A training course offered by the Al Jazeera e-learning platform on documentary filmmaking


about this course

Persuasive, creative and entertaining…

Here we are in the Documentary Filmmaking course, and these are selected lessons, in which we provide a quick recap, with practical tips and procedures that we hope will put you on the path.

  • What is the documentary?
  • What are its schools and creative limits?
  • What about the steps and stages of professional documentary production?

Our course is an invitation to practice facing the truth, transforming the familiar into an element of fascination. Dear Documentary Filmmaker, and our next colleague, Now is the time to make a difference. You are welcome..

Important Note: The film materials presented in the lessons of this course are for educational purposes only and may not be used for commercial purposes.

An overview of the Al Jazeera media network

A Middle Eastern media company owned by the State of Qatar. It started with the parent Arabic channel (Al Jazeera Channel) in 1996, which achieved Arab and international success that enabled it to expand its circle to include channels, including Al Jazeera English, Documentary, Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera Mubasher and Al Jazeera Balkan, in addition to specialized centers and news websites, foremost of which are Al Jazeera Net, which is the parent company of most of the local media in Qatar, initially many of its employees were recruited from the BBC, and its board of directors is chaired by Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani.

Florida International University Scholarships Details

  • Application deadline: always available
  • Host University: Al Jazeera Media Network
  • Study level: Undergraduate
  • Host Country: Online
  • Course Fee: Free
  • Certificate:- Free
  • Course language:- the language is Arabic

Course requirements

  • Knowledge of the Arabic language.
  • A computer or smartphone.


Skills covered by the course

  1. Familiarity with international production schools, and professional documentary schools.
  2. Identify the role and tasks of the director and producer in documentaries.
  3. Develop the skills of photography, montage, script preparation and commentary writing.
  4. Activate the skills of specialized technical criticism.

What will I get from this course?

  • Free access until the end of the course.
  • Paid certificate.

Course lessons

Lesson One: Documentary Definition:

In France, the Lumiere brothers present to the public several films, each lasting no more than a minute, entitled “Stories from Life and Truth”. This is the official history of the inception of cinema; Remember it well; December 28, 1895. And do not forget, that our scholar Al-Hassan Ibn Al-Haytham, the pioneer of optics; He was the first to develop the principles of the camera.

Second lesson: Technical schools:

The subject of the schools of documentary production that have sprung up since the 1920s, each representing a leading director.

Lesson Three: The Art of Solutions:

The documentary presents a creative vision of reality with reality itself. So you need to interact with the world, so that you take advantage of all the facts in it, and turn its surprises into gains.

Fourth lesson: Team work: Director and documentary producer:

Welcome to the moral school called documentaries. Directing is a personal responsibility, and a documentary is about gathering the truth with your point of view.

Lesson Five: Documentary Idea:

You will start talking about the scientific and practical stages and steps in documentary production. The human being is what interests him and occupies his thinking, and ideas search for us as we search for them.

The higher our means of monitoring, and the more sensitive our senses are, the greater our chance of selecting the effective idea, which guarantees half the road to a successful documentary.

Lesson Six: Suggested Visualization:

The stage of the initial development of the idea, here we define the path of the film and its definitions. When the idea settles in your mind, the preliminary research process begins, which requires answering a set of questions about preparing a concept and proposal for the film (Proposal). This perception should be clear, brief, interesting and promising to wait for more during the implementation of the film.

Lesson Seven: Processing:

Aristotle says, “It is not sufficient to know what ought to be said, but to say it as it ought.”

Lesson Eight: Doctrines of Documentary Narrative:

Several doctrines and methods for addressing the ideas of documentaries, and presenting their objective visions within creative artistic templates.

Lesson Nine: Scenario Photography:

The shooting script is the film’s shooting plan, and its compass. During which the director actually attends the shooting, and prepares the optical scenes required to confirm the information contained in the processing, so this step comes as a supplement to the documentary processing, and sometimes it merges with it.

Lesson Ten: Production (Photography):

main production step; Photography. During filming, we build a deep relationship with everything around us, understand it differently, and remain in a state of constant awareness to achieve the goal of the film.

Photography is nothing but a re-evaluation of life, people, and situations, the essence of which is the search for visual evidence that supports the logic of the film, and the creation of an effective vision of the object, and not just conveying its image.

Lesson 11: How do you conduct a documentary interview?

Quick tips for successful interviews in documentaries.

Lesson 12: Scenario 1:

The director needs to organize, classify, and unpack the raw filming materials, to help him complete the viewing process and work on the script.

Lesson Thirteen: Scenario 2:

A successful script makes us beat the slang for a good documentary and make it look like it was realistic.

Lesson Fourteen: Documentary Text:

We are in front of a moving image medium, and telling about it is first.

Lesson Fifteen: Editing:

If the goal of the shooting process is to collect visual options, then the goal of montage is to accurately determine the most appropriate option. and now; What do we mean by montage?

Lesson Sixteen: Editing Tips:

We complement our interesting conversation with useful tips in the montage process.

Lesson Seventeen: Sound Design:

We are talking here about the sound in the documentary; Recording of commentary, preparation of music and sound effects, sound mixing process.

Lesson Eighteen: Internet Documentary:

If the documentary is the art of surprising and anticipating life, what is the point of us staying only on television, while the audience turns to the Internet and mobile phones?

Final lesson:

This course includes quick tips, with which we try to introduce you to a wide and interesting world called documentaries.

How to apply

The application process is very easy and is done online

  • You will click on the “Apply Now” button in blue to go to the course website
  • After that, you will click on start now and register on the site and start studying.
  • After completing your studies, you will receive an accredited certificate from the Academy


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