Workshop Registration

Documentary Storytelling

NOTE: This workshop is in person. It is recommended that participants wear a mask while on the premises.

What is a documentary? What makes it different from a newscast, a journalistic reportage, or a nature program on the Discovery Channel? Can objectivity in documentary exist? Should it exist? If “reality” is the raw material of documentary filmmaking, how can we know the path it will take? This four-day extensive workshop will explore these questions, and aims to introduce students to the enormous dramatic, visual, emotional, poetic and narrative potential of non-fiction storytelling. 

Is a script even possible? How are characters created in documentary? What role do the theme, premise and conflict play in documentary storytelling? How can we conduct meaningful and heartfelt interviews in order to reach and touch audiences? Participants will be guided through the early process  of documentary filmmaking. The aim is for them to be able to develop and flesh out their documentary ideas so that by the end of the workshop they have a dramatically structured outline. Topics will include: the foundations of dramatic writing for documentary, the documentary script, character development, dramatic structures, narrative resources in documentary filmmaking, types of scenes, interviews as conversations, the basics of photography and sound, the steps in the process of documentary filmmaking, the pitch deck. 

Learn to reach widespread and diverse audiences, emotionally connect with viewers and deliver inspirational stories using the language and tools of documentary filmmaking.

part 1: Mon 23 October 2023, 6 - 10 pm   
part 2: Wed 25 October 2023, 6 - 10 pm   
part 3: Mon 30 October 2023, 6 - 10 pm   
part 4: Wed 1 November 2023, 6 - 10 pm   
(Registration deadline is Mon 23 October 5:00 pm)

Instructor: Andrea Martinez Crowther

Andrea Martinez Crowther is a Mexican-Canadian filmmaker who feels equally comfortable in the worlds of fiction and documentary and her films -deeply personal and often self-referenced- frequently explore the blurry area between the two. Her first feature, Insignificant Things, was selected in the Sundance Screenwriter's Lab as well as the IFP Director’s lab under the mentorship of Rodrigo García (Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her) and was Executive Produced by Guillermo del Toro. The film premiered in San Sebastian and garnered the People’s Choice Award in the Festival des Cultures d’Amerique Latine de Biarritz. Her second film, the deeply personal and intimate documentary Ciclo, revisits the bicycle journey her father and uncle made from Mexico to Canada in 1956, in an exploration of memories, the cycles of life and the unavoidable passage of time. The film garnered several People’s Choice Awards including the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. Her third film Observar las aves, is a fiction film shot as if it were a documentary about a writer with Alzheimer’s who decides to make a farewell film to life. The film premiered at the Los Cabos International Film Festival where it garnered the People’s Choice Award as well as the New Art Kingdom Award.  Her most recent film, Tare, is a story about loss and healing based on her own experience starring renowned Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta (Black Panther, Wakanda Forever) and herself. It is in post-production. She is currently developing the feature co-production Labranza as well as the series Molecules. She has taught Directing at Humber College and has been offering documentary workshops for over 10 years.  Andrea is a member of the DGC,  a WIFT mentor and an alumna of WIDC.

Location: 1137 Dupont Street, Toronto, Ontario M6H 2A3
Category: Filmmaking Intensive
Maximum Capacity: 12
16 hours of instruction in 4 parts$225 /member$250 /nonmember