1st Symposium 2007
Journalism and Documentaries
Discovery Campus was back in Belfast! We are proud to announce that we organized our 1st Open Training Session 2007 again in cooperation with the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission (NIFTC).
During the international symposium, we examinee the relationship between news and documentaries. In a TV world obsessed and saturated by news and current affairs, we asked what is the place of long-form documentary filmmaking and what is the role and the impact of political and investigative documentary work. A large number of compelling, disturbing and provocative documentaries have been shown recently in cinemas and on TV. These films stimulated awareness and action, added depth and analysis to news headlines, reflected the world in a different way, looked at stories from a new perspective and influenced the news agenda. Sometimes they even tried to change the world.
In case studies and panel discussions, leading international experts and filmmakers divulged their secrets and discussed their creative decisions. We asked filmmakers about their motivations and choices. We asked commissioning editors about the challenge to get good journalism and important subjects to big audiences, about taking risks and exploring new areas. We asked producers what are the differences in making a documentary primarily for theatrical release rather than TV; and what are the differences between making programmes for a documentary department and a news and current affairs department.
We also investigated contemporary political drama based on factual research – so-called “docu-drama”. There is a growing demand for provocative drama which brings to life subjects which are sometimes beyond the reach of traditional documentary techniques. But there are all sorts of questions that arise in making these kinds of film – ethical, journalistic, aesthetic.
Finally we looked at the growing difficulties in attracting younger audiences to both current affairs and documentary. And we asked whether the success of comedic factually based documentaries – like Super Size Me, Mischief, The Yes Men, and Michael Moore’s films offer a way forward.
The 1st Open Training Session of the Discovery Campus Masterschool 2007 was organised in partnership with our hosting partner, the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission, and was supported by BBC Northern Ireland and Skillset.
- Christoph Jörg, Head of Thematic Sessions, Discovery Campus
- Alan Hayling, Editorial Director, Renegade Pictures UK
Queens Film Theatre
20 University Square, Belfast
Venue Saturday & Sunday:
BBC Studios / Studio A
BBC Blackstaff House
Great Victoria Street, Belfast
- David Aukin Managing Director, Daybreak Pictures, Part of the Mentorn Group, London, United Kingdom
- Andy Bichlbaum Filmmaker, , New York, USA
- Mike Bonanno Filmmaker, , New York, USA
- Michael Christoffersen Director/Producer, Team Productions, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Hans Robert Eisenhauer Producer, Ventana Film, Berlin, Germany
- Alex Gibney Film Director, , New York, USA
- Eamon Hardy Commissioning Executive for Factual Independents, BBC, London, United Kingdom
- Alan Hayling Editorial Director, Renegade Pictures UK, London, UK
- Richard Klein Controller, BBC Four, London, UK
- Sean Langan Documentary Filmmaker, , London, United Kingdom
- Angus Macqueen Head of Documentaries, Channel 4, London, United Kingdom
- Stephen Segaller Director of News and Public Affairs Programming, Thirteen/WNET, New York, USA
- Paul Watson Documentary Filmmaker, , Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
- Diane Weyermann Executive Vice President, Documentary Division, Participant Productions, Beverly Hills, USA