The art of learning documentary filmmaking

Documentary filmmaking is a specific discipline which requires students to master several skills. Only the best journalists, writers, visual artists and style icons possess the ability to come up with relevant topics, find engaging verbal and visual means of narration and, at the same time, employ an original artistic perspective. Is it possible to learn this unique combination of skills? Watch films by the contemporary students of the Documentary department of Prague’s FAMU from July 21 to August 3, 2014 for free!

The Documentary Film Department of the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague has sought to define its approach towards film and TV documentary production since 1961, when it was established as a separate field, being formerly integrated as part of the film directing studies. In 2002, after various twists and turns in the life of the department, copying the turbulences in the political life of the Czech society, Karel Vachek, an exacting filmmaker and a documentary legend, was appointed the head of the department. Thereafter, the department became an open creative space perceiving documentary filmmaking as a specific instrument of artistic expression. Students master the film language and discover their own visual and narrative style using a series of practical exercises featured on all levels of their study programme.

The auteur reportage genre and the free film exercise, “My Point of View”, are among the very first forms introduced to students at FAMU‘s Documentary Film Department. These documentary works comprise the debuts by young authors such as Tereza Freyová, Adéla Komrzýová and Lukáš Košař. Four students at the second grade, Natálie Císařovská, Jan Rousek, Pavla Sobotová and Soňa Maletzová present their practical exercises in the categories of auteur portrait and a fiction exercise.

Bachelor film exercises represents the film To Rule, to Work, to Earn, to Pray, to Collapse,was introduced by its author, Andran Abramjan at last year’s Jihlava IDFF. The selection of student films is topped off with the bachelor genre of the film poem.

Keep up to date with the genre-specific and creative works by the students of the Documentary Film Department of Prague’s FAMU. Draw inspiration for your own work and get to know the names of up and coming filmmakers. Stream the selection of Czech student documentary films for free from July 21 to August 3 at DAFilms.cz!

Selected films

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Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.