to see how workshop participants and tutors are equally driven by their curiosity to develop together new ways of storytelling for participatory documentary projects of all different forms and for all platforms … always wishing them to evolve as tools for social change and better understanding between people."

Bodo Klemz
Editor, Journalist

“Soon I celebrate 20 years of teaching at ZeLIG! What can I say about the virtues and reputation of this truly European school for documentary-makers in Bolzano, Alto Adige-Südtirol? It was founded more than a quarter century ago. It’s professional, solid, successful, constructively visionary. ZeLIG is known and respected for its international approach to learning. Graduates receive certification from the Autonomous Province of Bolzano. The excellent teaching staff is made up of professionals from all over the world. When it comes to film schools, ZeLIG is a sure thing. Too bad there was no ZeLIG when I was beginning my own professional studies. I surely would have applied.”

Alessandro Rossetto

“ZeLIG seems like it’s open 24/7: you get there in the morning, and someone’s always there before you; you leave at night and people are still there working. This open-door policy reflects an openness of spirit based on autonomy and taking responsibility, non-stop immersion, freedom and dedication. I’ve taught here for many years, and my students have gone on to become my colleagues. Studying and teaching at ZeLIG means creating with others and working together. That’s one of the keys of good filmmaking."

Achim Dunker
Engineer and Photographer

“Filming techniques have become radically simplified, and that trend is going to continue. What we look for in students is creativity, the capacity to work in groups, and an international outlook. One very important aspect of ZeLIG’s program, and one that makes this school truly shine, is the multilingual approach – which is a natural extension of the multilingual culture of Bolzano and the Province of Alto Adige. We also have students from all over Europe. What strikes me most about them is how really motivated they are. At ZeLIG the creativity is tangible.”