Documentary Filmmaking

Write, develop, shoot, edit and screen a documentary


Expand your visual storytelling and filmmaking palette, sharpen your observation, exploration, and production skills and connect with the technology, tools and philosophies invaluable for creating engaging, diverse and rich documentaries in our intensive, content packed course facilitated by expert tutors and industry professionals.

This deeply practical short course is built on one of our core beliefs is that you need to spend lots of time with your own hands firmly on the gear. We call it learning by doing....and doing...and doing again.

It's designed for filmmakers with a good grasp of the fundamentals who already have some experience of making short films of their own as a minimum starting point.

Course structure

Subject areas
  • Research and story development
  • Writing the documentary script
  • Documentary shooting
  • Production, planning, and scheduling
  • Interviewing a subject for meaningful material
  • B-roll and supporting footage
  • Editing and assembling a narrative in post-production
  • Financing and grant proposals 
  • Sound design and music for narrative effect 
  • Visual effects for documentary


This course is designed for two audiences.

The first audience are those looking for a productive way to spend 4 weeks developing their documentary making skills to support their own projects and meet like minded people to work with. For this audience the likely progression routes are:-

  1. Returning to their own project with a new set of skills
  2. Returning to Catalyst to take one of our other short courses.

The second audience are those students wishing to progress onto one of our longer courses whom require some practical experience to help prepare them for the longer course. The most likely courses they would progress onto are:-

  1. HE Certificate Film Production (1 Year)
  2. BA Hons Bachelor Degree Film Production (3 Year)

A safe space to dream big


Our team

Our tutors are industry experienced with a passion for passing on their knowledge to others. Here are a few of the experienced and friendly tutors that will be supporting you throughout your learning process.

An international creative community

This year our students came from more than 55 different countries. As an organisation we celebrate that incredible level of diversity. If we had an organisational face it would have a big smile stretched across it. It’s a total privilege to be able to bring this diverse community together in the inspirational space of our Funkhaus campus in the world class creative metropolis of Berlin.

It's a golden opportunity to meet up and collaborate with like minded peers from around the world. A key part of our approach to learning involves working with others whether as peers, mentors, collaborators, audience or fellow travellers. Passion is always better shared!

Listen up

In the end it doesn’t matter what we say or do. What matters is what our students are doing during their time with us. Watch one of our favourite videos directed, shot and edited by our filmmaking short course students, starring their fellow acting colleagues and decide for yourselves.

Essential information

Entry requirements

The most important prerequisite for attending any course at Catalyst is that you must be passionate about building and developing your skills as a documentary filmmaker.

Our short courses are designed to be accessible to anyone so we do not require any level of academic certification to apply. To qualify you should usually be aged 18 or over. If you're coming from outside the EU a holiday/travel visa will usually suffice.

We accept applications up to 14 days before the course start date but places are assigned on a first come, first served basis so we recommend you make an application as soon as possible.

For more information please contact a member of the team. We love to chat! Please reach out to us at [email protected] or call us at +49 30 2900 9052.

Info hub
Course dates and application deadline

Next available dates: Summer 2022

Course length: 4 weeks

Application: Opening Nov 2021 - sign up to our newsletter to be notified

Open days and taster workshops

Get a feel for our school from the comfort of your home with our Virtual Open Days and skill-focussed Taster Workshops.

Hosted by our team and students, these online events will give you a sense of what it's like to come and study with us in Berlin.

We look forward to meeting you online soon!

Learn more

More courses

HE Certificate Film Production

A 'work hard, play hard' bootcamp for filmmakers with an intensive, nonstop whirlwind of challenges, inspiring project briefs, creative problems, new gear and new skills, all acquired in an international learning community of fellow creatives.


BA Hons Bachelor Degree Film Production

Our unique degree mimics the way we acquire new skills in the real world with a breathless onslaught of practical filmmaking under heavy constraints followed up with an enriching foundation of analysis and theory.


MA Creative Production (Film)

Celebrate, explore, develop, innovate and magnify your capabilities as a filmmaker, director, cinematographer, editor, writer, producer, sound designer or audiovisual artist, whilst building and enhancing an artistic & creative industry profile.