Documentary Filmmaking - FI630

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 30 (15)


FILM3080/90 (FI308/9) Introduction to Filmmaking





Through technical exercises and presentation of film texts, students will engage with key aspects of non-fiction filmmaking. A series of practical projects will be contextualised through lectures drawing on a number of film texts, looking at examples from the history of the non-fiction film e.g. early cinema, direct cinema, cinema verité, and the film essay. The exercises are an opportunity for students to develop their creative practice. The development of a treatment / proposal leading to the production of final film project will use theory and critical analysis to develop students understanding of documentary practice.
Students will build on existing skills of collaboration (learnt on FILM3080/90 Introduction to Filmmaking), improving competence in the planning, production and editing of practical, creative work. Students will develop an understanding of crucial aspects of non-fiction filmmaking -- in terms of both theory and practice -- and deepen their skills in the critical analysis of such texts. Students will build on existing skills of relating theory and practice, by analysing the implications (e.g. ideological, ethical) of their production decisions; the course will enhance student's ability to reflect self-critically on their own and other student’s practical work.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Contact hours = 33
Private study hours = 267
Total number of learning hours = 300

Method of assessment

20% Proposal
50% Creative Portfolio
30% Critical Analysis (2,000 words)

Indicative reading

Bernard Curran,S. (2004) Documentary Storytelling For Video and Filmmakers, Focal Press
Bruzzi, S. (2000) New Documentary: A Critical Introduction, Routledge
Rabiger, M. (1992) Directing the Documentary, Focal Press
Renov, M. (1993) Theorising Documentary, Routledge
Renov, M. (2004) The Subject of Documentary, University of Minnesota Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Engage in the practice of non-fiction filmmaking; from formal aspects such as camerawork, sound recording/design and editing, to practices such as documentary 'casting', to the explicit and implicit truth claims embedded in documentary discourse.
- Apply techniques for producing audio-visual documentary, in relation to critical debates around representing reality, ethics, performance, authorship, narrative, truth.
- Identify, create and critique a range of technical, formal and narrative practices through which documentary is negotiated
- Produce work which demonstrates a systematic understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate, relevant theoretical debates students have studied within the programme as a whole.

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.