The Evolution of British Documentary Film

Duration: 120 min

Six Weeks on Wednesdays 8:00 to 10:00 pm from 13 June – 18 July 2018

The course will take place in the Community Room at Crouch End Picturehouse
Lecturer: Carol Nahra

In this six week course we will survey the rich landscape of British Documentaries, from the work of pioneer John Grierson to the films of leading modern directors like Nick Brookfield and Kim Longinotto, and Oscar winning documentaries. The course will examine how developments in technology have aided the development of documentary film making, changing the ways in which stories can be told, as well as considering creative documentary hybrids and distinctive subgenres such as autobiographical filmmaking.

Taught by Carol Nahra, a documentary journalist, producer and lecturer, this promises to be an enjoyable foray into a genre that continues to shock and inspire. Students will have a chance to watch a wide array of clips in class to foster discussion as well as attend screenings of key films in one of the cinemas screens.

Week one: Grounding documentary as “The Creative Treatment of Reality”:
Beginning with John Grierson, who coined the word ‘documentary’ moving on to classics such as to Michael Apted’s ground-breaking Up series, the introductory class will look at films which aptly reflect Grierson’s definition of documentary as “the creative treatment of actuality”.

Week two: The Auteurs:
This week we will look at the work of four major British documentary makers: Nick Broomfield, Lucy Walker, Sean McAllister, and Kim Longinotto.

This week will feature a screening of Divorce Iranian Style. Mon 18 Jun, 8:30

Week Three, Experimental/Hybrid/Performance Documentaries:
From its earliest days, filmmakers have shown great creativity within the documentary genre. This week students will look at a range of creative techniques, and documentary hybrids, and the incorporation of drama and performance into the documentary form.

Week four: Autobiographical Films:
We will focus this week on one of the trickiest and most controversial subgenres in documentaries, where filmmakers tell stories about their own lives.

This week will feature a screening of Halfway. Mon 2 Jul, 8:30

Week Five: Technology, Driver of Change:
Rapid developments in technology have allowed documentary makers to explore their worlds in new ways. This class will look at films which have used digital technology in interesting ways, including crowd sourcing material, and hidden cameras.

Week Six: The Cinematic Documentary:
More than ever British documentaries are competing with Hollywood for success on the big screen and at awards ceremonies. This final class will look at recent award winning British films including Searching for Sugarman, The Imposter, and Amy, examining how the evolution of nonfiction storytelling has mirrored that of fiction in intriguing ways.

This week will feature a screening of Searching For Sugar Man. Mon 16 Jul, 8:30

Tickets are £70 for the full six week course (£65 concession / £60 Picturehouse Members).

Film Course on contemporary British documentary film.

Club and Group screenings

Wed 13th Jun 20.00 Film Course.

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