Directing Documentary Film

Instructor updated from printed brochure
Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 10:00am - 6:00pm
Enrolment is limited to: 

This lecture-based course provides a basic overview from the documentary director’s point of view, guiding participants through the entire process of documentary filmmaking from development to delivery. Participants are given time to discuss proposals, scripts and basic elements of documentary expression, such as interviewing, mise-en-scène, shooting on the fly, and planning for anticipated locations. The course will conclude with a brief overview of the various sources of funding for low-budget documentary in Canada.


Participants in this workshop are asked to watch a film before the start of the class. A link is sent out approximately one week before the class. This course is recommended as a companion to the Documentary Film Writing, Documentary Research, Producing Documentary Film, The Art of the Interview and Documentary Editing workshops.


Liz Marshall is an award-winning Canadian director based in Toronto. Since the 1990s she has both helmed projects and been part of film and television teams, creating broadcast, theatrical, campaign and cross-platform documentaries shot around the world. Marshall’s work tackles themes of social and environmental justice through immersive character-driven narratives. She is known for her feature length cinematic documentaries Water on the Table (2010) and The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013). Liz’s work has screened for diverse international audiences including an Oscar qualifying theatrical campaign, cable and digital broadcast, film festivals including Hot Docs and IDFA, Netflix, iTunes, museums in North America and South Korea, in-flight on Air Canada, hundreds of grassroots groups around the world, the 2014 Animal Law Conference, the 2006 International AIDS Conference, the 2000 Winnipeg Conference on War-Affected Children for 150 world leaders, and at a Tragically Hip concert for 200,000 of their fans.