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Intro to Documentary

A still from 'What Do You See' | Dir. Michael Bonner

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

Indrani Kopal

Indrani is a documentary filmmaker with a background as a video journalist, television producer, and editor. She is a former…

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Richard Welch

Richard Welch is an experienced documentary curator, lecturer and filmmaker, with over 20 years’ experience in the screen media industry.…

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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.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If you are planning to travel to attend a course, please confirm with us via email that the course will be proceeding before you make your travel bookings. AFTRS is not liable for any travel costs incurred due to course postponement, cancellation, or any other circumstance.

If an attendee 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 fee.

Find out more information about discounts and refunds.