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F22 Documentary Storytelling


Course Information


An evening course exploring documentary filmmaking as storytelling

Course Code


Course Dates

15th November 2017 – 13th December 2017

Places Available

Course Leader

Catalin Brylla
Course Description

This course is targeted towards documentary practitioners who are either preparing, shooting or editing their documentary, scholars who want to analyse or write about documentaries, and people who are simply passionate about non-fiction films. Keeping the balance between the theory OF practice and the theory IN practice, each session will include discussions of how theoretical concepts relate to formal considerations in documentary filmmaking.

The following topics are only indicative:

Session 1 

  • Documentary elements
  • Soviet montage and conceptual watching
  • The Poetic Documentary

Session 2 

  • Spatial and emotional impact of shot sizes
  • The immersive actuality of continuity
  • The Observational Documentary

Session 3

  • Character profiling through interviews
  • The function of cutaways
  • The Interactive Documentary
  • Participatory documentary formats

Session 4

  • Brecht and defamiliarising the audience
  • The Reflexive Documentary
  • The Hybrid Documentary

Session 5 

  • Memory, identity and rhetoric through the archive
  • The Expository Documentary
  • Narrative structure: story and plot
  • Narrative point-of-view and subjectivity


For more information:https://www.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology/film-courses


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