Master Classes are in-depth, interactive learning experiences focused on craft and career building and led by renowned industry experts. Topics include fiction and documentary filmmaking, TV writing and production, and navigating and succeeding in the entertainment industry.

Social issue documentaries take on some of our most pressing global concerns and, at the same time, create major challenges for filmmakers in terms of ethics, authorship, and presenting stories as truthfully as possible. Learn how to navigate these waters in order to make your film the most authentic and impactful it can be. Join Emmy-nominated filmmaker Dawn Porter (Gideon’s Army, Trapped, John Lewis: Good Trouble) in this three-hour, online Master Class as she shares real-world examples and reveals a set of questions and tools to help you hone the story you are trying to tell and ensure that it meets the ethical standards necessary to give it credibility and meaning.


Download the list of resources from Dawn Porter and Sundance Co//ab

Topics covered include:

    00:00 - Welcome and Introductions from Sundance Co//ab

    03:30 - Introduction with Dawn Porter

    10:40 - What Do You Want to Say?

    20:40 - Authorship: Am I the Person to Tell This Story?

    32:30 - Q&A

    54:30 - Making Ethical Choices During Development

    01:10 - Q&A

    01:23 - Collaborating and Communicating with Your Subjects 

    01:42 - Being Mindful of How to Portray Your Subjects

    02:00 - Q&A

    02:23 - Working Through Ethical Challenges During Production and Post-Production

    02:34 - Q&A

    02:47 - Closing Remarks

Photo credit: Protestors and police officers on Bloody Sunday, in JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, a Magnolia Pictures release. © Spider Martin. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Dawn Porter is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared on HBO, PBS, Discovery, and Netflix among others. She is currently directing and executive producing an Apple TV multi-part documentary series with Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, which focuses on both mental illness and mental well-being. more...

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