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documentary filmmaking workshop

This workshop welcomes all those with a first experience of documentary filmmaking wishing to perfect directing skills or looking for a career shift. All the steps of documentary filmmaking are reviewed, from initial conception to editing (assisted by professional editors) to the moral, intellectual, aesthetical issues brought up through the act of filming.

From Sept 27 to December 19 2017, 12 weeks (420 hours), in Paris, France

Public : for those wishing to gain a first experience of documentary filmmaking with all it entails of involvement and high standards (without technical prerequisites).
Number of trainees : 12


First period : Technical initiation, practical exercises, film analysis.
The first three or four weeks feature camera and sound technical initiation, editing, practical exercises, screenings and film analysis. (key films of documentary culture, encounters with documentary filmmakers). Video on demand at the Varan Media library. During that period of time, each trainee chooses, defines, prepares and reccees for his upcoming documentary film subject.

Second period : Shooting of workshop film.
Trainees shoot over periods of one or two days at a time. They regularly watch their rushes together. The group’s progress in footage analysis and criticism helps each trainee to better his mistakes and improves filmmaking skills.

Third period : Editing and finishing of workshop film.
As the shooting advances trainees sort through their rushes in order to prepare editing with a professional editor. Their collaboration enables them to decide upon the film’s final structure and to complete editing. Editing is a crucial learning moment because it creates consciousness about the past weeks of filmmaking, revealing aspects that had remained hidden during the shooting.


- For French candidates : download application form here.
Admission requirements : You will first be asked to send in a written document. Then pre-selected applicants will be appointed for an interview before being definitively admitted.
Once the candidate is admitted, he or she needs to provide us with the application form from the financial organisation supporting the cost of their workshop. Ateliers Varan returns the form to the candidate, with necessary documents (financial estimate, workshop description). It’s up to each candidate to submit the form to a financial organization’s joint committee.
Cost : 13 000 Euros VAT exclusive (15 600 Euros VAT inclusive).
Workshop funding : candidates may apply for a CIF - a vocational training leave (count 4 months for application processing) and receive funding from private or public institutions. We don’t accept self-funding. There are no exhaustive lists of organizations, here are a few examples : AFDAS, FONGECIF, AUVICOM, UNIFORMATION, FAF.TT,... It’s up to each candidate to search for adequate funding possibilities, according to his or her specific situation.

- For foreign candidates : If you are not of French nationality but a French resident, application requirements remain identical to those of French candidates. If you reside abroad, application requirements remain identical except that the interview takes place on the phone.
Costs : 13 000 Euros.
Workshop funding : workshop costs are to be supported by a financial organization from your home country, whether it be public or private. Self-funding is not accepted. There are no exhaustive lists of financial organizations. A few examples of funding institutions abroad : the French Embassy’s cultural services, Gulbenkian Foundation, (Portugal), Studiensenteret (Norway). It’s up to each candidate to search for adequate funding possibilities, according to his or her specific situation.

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