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Documentary Lab

Start date:
May 20, 2015
4 Weeks
Ability Level:
Beginner to intermediate

This intensive lab is designed to sharpen skills in documentary filming technique and theory in a realistic, high-pressure environment that takes participants from project development through filming to final edit. Experienced international documentary filmmakers provide guidance in accessing the director’s internal voice and concentrating on creative documentaries with personal reflection.

Participants are encouraged to develop their skills in a supportive environment that inspires creativity and builds confidence. Approaches to accessing and exploring inner themes are applied to personal stories that come from the heart and reflect contemporary life in the Gulf region.

Mentors analyse documentary films during the lab and work with participants to develop their ideas. Participants also learn techniques in documentary cinematography, sound and editing before filming. Up to four of the participants’ projects will be selected for production. All participants are expected to take on roles as part of the filming teams.

Submission Process
Applicants should submit a documentary treatment, no longer than 1 page, for a short documentary (10 minute maximum). Applicants must be sure that the subject matter can be filmed in Doha over a two- to three-day period during the third week of the lab.

We are interested in subject matter that has personal resonance for the applicant. During the selection process applicants will be asked to justify their choice of subject matter and talk about why they would like to document it.

The workshop is designed to develop ideas into short documentary films. We are not looking for projects that are already developed or that have already been filmed or partly filmed.

Submission Requirements

Please send the following in Word or PDF format to :

  1. Documentary Treatment (one page maximum)_Mandatory
  2. CV or Short Bio _ Mandatory
  3. Previous Writing _ Optional
  4. Any Artistic Portfolio (Films, Photography, Drawings, etc.)_Optional
  5. Copy of Qatar Passport or Qatar Residence Permit

All documents must include the following:

  1. Writer’s First and Last Name
  2. Project Title
  3. Draft No.
  4. Date

Candidate Selection
The development unit will shortlist candidates whose work shows promise.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview process where the development unit will work with them to develop their treatment through written and verbal notes on their work. They will also have a short interview with the workshop mentor.

Candidates will be assessed on their ability to expand and develop their ideas into a coherent documentary proposition with subject matter that can be filmed in Doha over a two-or-three-day period during the lab dates.

Documentary Lab mentor leader – Peter Chappell (4 weeks)
Documentary Lab sound mentor
Documentary Lab editing mentor

Submission Deadline: May 10

Dates: May 20 – June 17

First week – full day
Following weeks – afternoons and evenings

Language: English

Group Size: Up to 15 candidates

Target Candidate:
Beginner to intermediate
Open to residents of Qatar only.