September 2021 (Start date to be announced)
Documentary Filmmaking: Developing Your Story
Registration is open until May 26, 2050

Course applications are now being accepted. 

Learn the steps for developing a feature documentary--from conception and prep through production--with accomplished documentary filmmakers as your guides. In this live, online course, you will develop a compelling proposal for funders of your project.

In class sessions, you will analyze clips from multiple documentary approaches, complete interactive exercises, discuss core concepts, and hear from a panel of documentary funders who will share their insights and answer your questions. Weekly homework, reviewed by your course advisor, is designed to move your project through to a polished draft of a funding proposal. The course concludes with a one-on-one mentoring session with your advisor focused on your project.

By the end of the course, you will:

  • differentiate between a topic or issue and a story.
  • identify ethical issues in documentary filmmaking.
  • discover ways to access and cast your characters.
  • review and practice interview techniques.
  • learn techniques for achieving your aesthetic goals.
  • create a project timeline and production budget.
  • learn ways to prepare for the unexpected while in the field.
  • develop your outreach and engagement strategies for post-production.

This course is ideal for:

  • storytellers with an idea for a feature-length documentary, looking for an educational setting and guidance from experienced filmmakers and the support of a community.
  • documentary filmmakers moving from short-form to their first feature-length project.

Course enrollment is approximately 50 participants per session, with a participant to advisor ratio of 12-to-1. To apply, you must be prepared to work with a documentary project you plan to produce and/or direct.


The course will be held live in our virtual classroom. All sessions are recorded for registered participants who are unable to attend live. If you have any questions about the course, please email

Further course details are forthcoming.

Sundance Co//ab provides accommodations and support services to participants with disabilities. Accommodations and services are designed to meet the needs of each participant. Please email us at to arrange for services. 


Click the yellow “Apply Now” button on the top right of the page.

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