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Intro to Documentary

Still from ‘Auntie’s Last Supper’ | Dir. Kate Vinen

Explore the role of a Documentary Filmmaker

Have an idea for a documentary but aren’t sure where to start? Interested to learn more about the genre, including factual TV/documentary series, feature documentary and online docs? This 100% online course will give you a great introduction and show you how to start moving your documentary ideas into production.

Includes a brief history of documentary aesthetics & genres, and an overview of stylistic choices you can chose for your content

Through simple practical interview exercises learn how to ask questions that will give you the content to tell your story and get useful footage from chaotic situations

Get essential info about Australian documentary funding bodies/funding sources, film festival strategies and distribution models

Is the Intro to Documentary right for you?

This course is designed for students who have little or no knowledge of the Documentary genre, but have a strong interest in storytelling and connecting with audiences through telling true stories. The six evening Zoom sessions over three weeks will be made up of lectures, screenings and discussions.


  • The interviewer/interviewing styles (Errol Morris, Michael Moore, Barbara Kopple, John Pilger, etc.)
  • What is documentary? What is reality? What is the difference and is there always a point of view?
  • Developing your own concepts: where to start/breaking down an idea

This course is open to students aged 16 years and over (students under 18 must complete an Under 18 consent form).

Meet Your Tutors

Kate Vinen

Kate Vinen is an award-winning writer/director who works across narrative and documentary. Her film ‘Acts for the Invisible’ won the…

Learn More

What you will need

This course is delivered live 100% online via Zoom video. Classes are delivered over six weeknight evening sessions over three weeks.

You will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a camera, sound and a good internet connection, along with a quiet place to participate. Headphones are recommended.

Once enrolled we will send you further instructions and a link to the Zoom sessions.

Register your interest to stay up-to-date on future offerings, application or enrolment dates, and more information on this course.


This course is for students aged 16+ only.

If a student wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a penalty.

AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled by AFTRS prior to commencement a 100% refund or credit note of the course fees paid will be provided.

Should AFTRS need to cancel a course after commencement, but before its completion, reasonable efforts will be made to reschedule. If rescheduling is not feasible, it is at AFTRS sole discretion to issue either full or partial credit notes depending on the circumstances.

AFTRS will make every effort to ensure the scheduled run of any course.

If you are planning to travel to attend a course, please confirm with AFTRS that the course is confirmed before you make your travel bookings. This decision is dependent on course enrolments meeting minimum numbers. AFTRS is not liable for any travel or accommodation costs incurred through course cancellation at any time for any reason.

Find out more information about discounts and refunds here.