In early January 1973, as the implementation of the reform made in the Conservatório Nacional, which led to the inclusion of new artistic practices in the formal education system, Film won the right to become an official area of study.
Back to its foundation, under the name Escola Piloto para a Formação de Profissionais de Cinema, it is clear its characteristic mark which, at the same time, sets the goal of such project: to teach, in a highly artistic environment, a school that aims to provide training on a professional level.
After the Carnation Revolution, many were the changes made in both the course and the organization of the Escola de Cinema (Film School), as it becomes commonly known, until we get to a curriculum design in which the different areas become increasingly more specific and their teaching more focused.
The conformation with the Bologna model, now implemented, confirms such orientation.
The Film Department at the ESTC is, since the mid-80s, the heir of such school which had, among its founders and first teachers, film directors and technicians coming from the Modern Portuguese Cinema. During the renovation of its board of Teachers, it included many of those who graduated at the school after the Carnation Revolution - those whom, belonging to many generations of directors, producers and screenwriters, professionals of cinematography, sound and editing, along with others who remain professionally active, all participate in the adventure that we call the Portuguese cinema of today.
The Film Course, taught at the ESTC's Film Department is, in the last decade, a two-part licentiate course, organized in two cycles, the first leading to a bachelor degree and the second to the licentiate (plan of studies approved by the Portaria 1005/2000, de 18 de Outubro, as amended by the Portaria 279/2005 de 17 de Março). As part of polytechnic education it is, with this Film Course, again affirmed the nature of a school of artistic creation, which combines two strands of training: one at bachelor level, made to enable the students on the technical and artistic craft of both filmic and media objects; and another, on a licentiate level, by way of dealing in an articulate manner with the fields of authorship and artistic direction of projects.
From the academic year of 2007/2008 on, the course works with an curricular design that comes in accordance with the Bologna model. After the identification of the "constancies" sufficiently robust and tested to be referred as good practice, the study plan elects the six key areas set by the film industry and adopted by similar schools of reference - Screenplay, Production, Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Sound - as structural in the many areas of training currently offered; in terms of curriculum design they are organized into two triangles: the first, focused on the design of the project, whose vertices are the Screenwriting, the Production and the Directing, aimed at developing the skills of the design, planning and creative direction of a project, the second, more performative in nature, whose corners are occupied by Cinematography, Editing and Sound, based on the development of artistic and technical skills, applied in the production of film projects, in all the different stages of its production.