Master Class: Documentary Filmmaking: Navigating Truth and Ethics with Dawn Porter

Posted Sep 11, 2020

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Application Due Sep 30, 2020


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 a live, 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.

Topics covered include:

  • Authorship and voice: whose film is it?
  • Identifying the differences between a social issue film and an advocacy film
  • Collaborating and communicating with your subjects
  • How to tell the full story even when it may portray subjects unflatteringly
  • Tactics to ensure that you’re telling your story as truthfully as possible
  • Troubleshooting common ethical challenges during production
  • Making choices with difficult material in post-production

All Sundance Co//ab Master Classes are recorded and will be available for all registrants after the live event. Please allow up to 24 hours after the live event for the recording to be posted.

If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please complete this form, contact us at (435) 776-7900 or email us at to discuss your specific needs. Every effort will be made to accommodate advance requests; requests made within 5 days of the event may not be guaranteed.


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