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  • Locations: Paris, France; Tours, France
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Faculty Leader: David Gerstner Faculty Leader Email:
Advisor: John Dunleavy Advisor Email:
Minimum GPA: 3.0 Class Standing: 1 Freshman, 2 Sophomore, 3 Junior, 4 Senior, 5 Graduate, 6 Non-Matriculated
Min Required Number of College Credits Completed in Order to Apply: 12 Language of Instruction: English, French
Housing Option: Apartment, Dorm Program Open to: CSI Students, Non-CUNY Students, Other CUNY Students
Program Description:

Overview | Studying | Filmmaking | Past ProjectsLiving | Exploring | Eligibility | Dates & Costs


Spend three weeks during the summer of 2020 exploring the French culture and cuisine of the Loire Valley through the lens of a camera. You’ll learn about film theory, and French cinema from CSI faculty, and the faculty at the University of Tours. You’ll engage in specially curated screenings at Les Studios Cinémas. Then, in partnership with the European Institute of Food History (IEHCA), you will employ the theoretical strategies and aesthetics learned in the classroom into your own film and media productions.
This summer, students’ films will focus on the theme of Food in the Garden of France. The city of Tours will provide the palate as you write, shoot, edit, and produce a short film using the facilities at FRU.  In the evenings, you can draw inspiration from all of the sights, sounds, and tastes available.  Or perhaps you’ll join your CSI faculty in exploring the city, learning about its history and its place in the world of film.
The trip concludes with a three-day visit to Paris where you will explore the French capital and the history of film and art the city is known for.

France is one of the first havens of film in history. Having that opportunity to learn cinema where all other great cinephiles and filmmakers learned, created and grew was invaluable. To learn about this cinema was a great privilege that I am forever grateful for.
Salwa Saif, 2018 program



In partnership with the University of Tours (UT), the European Institute of Food History (IEHCA), and Les Studios Cinémas in Tours, the Department of Media Culture and the Center for Global Engagement at CUNY/College of Staten Island (CSI) will lead a summer program in 2020 in France that integrates film study, filmmaking, and French food culture. Led by Professor David A. Gerstner and his colleague, artist and filmmaker, Mitchell Lovell, the “France, Filmmaking, and Food” program is an intensive three-week program of study and filmmaking during July. The course is taught in English and includes daily class meetings, workshops, and screenings.

Please see past syllabi as a guideline for the coursework.
Summer 2016
Summer 2018

I honestly cannot understate in any capacity how important this program was to my Graduate experience—besides going to a chateau, how many film studies students can say they got to go to the CNC (National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image) and meet Christophe Honoré? The structure of the class was incredibly engaging, more like a film symposium with guest lecturers, and discussion. Which of course was then reinforced by the actual process of planning our own group film. The program is as  intrinsically amorous as you'd imagine, and twice as fun.
Matthew Ballinger, 2016 program


Working in groups you will be guided in manifesting the concepts learned in the classroom into movies. You will be involved in the full process of creating a film, from concept to editing.  The goal is to create a package of 2-to-3-minute films that showcase the rich cultural dynamic of film and food in French culture.

All production equipment for principal photography while in France, are provided by CUNY-CSI and UT.
The more I stayed the more it felt like I was living on a fantasy land. It was very exciting to set up and shoot in areas that were vastly different than areas that exist in New York. But as a filmmaker, this experience was so important because there'll be a point when you shoot in an unfamiliar enviroment for the sake of realizing your vision. 
Sabino Liotti, 2018 program


 Past Projects

L’été en Suspens (A Summer Paused), 2016
In the premier year of the program, students were intrigued by France and Europe’s current events and elections. Fittingly inspired by Jean Rouch’s Chronicle of a Summer, the 2016 cohort created a short documentary that explores fear and tragedy while celebrating the process of filmmaking.
I was able not only to submerge myself in a new and exciting culture but also learn to work with a group of people on a documentary that challenged us all emotionally and mentally. It was a stimulating journey that anyone interested in discovering new cultures or film should partake in.
Nicholas Jastrzebski, 2016 program

Walker’s Paradox, 2018
For the 2018 group of filmmakers and writers, the intersection of social movements and cinema as it pertains to France was once again a theme. The group wrote and shot a story of two women who try to find middle-ground after amidst countering points of the #MeToo movement. In this short, the cinema itself plays a haunting third character.



While studying in the historic city of Tours, you will live in furnished apartments or halls of residence centrally located in the city and near restaurants, shopping, cultural sites, and local transportation.


Tours is a university town between France's Cher and Loire Rivers, roughly 150 miles outside of Paris. Once a Gallic-Roman settlement, today it's a university town and a traditional gateway for exploring the chateaux of the Loire Valley region. Major landmarks include the cathedral, Saint-Gatien, whose Gothic facade is flanked by towers with 12th-century bases and Renaissance tops. You will have plenty of time to explore this fun city, both in free time and while shooting your film in and around the city. The 2016 course ended with three days in Paris, allowing you to compare the smaller university town to the City of Lights.
Studying abroad was the best choice I made for myself and my education. The trip became a catalyst for many creative endeavors that I now pursue in my poetry and filmmaking. 
Jessica Giardino, 2016 program


The program leaders seek applicants with varying creative and intellectual talents who can work in a crew and, importantly, who can develop concepts that imaginatively bring attention to the particular theme. Students of the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:
  • Filmmaking (cinematography, lighting, sound, editing, directing, digital, 16mm)
  • Film theory, criticism, and history. 
  • Public Relations and Promotion of the Arts
  • Photography (digital and traditional formats)
  • Illustration and design
  • Multimedia arts
  • Writing (screenplay, creative, critical)
  • Art history and theory
  • Theater, dramaturgy
  • Philosophy
  • Poetry
  • Travelogue writing
  • History of Food
  • French Studies and Francophone Studies
  • Research (archival—primary and secondary)
  • Curating and programming (film, gallery, museum)

Dates & Costs

Below you will find the current dates and costs for all term available.  Please note all dates and costs are subject to change.

Summer 2020  July 1 -  July 24,2020 $3,780              Application Deadline:
March 15, 2020 
Extended to April 1, 2020

Program Cost Includes: On-site program activities and excursions (including ending the program in Paris), housing, local and domestic administration, international medical and travel insurance, and orientation in U.S. & France.

Summer Program Cost does not include : Airfare, Meals, Books, Personal Expenses, Credits for Summer Tuition (see note below)

**Please note that all students are required to register for the course associated with this class on campus. This will mean an additional cost based on the College of Staten Island-CUNY tuition charges for that term. This is a four credit course, so please refer to the chart on the CSI website to determine your cost (i.e. matriculated, out of state, etc.).

*Summer 2020 dates are still tentative. They will be confirmed shortly.

If you are looking for scholarships, please refer to the CampusFrance website for country-specific scholarship options. These applications are made through the French government, not our office.

Seats are limited in this program. Applications submitted before January 15, 2020 will have priority consideration. 

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.