Documentary Appreciation Workshop

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Monday October 16, 2017 All Day
The Mandrem House, Mandrem, Goa  (map)

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A Ten Day Documentary Appreciation Workshop October

16 to October 27, 2017

Today we are more aware of the documentry films around us because it has became more available to us through film festivals, internet and television. But good documentary viewing also requires good audience, one that is socially and culturally concious and can appreciate the difference between the good and the bad, the pedestrain, the valuable, sensational and indepth films.

To be consciouslydiscerning as an audience, we need to be able to appreciate and relate to the documentary film culture from all over the world. We need to cultivate the capacitities of an evolved documentary viewing enthusiast,so that the experience of watching documentary films can become an enriching experience. For that we need to cultivate an evolved understanding of the language, technique, form and subject matters of documentary films.

This documentary film appreciation workshop aims to make the participants not only aware of the potential of documentary films in a general sense but also to empowerthem towards a more nuanced, enriching and educative experience of watching and understanding documentary films.The workshop would enable us to understand the various ways of making sense of documentary films and of the key dynamics of what documentary films are made up of in terms of language, art, technology and industry.

This workshop is not a comprehensive coursein hands-­‐on documentary filmmaking. The accent in this workshop is on developing a more nuanced understanding of documentary form, the language of documentary, its artistic, social and cultural contexts that can produce in us a critical and more ‘rounded’ understanding of the documentary form. Participants of this workshop are not expected to begiven instructionsin any practical aspect of films eg. how to research, shoot, structure or how to design a shot or how to edit films.

In this course, the stress is more on why and how a documentary film is structured, and presented in a certain way, the historical and cultural context in which the film was produced and received. A rudimentary history of cinema and how it evolved over the years is an important component without which a deeper understanding of documentary form is not possible, while emphasizing its uniqueness and importance as an independent art form.

The course will be held at the scenic location of Mandrem in North Goa. The venue Mandrem House is a one acre mango orchard approximately 400 meters from the Mandrem beach. An initiative of Swechha and Green the Map, one of the prominent environment groups of the country, the venue has a beautiful butterfly garden, a Remakery studio and a villa amidst the hills of Mandrem. The Mandrem House hosts events and workshops on varied topics and interests, mostly social and ecological in nature, soliciting active citizenship and change in the society.

The course will be conducted by Mr Ajay Raina. He is a multiple award winning independent filmmaker and alumna of FTII with over 25 years experience. He has made films in USA, Pakistan and about the conflict in Kashmir. His current feature length documentary project is about Indian diaspora in USA. Ajay produces, shoots, writes and edits his own films. Not only does this method provide an intimacy with the subject but also each step of the filmmaking process informs and compliments the others. He is the co-founder Kashmir Oral History Project ( and has also curated a travelling festival of films from Kashmir (Kashmir Before Our Eyes) Ajay has conducted documentary film workshops and taught different aspects of filmmaking at FTII Pune, ISBM Pune and University of Pennsylvania. He is currently based in Bangalore where he teaches film at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology.


This Documentary appreciation Workshop is designed for people with a serious engagement with Cinema. At the end of this workshop, we expect the participants to develop adequate skills to be able to appreciate and analyse the documentary form of the films, so that they can use the knowledge acquired in this workshop to form a better understanding of documentary film as an art form, to be able to write about documentary films and use documentary films for cultural and social awareness.

Course Structure:

The content of the workshop is divided into 2 weeks of screenings, discussions, readings and analysis of various forms, genres and types of documentary films. The objective is to better understand the documentary form through viewing and analysis and to give enough time to all the aspects of documentary form.

On the last day of the course, the participants will each have to make a 750 – 1000 word presentation about his/her understanding of the documentary form.

The sessions will be from Monday to Friday.

(10 am to 1 pm & 3 pm to 6 pm)

WEEK – 1 (16-­‐Oct to 20 Oct-­‐2017)

Day 1– Monday, 16th October

The week will begin with a basic introduction to the documentary form. Comparison with history and idiom of fiction films

Day2– Tuesday, 17th October

Early Documentaries

Day3– Wednesday, 18th October

Propaganda films

Day4– Thursday, 19th October

Films Division Documentaries

Day5– Friday, 20th October

International Documentary movement

WEEK – 2 (23-­‐Oct to 27 Oct-­‐2017)

Day6– Monday, 23rd October

International Documentary movement

Day 7– Tuesday, 24th October

Independent Documentary movement in India

Day 8– Wednesday, 25th October

Independent Documentary movement in India

Day 9– Thursday, 26th October

Experiments and developments in Documentary language, idiom and form

Day 10– Friday, 27th October

Presentations by Participants.

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