A four-week travel course where you learn to produce short documentary films about global changemakers.
Journey to a destination community and learn documentary production alongside other impact-driven filmmakers. Get real life experience collaborating with local experts, leaders and changemakers to help share their amazing stories.
Through on-location research and interviews, our travelers learn to listen and seek to understand. The authenticity of the ethical documentary experience allows greater connection to a place and more meaningful work to be produced.
TELL ME MORE
The best way to learn about our Documentary Outreach experience is by signing up for the email series. Find out more about why we travel, how it works, and what you can expect.
Travel with Actuality Abroad and learn to tell stories that matter.
Each crew is guided and supported in producing a character-driven, film-fest-worthy short documentary film. To further expand your portfolio, you also have the opportunity to create documentary photography collections, micro-documentary videos, or journalistic essays that are more promotional in nature and may help your changemaker in furthering their work.
week 1 – research
Crews meet daily for briefings, screenings and exercises on documentary filmmaking. Filmmakers visit locations, scout operations, and conduct pre-interviews to gather information. The goal is to find an interesting character whose story would make a compelling documentary.
WEEK 2 – PLAN & PREP
Filmmakers plan for production by developing a story summary and outline, as well as a schedule and a shot list. Workshops and practical exercises are led by our Actuality Producer to teach techniques in visual storytelling.
week 3 – PRODUCTION
Filmmakers document on location to record the people, events, sounds, and environments necessary to tell their chosen story. Dailies are reviewed and critiqued in group sessions every evening.
WEEK 4 – EDITORIAL
Filmmakers edit the film from rough cut to picture lock entirely on location with plenty of support. Before departure, the local community is invited to join the crew for a screening of all completed documentaries.
ETHICAL STORYTELLING IS COLLABORATIVE STORYTELLING
Telling stories outside of your own community and across cultures can be complicated. It is important that we recognize our power (and responsibility) as storytellers. Over the years of producing on location, Actuality Abroad has developed a set of best practices that guide the development, production and distribution of our storytelling projects. We build these principles and systems into each Documentary Outreach to ensure our crews are working in an ethical and equitable manner.
On each Documentary Outreach, we work with ‘locally-led’ changemakers that are small, grassroots nonprofit organizations or social enterprises. This means the leaders and decision makers are people who are really from the community where the work is being done.
We consider our changemakers and anyone else that may appear in our films, true co-creators of the stories we produce. At the beginning of each project we determine who are the important stakeholders/decision makers for the storytelling project, and ensure we get their input, consent and agreement at each stage of the documentary process. These individuals can include leaders at our changemaker organization, elders in the community and individuals whose stories are featured in the films.
There is no money exchanged between Actuality Abroad and any of the changemakers we partner with. We are all freely collaborating on stories that we all think are important to share.