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Unit information: Documentary Film and Television in 2018/19

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Unit name Documentary Film and Television
Unit code FATVM0003
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Massoumi
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None.

Co-requisites

None.

School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

This unit will address the theory, history and practice of documentary film, television and screen media. It will explore theoretical issues that documentary has posed historically for makers and audiences such as indexicality, evidence, witnessing, ethics, poetics, subjectivity, the social and political. It will do so through an engagement with key texts and movements, considering the different modes, styles and contexts for documentary making, past and present. Students will then be able to respond to some of the subjects and issues raised through a written essay and by researching, developing and pitching their own idea for a documentary film, television or screen media project.

The unit aims to:

  • develop knowledge and critical understanding of contemporary and historical practices of documentary film, television and screen media, through considering key texts and their technical, industrial, cultural and philosophical contexts informing them;
  • develop understanding of a number of key theoretical issues underpinning documentary forms and practices;
  • develop the ability to analyse and evaluate competing perceptions of a documentary film, television or screen media texts;
  • develop skills in researching, writing and presenting documentary ideas and proposals.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

(1) demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of contemporary and historical practices of documentary film, television and screen media;

(2) engage critically with key theories relating to documentary forms and practices;

(3) analyse and evaluate competing perceptions of documentary film, television and screen media;

(4) gain experience in researching and developing an idea for a documentary

(5) develop confidence in articulating and pitching an idea for a documentary project

Teaching details

Weekly 2-hour seminar/workshop + weekly 3-hour screening/workshop, production tutorials (within workshop sessions) and practical work (both independent and partially supervised).

Assessment Details

3,500 word essay (70%) ILO 1-3

Presentation of documentary proposal (30%) ILO 4-5

Reading and References

Barnouw, E. (1993) Documentary: A History of the Non-fiction Film, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bruzzi, S. (2000). New Documentary: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge.

Corner, J. (1996). The Art of Record: A Critical Introduction to Documentary. Manchester University Press.

Nichols, B. (2001). Introduction to Documentary. Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Pearce, G and McLaughlin, C (2007) Truth or Dare: Art and Documentary, Bristol: Intellect Books.

Rosenthal, A. and Corner, J. (eds) (2005) New Challenges for Documentary, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

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