Non-fiction filmmaking has become an extremely popular form melding journalistic integrity, social realism and narrative storytelling. As media becomes saturated with floods of moving images, the demand for rich cinematic representation of the world's complexities and the human condition has increased exponentially. The form embraces entertainment and education in equal parts. Documentary and essayistic films are highly personal cinematic expressions. The strongest work in these forms demand intelligent and skilled filmmaking blended with an artist's deep curiosity for the world around them. Making documentary or essay films might appear simple, but it is a deceptively complex art form that depends heavily on research, interviewing skill, strong filmmaking technique, visual intelligence and inventive editorial processes. Over the course of the residency students will view a wide breadth of films demonstrating the many different styles of documentary and essay cinema.

The core of the residency will be hands on practice. Students will be required to create a minimum of 3 short films: one personal essay film, one research driven documentary, and one hybrid film crossing fiction and factual storytelling featuring recreation and staged events. Additionally, students will occasionally engage with select guest artists who represent the highest standards of their field. This residency is ideal for the curious filmmaker eager to explore non-fiction filmmaking as a unique and challenging art form designed to embrace personal, political, or aesthetical realms.

Application Instructions

Enrollment in the Summer Filmmaking Residency is based on submission of the online application form and the instructors' review of:

  • a personal statement (1-2 paragraphs or video) explaining why you want to enroll in the residency and what you hope to gain from participating

Applications must be accompanied by a $25 fee.

Given this residency is likely to fill up early you are advised to apply and submit your application materials before the deadline listed above. Applications submitted after that date are considered late and will be considered only if space remains or becomes available.

Residency Prerequisites

  • Although artists aged 18 and up are encouraged to apply, this program is not suitable for beginning filmmakers.
  • Participants must have fundamental knowledge of film grammar and basic cinematic practices. The program is best suited for mid-career or MFA level artists.
  • You will need to bring your own camera—it doesn't have to be fancy.


On-campus housing is available for students participating in Summer programs. Visit our Housing page for more information and instructions on how to apply. 

Additional Details

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Enrollment is open to students who have been accepted into the program. Please apply via the button at the top of the page.


Applications Open: January 4, 2018 *

Application Priority Deadline: March 1, 2018

Application Final Deadline: April 27, 2018


Enrollment/Payment Deadline: April 30, 2018


Residency Start/Arrival: May 19, 2018

Residency End/Departure: June 23, 2018


* Submissions will be reviewed and applicants notified starting March 1st. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis after this date and will be considered--space permitting--through April 27.


Deadline to Start Last Course
Never expires