Directing Documentary Film

FABW Directing Documentary Film

Soft Skills

Occupational profiles/working fields

The development of a signature artistic style begins in the head.

Short profile: Directing Documentary Film

Study context

On the Directing Documentary Film course, you learn about the entire spectrum of contemporary and historic forms of documentary work: the artistic auteur documentary film, the documentary essay, journalistic reportage and features, and hybrid forms blending fictional elements such as docudrama and docusoaps.

The aim of this course is to train team-oriented auteurs and directors who present reality in creative ways, applying their own ideas and a responsible attitude towards people and facts. Students learn to make connections between the content and form, and to develop a professional approach to their craft. This will allow you to gain a foothold in the diverse market after you graduate, be that in the commercial or non-commercial field.


Overview of the curriculum

As part of the project-based study course Directing Documentary Film, you realise one documentary film each academic year under the supervision of lecturers and the departmental coordinator. Through a blend of theoretical teaching and practical implementation, you gain skills in a number of areas: content development, research, exposé and treatment, conducting interviews and discussions, scriptwriting, directing, dramaturgy, camera, lighting, sound, editing, music and post-production. The focus of the course is on the quality of your film work.


Specific features

Documentary work is different to other media forms in that it can be carried out alone, in a team of two or with a large film crew – depending on the subject and budget. The smaller the team, the more areas of work one person will have to cover. In formats such as docudrama, which is comparable in terms of complexity to fiction film, large teams work together. Our “learning by doing” teaching principle is implemented by lecturers with extensive practical experience, guaranteeing maximum alignment with real-world conditions. The intensive exchange with other subjects on the campus is especially valuable. During your studies you will get the opportunity to take part in a number of excursions – e.g. DOCUMENTARY CAMPUS, DOK Film Festival Leipzig, IDFA and CPH:DOX Copenhagen. This is where the doors to our international industry network are opened for you.

Course contents (excerpt)

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Here you can download specific information, such as the admission requirements and the required work samples for the Directing Documentary Film study course, as well as a step-by-step instruction for the online application portal of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

Any questions?

If so, please contact Thorsten Schütte, our study coordinator for Directing Documentary Film at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg:
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