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“Documentary in the 21st Century” is a production course investigating the course of documentary history leading to a focus on digital media representations today. This course incorporates critical thinking with production. With a focus on aesthetic and formal considerations, we produced a series of multimedia projects investigating our vision of ourselves in the world. 

Fifteen of us began this class in late August, with the majority of us having no prior filmmaking experience. We spent the semester studying different modes of media production alongside the text The Act of Documenting: Documentary Film in the 21st Century by Brian Winston, Gail Vanstone, and Wang Chi. We also studied films from the early 20th century such as Nanook of the North (1922), The Man with a Movie Camera (1929), March of the Penguins (2005), and Waltz with Bashir (2008). Other documentaries we studied included Sherman’s March (1985), George Stoney’s All My Babies (1953) and Farewell to Hollywood (2013).

As our knowledge and experience in documentary filmmaking grew, we dove into our longest project of the semester: the final semester films. These films are a collection of pieces inspired by what we discussed in this course. We spent weeks brainstorming, discussing, filming, producing, and editing our films. Each one of us developed a connection with one another and an even deeper connection with our group members. We hope you enjoy our films. Special thank you to Professor Branda Miller; she’s been an amazing professor, inspiring us and teaching us throughout the semester. We wouldn’t be here without you!

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