02.131DH Non‐Fiction and Ethnographic Film: Theory and Practice

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What are the differences between documentary, ethnographic and non-fiction films? Can a ‘documentary’ have actors in it? How does archival footage play a role in the re-construction of events? Can one make a ‘real’ documentary film with a smart phone? This course provides an overview of the evolution and practice of non-fiction cinema and trains students both in film appreciation and production. We shall critically analyze the development of this shape-shifting genre over the past hundred years and consider the significance of this cinematic form in contemporary society. Ethnographic theory will be utilized toward a practical application (making a film), and contextualized within emerging trends in the Digital Humanities. Cinema-verite filming, 3-point interview lighting, the use of archival footage, and sound recording techniques will be taught in workshop styled classes.

Pre-requisite
02.103 Film Studies: History, Theory and Practice or equivalent production experience.

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Instructor
Sandeep Ray