Online Documentary & Innovative Storytelling


What does it take to become an excellent documentary lmmaker in the digital age? How to create unparalleled storytelling that stands out on the internet and provokes inspiration and debate? How to start and develop a successful career as a documentary lmmaker or use the genre to better engage an audience whom you value the most?

The course offers comprehensive guide and hands-on practice, from idea development, storytelling skills, technical training in camera, sound and editing techniques, to production management, funding opportunity and marketing strategies.

It is open to anyone who already has basic understanding of moving images and a passion for creating innovative storytelling. Award-win- ning documentary lmmaker and media artist Xiaowen Zhu will help to take you to the next level.

Xiaowen Zhu is a mentor of the BFI Film Academy and a member of the Los Angeles Art Association. She was a visiting professor of Film and Media Art at Marymount College, Los Angeles and an adjunct professor of Art Video at Syracuse University, New York. Her work has been widely shown in over 90 festivals and institutions around the world. She has delivered presentations and workshops at numerous conferences and panels.

The course features:

  • Introduction

What is documentary film?
A brief history of documentary film

Contemporary genres
Online documentary

  • Making Documentary

Idea development
Concept, character, location, story

Innovative and effective storytelling

  • Technical Training

How to use DSLR camera

Sound recording Interview skills
Film editing

Colour and sound design

  • Teamwork

Production management


Schedule and deadlines

  • Marketing

Who’s your target audience and how to reach them?
Film festivals and broadcasting resources

Online community and blogs

Social media

  • Funding

How to make it happen?

Resources and tips

Creative approaches