Open City Documentary Festival

7 – 13 September 2022
in London

Documentary Storytelling: Reloaded (Online)

Price £150

Location Online Distance Learning, Duration Wednesday evenings across 4 weeks 6:30-9pm BST, Dates  Nov 9 — Nov 30

Led by Dr. Catalin Brylla, a practice-led film scholar and Principal Lecturer in Film and Television at Bournemouth University, Documentary Storytelling: Reloaded is for documentary practitioners who want to critically frame their filmmaking in order to produce thought-provoking films that have social and cultural implications. It also addresses a broad range of conceptual methodologies that offer a good springboard for practice-led research (e.g. practice-based PhD, visual ethnography, experimental filmmaking, video art, etc.).

Although no prerequisites are required, it is generally recommended that participants first do the ‘Documentary Storytelling‘ course. At the discretion of the tutor, participants can bring their own material for discussing their research.

Indicative Course Outline:

Session 1: The Mediation of Space and Time

  • Observational documentary as a record of time
  • Everyday materialities
  • Memory as trace and event

Session 2: The Essay Film

  • Portrait essay
  • Travel essay
  • Diary essay
  • Editorial essay
  • Refractive essay

Session 3: Ethnographic Film and Embodied Experience

  • Ethnographic film
  • The performative documentary
  • Embodied knowledge

Session 4: Representation

  • Social schemas and spectatorship
  • Stereotypes
  • Case study: undoing disability stereotypes

“The course was brilliant, very rich in content and interactive. Catalin has been extremely supportive throughout, provided a lot of resources and offered great analytical depth, which was very suitable to my needs.” – Eleni Pappa, previous course participant

Documentary Storytelling: Reloaded will be delivered via online distance learning, and students will require a computer or other internet connected device.

This  course takes place across 4 Wednesday evenings (6:30pm to 9pm) from 9th to 30th November.

1x Universal Credit bursary place is available for this course. Please see our bursary policy here.

If you’d like to be notified about this course’s next running dates, please get in touch with or call +442031084774.

(Image: Still from The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark/Norway/United Kingdom, 2012).



Catalin Brylla

Course Tutor

Film scholar and Principal Lecturer in Film and Television at Bournemouth University, and holder of a doctorate in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London, his research aims for a pragmatic understanding of documentary spectatorship with regards to experience, empathy and narrative comprehension. In a larger context this work also advocates for the filmmaker’s understanding of how audio-visual and narrative representation impacts on society’s understanding of stereotyped groups, such as disabled people, women and African cultures. He is currently editing two books, “Documentary and Dis/ability” (with Helen Hughes) and “Cognitive Theory in Documentary Film Studies” (with Mette Kramer). As a practice-led researcher, he has just completed two feature documentaries about blindness and the everyday, and another feature documentary, “Zanzibar Soccer Dreams” (with Florence Ayisi), about Muslim women playing football.