Past Workshops

DocScapes workshops are designed to support graduate students from diverse disciplines who wish to deepen their knowledge of contemporary documentary practices. Community-based filmmakers and UA faculty and staff are also welcome.

Building Trust, Gaining Access: Working with Documentary Subjects

November 1, 2019

Independent filmmakers have both advantages and disadvantages over journalists in gaining access to documentary stories and subjects. In this 2-hour workshop, documentary filmmaker Lisa Molomot will discuss how she gained extraordinary access to Border Patrol agents, vigilante ranchers, forensic scientists and human rights activists when filming her upcoming documentary feature Missing in Brooks County, which…

Directing Vérité Documentaries

February 22, 2019

In this workshop, filmmakers Anayansi Prado and Heather Courtney will discuss their vérité approach to documentary filmmaking, both as co-directors on THE UNAFRAID and on their own individual projects. Using clips from THE UNAFRAID and other films as examples, they will discuss the challenges and advantages of filming vérité. This workshop will give participants a…

Documentary Cinematography and Point of View

November 2, 2018

This workshop will survey PJ Raval‘s award-winning feature documentary career focusing on his work as a director and cinematographer. Learn how PJ’s personal upbringing has informed his artistic sensibilities and overall cinematography. The workshop will focus on the question, “How can the camera address who is telling whose story?”

Thinking Like an Editor: How to Turn 400 Hours of Footage into a Film

March 30, 2018

Lindsay Utz’s workshop will focus on how she shaped the award-winning feature documentary QUEST (“a living, breathing, stunning documentary study of an African-American family in North Philadelphia weathering a tumultuous decade”) from over 400 hours of footage shot over a 10-year period. QUEST premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to…

Empowering Youth Through Participatory Filmmaking

November 17, 2017

THE TENT VILLAGE is a collaborative film created by Nilima Abrams and four teenagers in India. The film was a wonderful “accident” that arose from another Fulbright project, and has been screened nationally on PBS and at festivals throughout the US and abroad. THE TENT VILLAGE is about roadside tent dwellers who pick through recycling…

Documenting the Undocumented: Producing and Distributing Short Films about Immigration

March 3, 2017

Award-winning filmmaker, interactive storyteller and photojournalist Theo Rigby will present his work over the past decade with iNation Media, creating short-form webseries and feature documentaries about the immigrant experience in the U.S. His current project, WAKING DREAM, explores the lives of young undocumented people across the U.S. who have DACA permits. Drawing on this work…

Documentary Editing: Strategies for Making the Most of Your Material

November 4, 2016

Documentary editing is one of the most challenging intellectual feats on the planet. One begins with a mountain of shapeless footage and is expected to fashion a fully realized story, complete with finely tuned dramatic arcs, satisfying themes and subplots, and a carefully constructed climax. How does anyone do it? In this workshop, editor Jacob…

Building Solidarity: Documentary as a Strategy for Human Rights Activism

March 4, 2016

Distinguished visiting filmmakers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis will discuss their work with Skylight Films, an activist media organization committed for over three decades to producing artistic, challenging and socially relevant media to strengthen citizen engagement, human rights and the quest for social justice. Using as an example their recent film DISRUPTION, about a…

Web-based Interactive Media

November 6, 2015

Visiting filmmaker Luisa Dantas will present the interactive online platform she has developed to expand upon her documentary film LAND OF OPPORTUNITY, which chronicles the post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans. The workshop will focus on the use of interactive web-based media as a form of strategic non-fiction storytelling to raise awareness and engagement on social…

Working with Historians and Archives

February 17, 2015

This workshop, featuring filmmaker Richard Perez, a senior staff member of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, will focus on collaborating with historians and working with archives and archival footage. Later that evening, Perez will present his 2014 film CESAR’S LAST FAST in a public event at the Screening Room. The film is built around…

Documentary Development

January 31, 2014

This workshop, presented by Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Klein, focuses on documentary conceptualization and development, addressing such issues as: how to determine whether a documentary film is an appropriate vehicle for your content; how to develop your material for the screen (e.g., voice, structure, stylistic approaches, collaborators, process); thinking about long-form documentary vs. a series of…