Oh, the documentaries

by Clara Long

Clara, here.  I’m the person who is lucky enough to be the Burundi Film Center’s artist in residence for this year.  No, there were no other applicants but it’s a combination of fortunes that put me in Burundi for a year and connected with the BFC.   Last week, along with a passel of participants, we kicked off BFC’s first documentary  workshop.  Like the fiction workshops, it will be a month long and we’re aiming to produce several shorts.  With documentaries of course, that poses a problem.  We can’t have participants act our films out for our cameras, things have to happen in front of them!  That’s why we spent a lot of time in the first week talking about how to write a documentary and discussing how documentaries use narrative structure.   That and having some fun with name games.


The workshop participants are impressively dedicated to learning.   The debates we’ve had in the workshop  include the line between fiction and non-fiction or the ethics of documentary production and everyone takes them extremely seriously!

Christopher Redmond