Institute of Moving images - the Film School
Admissions open for fulltime Advanced Diploma & Diploma courses. Last date for Registration: 7th May, 2016 

The first term curriculum of the Documentary Certificate course is identical to that of the Filmmaking Certificate course.

Semester One: A Foundation in Filmmaking

The semester one of Documentary filmmaking course is cross-disciplinary and gives students a thorough grounding in the basics of filmmaking. You will learn the history & grammar of cinema, script development stages, shot breakdown, visual continuity, production management, basics of camera skill, exposure control and lenses, editing principles through lectures, extensive hands-on workshops and immediate directing experience. From the first day of the class, students are behind the camera.

For us, learning by doing means requiring each student to make a series of documentary films. This takes them through the entire process of documentary filmmaking. Their work is constantly assessed critically by their teachers who are industry professionals. The student applies the experience gained through this process to the next project, and the learning process continues.

First semester is extensively intensive. Students work in units of five with each student works on 20 film projects, 4 of which he or she directs him or herself on series of assigned topics.


1. Tribute to Lumiere
Students are challenged to produce their single shot, first film as a tribute to Lumiere Brothers- inventor of Cinema on a subject of any social / cultural issue. Each student is expected to write a script, direct, shoot and edit a film without any cuts and sound for a duration of up to 60 seconds.

2. Observation Film
Students are challenged to record life "as it happens" rather than staging scenes or interviewing, using multi shots and sound. Students are challenged to observe the subject closely and find the most effective shots, camera angle, image size, focal length and editing pattern. Each student edits and designs sound track for a film of up to 3 minutes.

3. Character Film
Each student produces a visual portrait of an extraordinary or extremely ordinary person, maintaining visual continuity of action, movements and eyeline between the shots . Each student directs, shoots and edits a film of up to 5 minutes.

These film exercises serve as a practice and foundation for more complex and ambitious projects in the second semester where students take all the aesthetic decisions, solving problems similar to those faced by professional units. The difference in curriculum starts from second semester with major concentration on non fiction filmmaking technique.

Semester Two: Non-fiction Filmmaking Techniques

In second semester- the aesthetic, technical and craft skills of documentary filmmaking techniques are further honed in the core areas- documentary history, dramaturgy, research & interviewing techniques, shooting strategies, practical demonstration of location lighting, camera operation, recording sync sound on location and different editing style, drawing upon a rich pool of international and national award winning documentaries crossing themes and genres i.e. docudrama, television reportage, current affairs stories, travelogues, corporate and educational films, personality-based, historical, cultural and social issue documentaries.


4. Social issue Film
Extensive use of research, interview and narration are the building blocks for this project. Student are expected to provide a fresh perspective to a local issue or document a local story that has larger implications. Each students writes, shoots, directs and edits a film of up to 7 minutes.

5. Reality Show
Working in a group, students will produce a pilot episode for an original reality show, using documentary techniques learned throughout the first and second term of first semester. Students will be challenged to structure a show with real people or issues for entertainment television. Team projects may be of up to 10 minutes in length.

6. Independent Documentary
The culmination of one year intensive documentary progamme is a final film of student's own choice. Through extensive research, writing and planning, each student produces a Diploma documentary film of up to 15 minutes of length.

By the end of both the semester, students finish working on close to 20 films & 8 of them are independent projects. This is in parallel and intersecting with the classes which cover theory & strategies for documentary filmmaking.

For more details on course curriculum,
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Students at IMI
IMI is an excellent film school by people who knows the business thoroughly. Not only did I learn here things and techniques required for making a good documentary film, but discovered a treasure that will help me in my life- personal & professional. It has given me a new vision to see things in different perspective. It has definitely ignited the creative fire in me which I am sure will take me a long way.
Santosh S. Patil,
Software Engineer / Filmmaker

Watch Students Films