Last April 16-21, the Goethe Institut, in cooperation with the French embassy, flew in documentary experts, Frenchman Yves de Peretti and German Bettina Braun, to conduct an intensive workshop on documentary filmmaking.
De Peretti follows Ateliers Varan’s principles, which emphasize learning through practical experience. He explains, “You have to have something to tell. Focus on your subject’s interests, not yours.”
Braun is a founding member of the filmmakers’ network, “LaDoc,” in Cologne. She advises: “If you want to make documentaries, don’t think it’s going to be easy.”
Some students’ insights about the lectures: Sunshine Matutina enthuses, “The workshop has helped me find my own voice and inspired me to explore possibilities. It’s encouraging to hear from teachers with different backgrounds.”
Kiri Dalena recalls, “The workshop was intense. We were fortunate to have passionate lecturers. It was my first time to see the docus of the Maysles brothers, Chantal Akerman and Heddy Honigmann, whose works are beautiful and inspiring!”
Baby Ruth Villarama shares, “For the first time, I’ll be doing a documentary about intercultural marriage that isn’t commissioned work. So, the workshop will guide me to tell my story well.”
Malaya Camporedondo adds, “It was a rare chance for my project to be examined and critiqued by experienced practitioners. The workshop was the perfect venue to learn from others!”