BFA: Documentary Film

Why Documentary Film?

We find and develop our identity in the stories we hear while growing up–whether they be about our family or our faith, about country or community. Increasingly, film is the medium of choice through which these stories are expressed, and in the nonfiction realm it inherently carries the capacity to examine our past while also exploring the pressing topics and ideas that define the present. The Documentary Film program at Andrews University was designed for the student who embraces the role of the creative storyteller committed to make the world a better place.

 

The Documentary Film program at Andrews University was designed for the student who embraces the role of the creative storyteller committed to make the world a better place.

 

Can I Really Change the World?

We believe in telling stories that don’t simply entertain, but inform audiences about deeply important issues and problems in society that require a solution. Documentary filmmakers have a long tradition of changing public opinion and public policy, partnering with our audiences to take action in addressing social inequality, human rights abuses, environmental sustainability, and building peace through a greater sense of understanding.

What will I learn?

Film exists only through the advent and practice of technology, so initial courses in the program will introduce students to the cameras, lights, and software that will enable them to explore their craft. Simultaneously, students will be taking a selection of BFA core courses which provide a broad base of art experiences in drawing, design, web development, digital media, photography and art history. With this foundation, the curriculum moves to immerse students in the art of writing, cinematography, editing, directing, and producing. Included are courses in film history and film theory, as well as a periodic rotation through special topics such as international film production, social documentary, ethnographic film, non-profit video, environmental filmmaking, and personal narrative films.

Whether learning how to light beautiful scenes with the latest film cameras, or editing sequences together that moves audiences, students will develop both a competence in the tools of the trade as well as the thoughtfulness to approach filmmaking with creativity and integrity. At the completion of their BFA in Documentary Film, majors will have finished several projects, including a senior film project that they will be able to share with audiences, and market themselves professionally.

Student Work Samples

View more work at the Film gallery page.

Nina Vallado – “Let’s Jam”
A documentary short celebrating what we all love most about music.

[vimeo id=”114510229″ align=”center” autoplay=”no”]

Joshua Martin – “125 Pounds”
Personal film for a student organized event exploring notions of beauty.

Pieter Damsteegt – “The Back of My Life” (Teaser)
FILM486 – BFA Thesis

View the Degree Requirements

View the Online Bulletin