There are many understandings of ‘documentary’. Concurrently, there is a belief that documentaries must give a ‘message’ and be ‘socially relevant’. Thus, documentaries, under the weight of such intentions, are often perceived to be boring, dry, pedantic and serious. But the reality is that, today there are enough examples of documentaries, wherein documentary filmmakers use cinematic devices and aesthetics, which were considered as the private domain of the fiction films. Today’s documentaries demand a different engagement altogether. They are not informational films that will serve pre-digested pap for collective action. Instead, today’s documentaries push against the edge and boundaries of visual narratives. Nevertheless the burden of ‘reality’ on the documentary, is still very high indeed.
Reality is perhaps the most difficult word in any language. Our course will first engage with and deal with “What is Real(ity)?” Of course people are real. But our perceptions differ. And that is the strength of an artist; they present us with a unique point of view that reflects their position, politics and aesthetics. This course aims to nurture exactly that artistic vision.
1. Study different kinds of documentary films in history and its recent trends
2. Create an appreciation of the art and aesthetics of documentary filmmaking.
3. Mentor the students through the ‘idea to release’ process
4. Expand on the role of a producer in documentary film production and the business of documentary filmmaking
5. Equipping students with filmmaking skills using practical sessions
6. Regular screenings and interactions with well-known filmmakers
7. Research techniques will be taught via field trips and internships
8. Sensitizing students to different dimensions of life through various social engagements
Today, in India, documentary film production is an industry worth millions of dollars annually and one that has carved out its own separate identity. We gear our students for a share in this pie. Being the first and, for now, the only course that specializes in teaching documentary filmmaking in India, we plan to create benchmarks and best practices in the field of documentary filmmaking. This multi-faceted course will equip students with multiple skill sets, to set out on their journey as a documentary filmmaker.
Each student will be mentored by a prominent, practicing documentary filmmaker and will intern with one of our internship partners, creating strong linkages with the industry. Each student will also get an opportunity to pitch their final projects to a slew of production houses, NGOs, Development Funding Institutes etc; each of which has committed to producing the final projects of the students, thus graduating with a polished, commissioned documentary film. Thus we are uniquely positioned to create careers as opposed to only providing an education.
Additionally, extensive attention will be given to the scope of International documentary filmmaking with linkages to the top documentary film festivals of the world. We will be bringing the Curators of these film festivals, International Filmmakers and Commissioning Editors of International Television Channels into the classroom, so students can realize the respect and popularity that documentary films enjoy internationally. Students will also be mentored to apply for International documentary filmmaking funds.
Duration: 1 Year