10 Best Academic Courses for Documentary Filmmakers

In case you think documentary filmmakers are too good that they don’t need training, then you are wrong. As good as they are, they spend hours and days improving on their filmmaking knowledge. There are many academic programs that are created for filmmakers. These courses are crafted in a way that they will be of great help to established documentary filmmakers and to newbies who want to enter the industry.

These courses have sprung up over the last decades. Let’s take a look at some of the best and most promising documentary filmmaking courses.

Fake Driving School

This series is going to launch later this year (probably around April) and it will focus on scamming beautiful girls into having sex with the instructors. The concept is easy and it’s X rated kind of filmmaking. And yes, it’s British. We can’t wait! Now, to the courses…

Graduate Documentary Filmmaking Certificate: George Washington University

The GWU is offering a documentary filmmaking course that spans from January to June each year. With this course, you dive right into documentary history and then go on to the technical side including workshops in camera, editing and shooting, screenwriting for documentaries, lighting, and genres in documentary filmmaking.

Documentary Film School: Maine Media

This is a documentary filmmaking program that spans for four weeks, where students are taught how to create short documentary pieces. This program covers researching, developing, producing, and editing documentaries.

Documentary Conservatory: New York Film Academy

This is an intensive and a full one year documentary course that comes in two semesters. Areas covers include history, genres, and hands-on documentary practice.

Documentary Institute: University of Florida

This is a reputable documentary filmmaking course featuring industry leaders like Peter Gilbert in Hoop Dreams and D.A. Pennebaker in “Don’t Look Back”. This is a master’s program for both newbie and established documentary filmmakers to beef up their careers. The course covers everything an excellent documentary course should have.

School of Cinematic Arts: University of Southern California

This is one of the best school in documentary filming that does not just cover documentary filmmaking specifically, but equally delves into both nonfiction and fiction filmmaking. Join this course and unearth your storytelling skills in a documentary pattern.

MFA in Documentary Filmmaking and Video: Stanford University

This two year master’s program admits both newbies and professionals. This program uses social awareness, arts, and aesthetics to propagate filmmaking. By the time you graduate, you will have a myriad of portfolio documentaries to show.

Documentary Filmmaking Course: Journalism School of UC Berkley

This focuses on documentary filming as journalism and not just filmmaking. This course gives students a head start to working in some of the best documentary-oriented media outlets across the globe.

Communications School: American University

This school is responsible for publishing the document “Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use” which is still the industry’s authority. It uses its knowledge to teach students the best ways of telling stories through documentaries.

Documentary Media: Ryerson University

This is a Canadian 2-years master’s program that run students through documentary filmmaking and best industry practices and with emphasis on still photography.

Center for Documentary Studies: Duke University

This is one of the oldest and best documentary filmmaking tutoring center. Right from still photographing to documentary filming, this school prepares students for the documentary filmmaking world.

Whether you are a newbie wanting to enter into documentary filmmaking or a professional who needs additional documentary filmmaking knowledge, these schools are crafted with the best courses and lecturers, as well as industry leaders to help you.


Films and movies are a great and must-watch source of entertainment; considering the fact that you are even watching a documentary or bibliography kind of stuff, then too the exception for being nothing is ruled out – there always is something really interesting in every documentary that you won’t dare to forget your whole life.

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