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Introduction to making documentaries

Guardian Masterclasses

Sunday, March 30, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (BST)

London, United Kingdom

Introduction to making documentaries

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Introduction to making documentaries EARLY BIRD PRICE Ended £99.00 £0.00
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Event Details

Join an ensemble of documentary heavyweights including Nick Broomfield (director of Kurt and Courtney, Biggie and Tupac and Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer), Kevin Macdonald (Oscar-winning director of documentaries One Day in September and Touching the Void) and Simon Chinn(producer of recent big screen hits Searching For Sugarman and Man On Wire) for this stunning symposium on the art and science of translating real-life stories for the screen.

The critical and commercial success of films as diverse as Senna, Exit Through The Gift Shop and Grizzly Man prove that the truth is not frequently not just stranger than fiction, but also more inspiring, uplifting, shocking or entertaining. With a keynote session from Jess Search, the founder of the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, this is an unmissable event whether you want to make a documentary of your own or are simply curious as to how such astonishing tales are found and told.

Course description

This one-day introduction is ideal for curious film lovers, aspiring documentary makers or those who have just started out making documentaries and who are looking for professional guidance. Through a series of talks and discussions, this event explores the creative process of each expert, with advice and ideas about documentary film-making for both film and TV informed by their own education and experience. The class is structured as follows;

  • A keynote talk from BRITDOC Chief Executive Jess Search
  • Three in-depth interview sessions, with directors Nick Broomfield and Kevin Macdonald and producer Simon Chinn – each including demonstrative clips and audience Q&A
  • Wrap-up audience Q&A

Speaker profiles

The day will be hosted by Dave Calhoun, Film Editor at Time Out London. He has written on film for The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, Sight & Sound and other publications, and he regularly broadcasts on Sky TV and BBC Radio and TV and hosts film events at cinemas across London. He was previously Deputy editor of Dazed & Confused magazine.

Nick Broomfield is a British filmmaker best known for the iconoclastic, award-winning documentaries he has been making since the mid-1970s. His previous work includes Biggie and Tupac, Kurt & Courtney, Sarah Palin: You Betcha!, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer and The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife. His film, Battle for Haditha, dramatised the Haditha massacres in Iraq.

Simon Chinn is one of the UK's leading and most lauded producer of documentaries and the founder of Red Box Films. His films include Man on Wire (2008), Project Nim (2011), Searching for Sugarman (2012) and The Imposter (2012). Man on Wire and Searching for Sugarman both won Oscars, while The Imposter won its director, Bart Layton, the Bafta for best debut film. Chinn's films are known for their high production values and blending of documentary and drama techniques.

Kevin Macdonald's first feature, One Day In September, won an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2000. His second feature, 2003's Touching the Void won a Bafta for Best British Film and is the highest grossing British documentary in UK box office history. Kevin's first feature-length drama, 2006's The Last King of Scotland, won a Bafta for Best British Film. Other documentary credits include Life In A Day, which received a Bifa nomination, and as Executive Producer on Senna which won the Bafta for Best Documentary. His most recent documentary, Marley, the acclaimed film about Bob Marley's life and work was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2013 Baftas.

Jess Search
is Chief Executive of the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, which has given funding and support to more than 60 award-winning British documentaries, including Afghan Star, Moving to Mars, We Are Together, The Yes Men Fix the World, and The End of the Line, which sparked a major campaign against overfishing. In partnership with the Sundance Institute the Foundation created and runs The Good Pitch, which partners filmmakers with NGOs, foundations and brands. Jess is also a co-founder of Shooting People and previously worked as a commissioning editor in the documentaries department at Channel 4.


Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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When & Where

The Guardian
Kings Place
90 York Way<br />
N1 9GU London
United Kingdom

Sunday, March 30, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (BST)

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Guardian Masterclasses

Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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