Short courses


Documentary Storytelling: Reloaded

  • 10 hours
  • 4 evenings (6:30 to 9pm) - over 4 weeks
  • 15 Feb 2022


This online evening course for documentary film-makers will help you critically frame your filmmaking to produce thought-provoking films that have social and cultural implications

You'll also learn about a broad range of conceptual methodologies. This will help prepare you to undertake practice-led research (e.g. a practice-based PhD, visual ethnography, experimental filmmaking, video art, etc.)

You'll also be able to bring your own material and discuss your research, at the tutor's discretion.

Classes are held on Tuesday evenings, from 6:30 to 9pm.

This course is run by the Open City Docs School, based in UCL's Department of Anthropology.

Course content

The following content is an example of what will be covered, but is only indicative.

Session 1: The mediation of space and time

  • Observational documentary as a record of time
  • Everyday materialities
  • Memory as trace and event

Session 2: The essay film 

  • Portrait essay
  • Travel essay
  • Diary essay
  • Editorial essay
  • Refractive essay

Session 3:  Ethnographic film and embodied experience

  • Ethnographic film
  • The performative documentary
  • Embodied knowledge

Session 4: Representation

  • Social schemas and spectatorship
  • Stereotypes
  • Case study: undoing disability stereotypes

Who this course is for

This course is for documentary practitioners.

There are no formal pre-requisites for taking this course. However, it's recommended that you take the Documentary Storytelling short course before doing so.

Course team

Dr Catalin Brylla

Dr Catalin Brylla

Catalin is a Lecturer in Film and Television at Bournemouth University. He has a doctorate in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London. His research aims for a pragmatic understanding of documentary spectatorship with regards to experience, empathy and narrative comprehension. In a larger context this work also advocates for the filmmaker’s understanding of how audio-visual and narrative representation impacts on society’s understanding of stereotyped groups, such as disabled people, women and African cultures.

He’s editing two books, Documentary and Dis/ability (with Helen Hughes) and Cognitive Theory in Documentary Film Studies (with Mette Kramer). As a practice-led researcher, he’s just completed two feature documentaries about blindness and the everyday, and another feature documentary, Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (with Florence Ayisi), about Muslim women playing football.

Course information last modified: 10 Jan 2022, 11:30